trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “Minivan”

My Fender Bender(s)

Driving home from work last night I was mildly distracted. There was the song selection on the radio, some drama in my head and the fear of what awaited me in my house.

So when the light turned green, I assumed that meant that we hit the gas and move forward – only the turquoise, Toyota Sienna Minivan in front of me did not agree.

The BOOM sound of my fender hitting the Toyota’s bumper jolted me back to reality. Oh Crap!!!!

I pulled the van over to the shoulder, put on my flashers and got out to assess the damage – which looked like nothing to me. The Toyota’s driver stood stunned staring at her bumper (I swear, there was nothing there). We decided to exchange insurance information and phone numbers and call it a night – with her advising that her husband would call my husband to sort through the details (gee, isn’t it 2012??).

The Toyota pulled away and as I merged back into the traffic, it hit me F#@% me, I have to call the husband!!!

The husband is VERY, VERY anal about his possessions, especially vehicles. He is always inspecting the outside looking for scratches, dents or dirt. This was not gonna be good.  I decided it was better to get it over with (i.e. like pulling off a band-aid) so I called him right then

Husband: Hello, what?

Me (sweet voice): HI! Whatcha doing??

Husband: You got in another accident didn’t you?

Me: Eh, I just tapped someone’s bumper, it wasnt bad. I’m sorry. Are you there??

Husband: Great, there isn’t much left to replace on the van…I guess that’s why they call it an accident…I gotta go.

Well that went ok I guess. It would have gone better had it not been for those 2 unfortunate incidents that occurred, within a 2 month period, back in 2010.

Up until 2010,  I had been a decent driver. Yeah I sometimes go over the speed limit, and I can’t parallel park, or back into a spot but I do good enough. My driving record was clean (except for the ticket I got in 2000 but that was a traffic set-up).

Anyway, it was April 2010 and it was a rainy afternoon. I was on my way home from a doctor’s appointment and decided to stop at the bank to get some cash. The radio was on (loudly) and the window was cracked open when I pulled up to the drive-through ATM. I guess I didn’t gauge the width of the lane because soon I head the horrible sound of metal scraping against concrete.

Oh crap!! That’s the van, I scraped the side of the ATM!!!!!! F me!!!!!!!!!

That was my first fender bender (or side scrape) and I was TERRIFIED of telling the husband. When I got home me, my neighbor, aunt and uncle all stood next to the van assessing the damage. We were speechless. Panic invaded my entire being.  There was NO WAY to hide this from the husband (it was the entire passenger side of the van) and he would surely kill me.

My neighbor tried to come up with words of encouragement but it was useless. We all knew I was dead. I made the call and quickly, everyone ran and hid in the house. 

That call went 100x better than I had expected. The husband was worried, wanted to know if kids and me were ok and siad not to worry. We all have accidents and he would look at the van when he got home.

I waited by the front door, sick to my stomach, for the husband to pull up that night. When he finally did I was scared. He was out there FOREVER before coming inside, scratching his head.

WTF did you do??! was all he could say.

Luckily the husband works for a car dealer so the van was fixed in a week, we paid our insurance deductible and all was right with the world.

Until Thursday, June 14, 2010. I had gone back to work that past Monday, after my maternity leave, and was still getting back into the swing of things. I had plans to meet Mrs. Jeter for lunch but the traffic on Route 1 was horrendous so instead, I opted for Quiznos. I decided to get a flatbread salad to go and was on my way back to the office. 

However, to get back to work, required me to cross over 3 lanes of traffic. So I patiently waited while snacking on the  cookie I had just bought. The light had changed and a car in the lane closest to me motioned for me to go,  I pulled out and all of a sudden BAM CRASH!!!!!!!!

Apparently, the Lexus SUV in the other lane didn’t know about the other driver’s courteous gesture and now our cars were tangled together in the middle of a busy intersection at lunch hour.

O-M-G what the F am I gonna do? The husband will KILL ME this time!!!!!!!!! I thought as we waited for the cops to arrive. I saw the other driver start to cry so I quickly mustered up some tears of my own and sat in the van awaiting my fate.

Both cars were deemed un-driveable and we waited FOREVER for the tow trucks to arrive. I called my friend Midgie to come pick me up and she tried to cheer me up. Midge also knew all the cops in town and casually chatted with them trying to get information about the accident.

Finally, cute traffic cop #2 came over and said that he was sorry, but he had to issue me a ticket for careless driving. I cried. He promised it would be fine and we left.

I sobbed on the ride home, upset over having no van, being in my first real accident and having to call the husband and tell him AGAIN what had happened.

Obviously, I survived the husband’s wrath – my punishment was having to drive a lime-green Kia Soul as a rental for a week. The van also survived, though my front license plate has seen better days.

Last night, during bath/bedtime, the Toyota’s owner called my cell phone. It was the husband and he wanted to talk to the man of the house. My stomach tightened in a knot as I tried to make out the conversation over the kids’ yelling.

The husband told me the Toyotas are not going through the insurance company (wth why?) and they are going to bring their van to his dealership this weekend (really?).

I am sure there will be plenty of drama to come. Fingers crossed it is over quickly, after all there is no police report, witnesses or photos.

Just another day in my life….Happy Thursday everyone!


Yes I am TOO sexy for my minivan

Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan.

Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My first car was a 1995 white Plymouth Neon.  Neons had just come out and it was SUPER exciting to FINALLY have a car at the age of 22. No more begging friends/family to drive me places or let me borrow their car. Never again would I have to sit in my friend R’s basement and hear OK, who wants to drive her home tonight?

The Neon was great, it got awesome gas mileage and was good to me for years. Around 2000 “she” hit 100,000 miles and started to get “sick” and the husband and I realized it was time to let her go. No worries, I got another Neon except this one was a Dodge Neon and it was silver AND it had power locks and windows (I was living the high life). I loved my Neon and she loved me.

When I became pregnant with the twins in 2005 people immediately asked if I would be trading in the Neon for an SUV. Hell no!! Two car seats will totally fit in the Neon and the trunk is huge. Believe it or not the car seats did fit AND we had packing the trunk down to a science. We could even make a BJ’s run and cram it all in the car. We were happy, life was good.

Then came 2008 and I found myself pregnant again. No way were 3 car seats going to fit in the Neon it was time to upgrade. My first thought was SUV, NO WAY would I let the M-word enter my mind, I would NOT drive a minivan!! The husband and I started to price SUV’s and it became clear I was going to have to look into a minivan – YUCK!

I was in denial for weeks and wouldn’t discuss it. The husband did all the research and would come home with brochures and talk about things like “stow and go seating” and “automatic doors” and “trunk space” like that would make any difference to me.  How could I ever drive a minivan??!! It was huge and boxy and just screamed Mom On Board.

March 2008 the husband drove home our brand new 2009 Town and Country Minivan with the stow and go seats (it was one of the saddest days of my life). The twins were THRILLED and couldn’t get inside fast enough. I was 7 months pregnant and miserable. I refused to drive it and pouted. The husband told me it drove like a dream, bragged about its comfort and showed everyone the trunk space (just what a girl cares about). My friends who had minivans told me I would “love it” and would appreciate the  automatic doors when it rained. NEVER!

In a last-ditch attempt to make me accept the van, the husband upgraded the radio and installed some touch screen radio/cd/dvd player. Yipee, now I could blast my top 40 music in a van with the windows down – that screamed “cool mom”.

Eventually I gave in and drove the van (we had gotten rid of the Neon so I had no choice). Time went on and we added another car seat  to the van and portable dvd players hung from the seats. It was a total kid-friendly minivan and I was its principle driver.  I would make excuses not to have to drive friends or co-workers though because inevitably they would look in the back and say “WOW you have 4 car seats?!”

The van has been good to us (mostly). It gets pretty good gas mileage and I can fit a lot in the trunk. The automatic doors have even helped to wrangle in the kids from time to time. As much as I like the can, however, I will NEVER love it. There is just too much baggage associated with it and a stigma attached to being an owner of one.

People judge you before you exit the vehicle. They assume you are a mom with a ponytale, sporting a jogging outfit, carrying a big diaper bag with screaming kids in tow. Forget ever trying to look “cool” in it. Nothing is more pathetic than blasting music (even if it is cool music) in a van, with the windows down, at a traffic light.

I am told that eventually, when the boys get older, I can trade the van in for a  vehicle with 3 rows. Unfortunately, kids in NJ seem to be in a booster seat until they are teens (or at least that is what it feels like) so for now I will just envy the non-van drivers I see on the road and wonder if they know how lucky they are.

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