Saturday, July 24, 2010

Man Van

Okay. Here it is. I can't live with the private shame of it any longer. The jokes. The insensitive comments I hear about others like me. I'm married. I have children. I drive a tractor and know how to build a house. You might never have suspected, but today is the day I'm coming out. Yes -- I want a mini-van. In it is: I bought one. Leased, actually. Maybe I'm still just experimenting?

The quiet longings started about a year ago. I'd be in some strange city with a group of colleagues and we'd all pile into a rented mini-van with the luggage neatly stowed. "This is roomy" I'd think, sinking into one of the second row captain's chairs. "And comfy."

The feelings would fade whenever I'd see one going down the road. Can I really be attracted to that? I'd assure myself I could not and my trusty Y chromosome would take control once again helping me to picture the diesel cans in the back of my pick-up. Sheets of plywood. Bags of Ready-Mix.

But then something started to change. Some of the mini-vans did look good going down the road. They were broad, sturdy looking, dependable. I stole a look inside one in a parking lot and found lazy-boy style chairs in the back. Lazy-Boy Chairs. The lumber yard delivers, I reminded myself. Maybe I could love a mini-van...

What finally pushed me over the line and out of the glove box was a friend's coming out. Like me, one would never suspect he was a secret mini-van fetishist. He owns a construction company. He fishes. Married, kids, dresses like a bum. He lives in New Hampshire, for Godsake, where they proudly drive around with "Live Free or Die" on their license plates. And now that license plate is on a stunning South Pacific Pearl Toyota Sienna with the bisque interior. Two years ago I would have recoiled and tried to intervene. But all I did was wonder what other interior colors were available.

And now I await delivery of my Predawn Gray Mica Sienna. I'm going the distance with it: Splitscreen DVD, navigation (what, ask for directions?), bluetooth, JBL 10-speaker sound, all-wheel's a van for a man's man. It's a Man Van. I want to get a vanity plate with that on it. And truck nuts.

So there it is. Love me for it. Hate me for it. I love my van. Now don't make me pull this thing over and come back there.


Blogger B said...

As a van owner (out of necessity not desire) and a fellow blogger I felt compelled to comment on this post (though I have read many others without commenting) because it made me smile.

I think with enough support we could make vans the cool vehicle to drive.

Van owners unite!

10:32 AM  
Blogger sassyviv said...

Once you go VAN, you never go back.

You need to see this "Dad Life" video:


11:17 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

The way you say it makes ME want a Man Van. And I'm not a man...

Enjoy your new ride, and to hell with the naysayers!

11:31 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

You had me until the truck nuts. I think those are the stupidest form of vehicle adornment I've ever seen.

12:00 PM  
Blogger trouble said...

You will love your Sienna. Our family just has 2 kids but we are on our 3rd Sienna. It drives so smooth.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Cionaodh said...

I used to have the same issues with station wagons. Now I'm on my sixth one of these:

6:21 PM  
Anonymous wizmo said...

Perfect timing. By the time your sons are old enough to drive it will be old and dinged up, and they can do some ridiculous paint job on it and use it to lug their band equipment around.

When I moved out to California to be with my then-boyfriend, he surprised me, to my horror, with a used Ford Aerostar van. While admitting its practicality, it was the dorkiest thing I had ever seen.

Being artsy almost from birth, my creative solution was to paint every surface except the mirrors and tires flat black, including all the chrome. Suddenly we were driving an edgy, intimidating vehicle. People often stopped us at lights to say how cool it was.

His teenage nephews drove it proudly when it was their turn to inherit it.

12:16 AM  
Blogger Leilani Techaira said...

I don't see the need to be ashamed since there are some pretty bad ass vans out there:
B.A. Barachus A-Team van
Cheech and Chongs fiber weed van
The Shaggin Wagon from Dumb and Dumber
The van from Fast Times at Ridgemont High
the van "down by the river" according to matt foley motivation speaker.

I could go on...

3:47 AM  
Blogger Courtney Bodett said...

It's a swagger wagon:

2:17 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

My first car was a Ford Winstar. True, I was always a little embarrassed to be seen driving it in public, but it made me very popular in college. Since it could seat 7, I was always the one my drunk roommates dragged out of bed at 2 a.m. to take them to get Mexican food.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous I was a van owner before it was cool! said...

I came to this same conclusion, what 24 years ago with my first Dodge Caravan. Figured this was the most practical vehicle I'd ever seen. Front wheel drive so the drive wheels won't spin like regular vans, room to haul however people you like, the seats come out, so you can use it like a truck when you need to. Come on, you guys! You really don't buy the tool with all the gadgets attached? This is the car version.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Cactus Jack said...

Tom, Tom, Tom. You disappoint me. Who'll be my redneck role model now that yours has turned soft and pink? All this support you're getting here is a bit too touchy-feely. You do know, don't you, that you can get a 7-passenger Land Rover. Next thing I know you'll be trading your Levis for Dockers. It's a sad day in the country.

2:51 PM  

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