I was talking about cars with a friend the other day. This should sound odd to you, if you know me at all. Unless it is a colorized, vintage lovely styled with flowers, I really don’t care much about cars. But even I understand the correlation between one’s identity and the car that they drive.
If you’re lucky, you get to have a car of your choosing, which would then speak a little bit about who you are. If you are a high society type, dripping in diamonds, a Juicy velour sweatsuit, and heels, you probably don’t drive a Jeep. Likewise, if you are an organic eating, Athleta wearing, yoga guru, you probably aren’t driving a cherry red Lamborghini. Of course I could be wrong (it’s happened once before). My point is, our cars reflect our lifestyle and our style.
I remember as a twenty something, purchasing my first car, wanting it to reflect who I was and how far I had come in my professional life. (Which at the time FELT really far, but hindsight….not so much.) Although cars didn’t really matter to me, the image that MY car portrayed was important to me.
My friend recently bought the car of her dreams. It was a big deal. She saved for just what she wanted and you could see how proud she was of the purchase and how excited she was. This car embodied her personal and professional success and now the whole world would see. She was thrilled and I am excited for her. (Women get a similar feeling from new shoes. Well, I do.)
In contrast, I shared a story with her about me getting followed by a man driving down the highway. You know that creepy feeling when you’re driving along and you can feel that the car next to you has been keeping pace with you for too long? Yeah, that. I explained that when I told my husband about this (and this happened years ago) he said to me, “Well, did you flash the guy your wedding ring?”
Eye roll. Puh-leeze.
My reply? “I drive a blue minivan. You seriously think I need to flash a wedding ring? I think it’s just assumed. Nobody drives a blue minivan on purpose.” And there you have it. I was a member of The Blue Minivan Society.
The assumptions that come with membership in the Blue Minivan Society are (and these are in no particular order):
- Married with 2.5 children.
- Wears nothing but yoga pants and stained tshirts.
- Still trying to lose the “baby weight”.
- Wears a tankini and a skirt to the pool.
- House is a mess.
- Lives part time at the elementary school.
- Starbucks is breakfast AND lunch.
- May or may not have showered.
- Thinks laundry should be considered an Olympic sport.
- Often has “car-nics” (picnic in the car, which sounds fancier than just eating in the car….again).
- Sleeps in an old tshirt and her hubby’s boxer briefs.
You get where I’m going?
The persona one gives off by being a member of The Blue Minivan Society is not glamorous; not even close. The members are often embarrassed, exhausted, sad, depressed, and missing the person that they used to be. (Although I must remind myself that my flashy blue minivan didn’t stop that perv next to me on the highway.)
But as the seasoned member of the “Society” that I am, I have found the beauty in my membership. Those that have made the above assumptions of US, are selling us very short. ‘Cause here’s what I know about the members in my “chapter”.
Yes, all of the above assumptions may be true, just not every day. These ladies are the absolute pillar of the community. These women keep the ‘hoods going while the rest of you keep business, service and the government going (We hope. It’s quite symbiotic.). We are the volunteers that make sure that your kid is getting nut free, gluten free, air free treats at the class “Winter” party (because we are not allowed to call it a Christmas party, but that’s another post for another time). We are the moms who make sure the school teachers have what they need to keep their classroom humming smoothly. We’re the ones who grab stray kids from the bus stop in the afternoon when you’re stuck in traffic and can’t get back in time. We’re the ones who gave up who we were and what we were to raise children who hopefully will not enter society as criminals. (I know. It’s not a guarantee. Fingers crossed. Scared/wishful face.)
Yes, we are SUPER fortunate that we get to stay home with our children. And YES, our A-Type personalities that made us successful in the workforce can be off-putting outside of that environment. But we should not be ashamed of who we are in this season of our lives and the lives of our families. We should be grateful that we get this opportunity to be engaged with our kids and their friends, because one day, (and it will come quicker than you think) you won’t need that blue minivan anymore. You will long for the crazy days of soccer practice, and ballet lessons, and dinners on the go. You’ll downright miss them.
Judge not my sisters of The Blue Minivan Society. Cut them some slack. Maybe don’t acted so shocked when it’s obvious that they have showered. Just let them be. And give them a wide berth, ‘cause they are probably in a hurry to get the dog to the vet before the bus comes.
2 Jeep / Lamborghini
3 2016 Ford Mustang. Photo from www.motortrend.com
4 Meme from Pinterest
5 You know I LOVE my Robert Downey Jr. eye roll. LOL! From https://imgflip.com/memegenerator/Face-You-Make-Robert-Downey-Jr
6 Meme from catholicmom.com
7 Meme from Pinterest
8 Photo from Bad Moms via hellogiggles.com
9 Chaperoning the 3rd grade trip to the National Zoo. Yeah, AND we rode the bus.
10 End of the year 3rd grade celebration. Don’t be fooled, those palm trees are on a plastic sheet hanging on the Smart board. (For you “old” people, that’s what chalkboards are called now, ’cause chalk and blackboards are only now used in cute, well decorated farm houses.)
11 The Blue Minivan Society Logo. Artwork done by yours truly. The computer rendering done by my amazing 13 year old!!! I’m so proud!!!