Karma Drives A Minivan

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
buying a minivan

Dear Approximately College-Aged Girl Who Scoffed Disdainfully At My Minivan:

Thanks for the scathingly judgmental look you cast at my ride while we were at a stoplight.

“Like, I’ll never drive a minivan,” I’m sure you said, in your snottiest tone, to your friend in the driver’s seat of your tiny little Mazda or whatever.

And she was probably all, “I know, right?! Sooo lame.”

(Or, you know, whatever you kids say these days.)

Look. I get it. You’re naturally gorgeous, and all your body parts are still where they’re supposed to be without being heaved into place through the assistance of underwire and copious amounts of Spandex. You know everything. The world is your oyster, and everybody over twenty-five is terminally uncool and just straight-up unworthy of occupying space in it. You drive a small, cute car because you have nothing to carry in it besides your backpack and giant purse and sometimes a drunk friend or two in the backseat because ohmygawd, you know what would be ah-maaaazing right now? TACO BELL.

But what you forget, my dear, is that I didn’t burst forth from the womb as a harried, minivan-driving mother of four who may or may not wear maternity pants a little past pregnancy.

A mere *coughcough* years ago, believe it or not, I too was cute. Smug. Smooth skinned and fresh faced, taut and un-cellulitey. Unhindered by clinging children and driving a sporty little two-door coupe devoid of boogers, baby wipes, Goldfish crumbs, stray Happy Meal toys, and whatever that is growing in the cup holder. I never in my wildest dreams (uh, nightmares?) thought I’d be driving a Mom-Mobile.

In short, I was … you.

Which means that a little over a decade from now, you will probably be me.

By then you will have realized that your metabolism is not equipped to handle all that Taco Bell, and that your parents are not in fact “soooo dumb,” and that, when you’re carrying an infant seat and a diaper bag and five sacks of groceries and trying to keep a grip on a writhing, escape-artist toddler, a door that slides open with one touch – like the kind on a minivan – will be your best friend. Or when your kid flings his car door open a little too eagerly and leaves an unfortunate gash on the brand-new BMW you parked next to at Target. Whose sliding door is lame now?

I’ll be honest: It does sting a little, getting an OMG you’re such a loser look from a cooler-than-thou youngster.

It’s a slightly painful reminder that I now spend my Friday nights shopping for gifts for the umpteen birthday parties I’ll be toting the kids to over the weekend (wrapped in thriftily reused gift bags, of course). Or drinking a glass of wine that I didn’t even get carded to buy (boohoo!) and falling asleep on the couch, utterly exhausted and drooling unbecomingly, at 9:30. … Okay, 9:00.

But believe me: though from your youthful vantage point it may seem like you’ll never be this age and this level of peak Mom, someday karma will come around to haunt you. She’ll give you stretch marks, gray hairs the texture of pubes, and a closet full of jeans that no longer fit. She can be cruel.

And watch out, because I’m pretty sure she drives a minivan.

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