Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Auto Show

Nice little Thursday outing we just had. My husband asked if I wanted to go to the convention center to check out the auto show, and much to his surprise, I said yes. You see, I haven’t attended this event with him since the early stages of our dating when I was more inclined to feign enthusiasm about interests I didn’t necessarily share. In this instance, the proposition of getting out of the house on a cold weekday morning was too enticing to pass up. After being mostly housebound due to back-to-back, but not overlapping, illness from N and J, I jumped at the chance for a family trip to the Auto Expo 2008.

Truth be told, I hate getting new cars. Really, I do. I like a reliable car, but I don’t like having to worry about parking spaces that may invite door dings, MIA fruit snacks, Diet Coke spills, or general crap cluttering up the car on a daily basis. However, we have a policy of owning one car and leasing the other (for boring reasons not worth going into.) The lease is up on my car in May so I’ll need to find a replacement. Ahhh…so what exciting cars did we have our eyes on? Well, as alluded to above, my husband enjoys checking out cars, but we're far too practical to drive anything fancy at this stage in life. So if you could just hone in on the word “practical” from that last sentence, then you’ll be able to quickly decipher just what type of vehicle we were examining for me to drive next. [Insert deep breath] Yes, the mini-van.

The truth is, I am ok with getting a mini-van. Three years ago we leased a Honda Pilot and although it has served us well, it has its space and interior mobility limitations. Three years ago, I wouldn’t have considered a mini-van as we didn't need the extra space, and I had experienced several life changes that were making me feel uncool already. I was still adjusting to living in an unhip part of suburbia. I was working in a small town in Indiana known primarily for casket making. I had just had my first child, which, although an absolute blessing, tends to put a damper on your social life. Alas, I’ve embraced and am enjoying all of the above (at least the ones that are still applicable), and am feeling strong to quite strong regarding the transition to a mini-van. Furthermore, I have no illusions of my coolness at this point so there’s nothing at jeopardy there.

As a special bonus to our decision, the ownership of a mini-van will enhance J’s status at preschool. She is currently the only girl in her class who doesn’t own such a status symbol. Sophie rocks the white Kia, Ava the black Nissan, Gracie the blue Dodge Caravan, Julia the tan Dodge Caravan, and Stephanie gets dropped off in a maroon conversion van (don’t know if that increases or decreases her street credit.) Although I feel certain that vans aren’t discussed in the midst of craft time, J has apparently taken note as she’s been begging for a mini-van for months. We drove a Sienna rental on vacation in January, and she was in heaven. She sobbed on the way home from the airport when she realized we didn't get to keep it. On a recent trip to the mall, she proclaimed on the way home, “Mom, do you know what we forgot to get at the mall? A MINI-VAN!”

So, as a special treat, we’ve promised a mini-van by her 4th birthday in May. She seems pleased. I wonder…any chance she’ll be that excited if we hand her some mini-van keys on her 16th birthday?

PS - MEP is on vacation this week so that's why you haven't heard from her

PPS - (Or is is PSS...lame either way I know) The new cast of Dancing with the Stars was announced. My immediate reaction is that I am going to be loving the Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas combo.


E... said...

As the not as reluctant as I thought I would be recent convert to the mini van world, let me be the first to welcome you to the dark side. I must admit, that my Odyssey is perhaps the nicest car I have ever owned. Not the coolest, but hey. May I suggest going out on a limb on the color at least? Ours is that almost blue, almost silver, almost green color that Honda calls "Slate Green." Today, there were three such in the Kindermusik parking lot, and later at Kroger, one of the other moms and I had to use our key fobs to figure out which one to put the groceries in.

Anonymous said...

A little more support for our children's love of the mini ... After being re-introduced to the Sienna today, J gave the hood of the car a long, warm embrace that N also deemed appropriate. Our children will not hug their parents, but are OK with affection towards an auto. Any parenting tips to correct this????

MEP said...

LAP, thanks for picking up my slack while I'm in sunny Florida. I loved the post and enjoy the fact that you guys took a weekday family outing to the Auto Show . . . can't ever imagine K and K packing us up for such an outing.

I'm not at the point where I crave the van or need it, but with Bub 2.0 on the way, I have made peace with the fact that one day I too will rock a van!

Also, I am cracking up picturing the girls hugging the long-lost Sienna at the auto show.

LAP said...

Yes, I can confirm that there was a warm embrace of the left headlight area. However, I need to insert that J and N are very free with hugs for their parents. They can at times be stingy if a hug is requested from someone outside the family (though not stingy with inanimate objects?)

Actchy said...

Can I comment on the auto show aspect of this post? Growing up, the only thing I associated with the Auto Show was the fact that periodically, there would be a commercial during Laverne & Shirley that appeared to be taken by someone with a home video camera and a booming deep voice who would bellow "SUNDAY-SUNDAY-SUNDAY!" as he encouraged people to attend the Philadelphia Auto Show. I recall mentally categorizing this commercial with those for WWF events and Monster Truck races. I never thought I would know someone who would attend. Fast forward 20 some years when my now-husband informed me he wanted to stop at the aforementioned show one random Sunday-Sunday-Sunday. I was aghast; his interest seemed on par with finding out that he was, like, into Dungeons and Dragons or something. I later found out that many, many people go to the Auto Show to learn about what car would be a good purchase, as you and your husband did on Thursday (an Auto Show on Thursday? I have to question whether you are fibbing as to when this trip occurred.) Who knew?

Of course, I suspect that the fact that my dad owned a series of late-model VW Buses during my childhood and refused to consider any other purchase for years has something to do with the fact that nobody in my family ever went to an auto show. In any event, these vans were actually considered insanely cool (perhaps because my dad was an early "car phone" purchaser, as well?) Good luck to your girls and their social status come May.

LAP said...

Tis true, the auto show kicked off on Thursday, complete with 2 for 1 adult admission and free children. Not only did my husband's only two co-workers not frown upon his extended lunch absence to attend, but one was very disappointed he had an obligation that prevented him from joining us (even knowing the subject of our search). Perhaps he can instead attend on Sunday-Sunday-Sunday.

PITA said...

Over thanksgiving, the hubby and i rented an odyessy mini to bring some wedding gifts back from ohio...S enjoyed the ride so much he keeps suggesting we consider it for our next car. Which I am certainly not saying I am tc (too cool) to drive it...i just simply do not see the need as we have no children...i just dont see many twentysomething girls without children tooling around in mini. i did slightly enjoy pushing the button and the doors opening..NTB

msp said...

i must admit, as sad as i will be to say goodbye to my sweet little honda when it someday dies, i look forward to owning my own mini. the space! the doors opening at the push of a button! the ease of finding the seatbelts! it will be lovely! so enjoy lap!

and by the way, last season was the first time i ever watched dancing with the stars, and i may be a new groupie. i saw the new cast on oprah the other day, and actually found myself smiling, and even getting a bit giddy with excitement. what have you all done to me?!?!?

Anonymous said...

WE too are checking out the mini-van scene. We rented one during our trip to Florida and the girls loved it so much. They actually suggested getting one for Michael's birthday last week. I am sorry we missed the auto show. I think it was during our time in Florida. Keep us posted on your favorite. WE have loved your advice on the Pilot that we can't go wrong with more advice from "the research guy."

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