What is this "it" to which I am referring? It's the growing problem of minivanism and the extent to which I am a victim on a daily basis.
Minivanism: when individuals act on the preconceived (and generally false) assumption that everyone driving a minivan is either a) driving 15 miles under the posted speed limit and/or b) somehow violating your sense of humanity. This mindset is most likely a result of the fact that a large amount of minivan drivers historically have been pretty annoying.
Before I launch into my tirade (and, yes, it is a tirade -- not just a "vent" or a "rant" but a full fledged tirade), let me begin by saying:
1) Note that in my definition of minivanism, I conceded that there have been annoying minivan drivers that flood the highways.
2) Being a minivan driver has pros and cons:
- I can haul a LOT of stuff. Shopping trips are unreal. I can hit up multiple stores and never have to return home to make room. I can go to IKEA and buy 3 dressers, 2 end tables, a TV stand and various sundry items and not bat an eye (true story).
- My children get an entire bench to themselves and therefore do not kill each other. They are far enough away from me that I can just turn up my tunes and veg out. I am never forced to drive off an embankment from the fighting and crying. It's awesome.
- It has a huge back window which I can emblazon with all kinds of cool decals. Like this one that's currently on my van:
And this one that I really want:
Or this one, that I actually have but I can't put on my van because my husband, The Reverend, thinks it's inappropriate for the pastor's wife to insult a portion of the congregation who have stick figure families on their vans by putting this anti-stick figure family decal on her vehicle:
- When I purchased the van, a part of my soul died.
- I am subjected to extreme minivanism on a nearly daily basis.
For example, today I turned right out of a parking lot with no less than a quarter of a mile space between myself and the pick up truck that was stopped at the light south of where I turned. The light changed, and he flew up behind me so fast (I was driving the speed limit by this time - which was 50 and to be honest, I was probably doing 55 or more) and proceeded to tailgate me directly into a mob of traffic. There was nowhere either of us could go. There was no reason for his behavior.
So, I let him know. By firmly and suddenly braking. (Note: My children were not in the vehicle with me. I never do that with them in the car. When they are in the car, I lead the offender quickly between two cars going the same speed and then slow down to that same speed so that El Tailgater is trapped. Muuuaaahhhaaahhaahhhaa!!!!)
Similar types of things occur all. the. time. But not when I'm driving my husband's car. Hmmmm....peculiar.
Whether its tailgating, passing me (which always involves cutting me off and then not going any faster than I was already driving) or, my personal favorite, refusing to allow me to pass you, it always seems to be one of two groups of people:
1. Men of varying ages
2. Teenage/twentysomething women
It's never 30+ year old women.
Humor me, if you will, while I share my theories.
Here is why I think men of varying ages tend to act like that when sharing the road with a minivan:
Testosterone-fueled insanity. Plain and simple. I guess the idea of being passed by some mom in a van is more than they can bear. So they lose their mind and end up actin' a fool. (Please note this is not all men. Just the ones who think it's awesome to smoke a minivan at the light.)
And here is my theory as to why the young lady constituency tend to act this way: Its a subconscious revolt against the inevitable future. I probably did the same thing before I got my sweet ride. Go ahead and say it: "I'll never drive a minivan." And I'll just smile condescendingly and file that away with all of your "My child will never..." comments to be pulled out at a later date. (Sister, I kid a little on this one because I still have a handful of "my child will never" comments to which I'm still clinging desperately).
Has this blog post been uncharacteristically offensive? Yes. Yes it has.
But with that said, please note that I can't wait for the day I can retire my vehicular beast and rejoin the ranks of non-minivan drivers. I will dance in the streets. I was dragged into this lifestyle kicking and screaming (unlike my mother, God rest her soul, who bought a van when my brother and I were teenagers and again AFTER WE MOVED OUT OF THE HOUSE!!! Who does that??).
And if I see someone disrespecting minivan drivers, I'll tailgate him/her in my brand new, candy apple red convertible Mustang. (A girl can dream, right?)