The other night we went to dinner with our friends who were in from out of town. They had rented a minivan to accommodate Mom, Dad, three kids and the grandparents. Luckily their daughter was old enough to babysit, so the kids all stayed at our house to play. I offered to be the designated driver so everyone else could relax and enjoy the evening.
After a delicious meal and a great night, my husband and I walked the couple blocks to the parking garage to grab the minivan and swing back around to pick up our friends. Mind you, I’ve never driven a minivan. I know they are amazingly convenient, totally practical and make perfect sense when you have kids. Unfortunately, I’m one of those moms who can’t bring herself to drive one as my everyday car. Kudos to those moms out there who do; you’re smarter than I!
As I pulled out of the parking garage to go around the block, I noticed the minivan had no “get up and go.” Every time I took my foot off of the accelerator, the van basically came to a stop. “Jeez, this thing is a piece of shit,” I complained to my husband. I proceeded around the corner, struggling to maintain enough speed to keep up with traffic even though the speed limit was only 25 mph. After several minutes in the car, my husband leans over to look at the dash and informs me, “You have the parking brake on.” Indeed, I did.
After picking up our friends at the restaurant and having a good laugh at my expense (which I totally deserved), we hopped on the highway to head home. I announced to everyone, “Wow, this minivan drives a lot better without the parking break on!” After several minutes on the highway, I realized I didn’t have my lights on, it was 9pm and pitch black. What the hell?! It’s like I’ve never driven a car before. Between the laughter and instructions for finding the light switch, I managed to turn on both the front and back wipers, the windshield fluid and finally the lights. Apparently, I don’t make much of a designated driver!
When we got to our place and I made my first attempt to make it up the driveway, the tires started to spin about halfway up and the minivan came to a stop. Since it snowed that week and the weather had turned frigid, our driveway was covered in a thick layer of snow and ice. My husband and I had also failed to shovel one ounce of snow, so that may have had something to do with it too. Not to mention the fact that the minivan was sporting some bald-ass tires with little to no traction. Everyone in the car chanted, “Try again!” I backed up the minivan and took another shot at it, only to fail once again. Grandma called out from the back of the car, “Go again. This time start down the street!” Who am I to argue with Grandma? “Everyone lean forward,” I called out. I did as I was told that time and seven more times after that. The best I could do was to make it 3/4 of the way up the driveway.
After our friends got their kids in the house, my husband stopped them before they left, . “I think I can make it up the entire driveway.” Apparently, this is what happens when you marry an Olympic Level Wrestler. Even making it up an icy driveway in a minivan becomes a competition! The kids and I stayed at the top of the driveway cheering on my husband as he hopped in the minivan and backed all the way down the street (Of course I was hoping he wouldn’t make it up as far as I had). Although my husband failed on his first attempt up the driveway, to my dismay, he succeeded on his second try. Gotta love wrestlers…they never give up! I have to say, the night out with friends was great, but the drive home proved the most entertaining! I’m not saying to drive with your parking brake on or with no lights at night; but never miss an opportunity for a good laugh when it’s staring you in the face. Remember, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry!
*Yes, those are my legs in the reflection of the minivan as I took the photo. I think minivans have the same effect as those circus, fun house mirrors because that does not look good. At least, I hope so!