August 11, 2008

Dear Mr. Minivan Borrower

*any resemblance to my spouse, Mr. Fresh, is purely coincidental*

Hello, Darling.

I feel your pain. I really do. 350 days/year, it’s mine. For two weeks a year, I hand you the keys and it becomes yours. I understand how driving a minivan annihilates any last vestige of cool. It negates the midi “Bad to the Bone” ringtone on your Blackberry and it wipes out the “I shave my head not because I’m bald but because it makes me look like a rockstar” look. I realize that driving a minivan screams estrogen. I’m sorry.

Click to purchase Garmin sat navI’ve already been through the 12 step “I’m no longer cool” program. Of course, I have the eyerolls and stares of our children to remind me on a regular basis. I knew when I no longer merited effort behind The Eyeroll, but received instead The Glare, I had been promoted to Advanced Dorkiness. In fact, it’s so much more rewarding to KNOW I’m embarrassing the children instead of delusional thinking that I am a Cool Mom.

Since I’ve embraced my dorkiness with fervor, I thought I would offer a few pieces of unsolicited advice. This is also part of my Master’s Thesis in Dorkdom.

While I realize that along with the minivan keys, I gave you title to the road, a license plate bracket that says, “I own the road” gives no credence to your ownership. Also, you are required to be a benevolent owner. This means sharing the road with all those tree hugging compact cars. It also means respecting the SUVs, semi trucks, and cool sports cars on the highways.

I know you want to make good time. I want to make good time, too. However, crowding the vehicle that is keeping you from “making good time” does nothing but make me a nervous wreck. Neither does revving your minivan engine. If anything, revving the engine of a metal box that is encumbered with 4 bicycles dangling off the back and an “EsCargo” bubble on top, merely cements your Dork degree. It’s like your application letter to the University of Dorkiness.

I personally welcome you to the program. When you have successfully embarrassed the children 10 days in a row, you will be admitted to the higher level classes. As a candidate for a degree, you must be willing to sacrifice all self consciousness. This means we may have bumper stickers advertising where our children are honor students. I promise to draw the line at an "I <3 My Dog". As a reward, once you have earned your full accreditation in Dorkiness, you can graduate the PhD program of Midlife Crisis, where your initial course class is How to Trade in the Minivan for a Red 5-Speed, Two Seat Sports Car or a Motorcycle.

Good Luck, and enjoy your time at U of D.


  1. it's good to know that I am not the only parent that is an embarrassment to their kids. Although I'm not sure you can complete the whole 12 step program till your kids go away to school and you can become a source of embarrassment to whole new set of roommates & friends. I am not sure that you are ever anything but a dork to your kids no matter the ages involved.
    You do seem to have accepted the tittle of dork with the right attitude as fighting it will accomplish nothing good. I am sure over time you will entertain us with your witty observations of how you have continued to be an embarrassment to the miniFreshes.

  2. I may have to see if I can dig through my Dave Barry books and find you his story about his crowning moments being when he got the use of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile for the day ...and then picking his son up from school in it!

  3. I've never understood the problem with driving the minivan. Of course, we have a 245hp Odyssey and when I'm at a red light and a BMW pulls up alongside of me to get ahead at the "road narrows" sign, you've never seen a more surprised BMW owner than the one looking at my daughter's nickname on the personalized minivan plates.

  4. Ah, this is good Fresh. Did Mr. F pass the slow-moving barriers in the road on the shoulder of the freeway? I did, while flipping them off. A minivan driven by a longhaired, bearded maniac from Texas! hahahahaha Those trips drove me f'en crazy. And the X. And the girls.

    Your neighbor,


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