Sports Car Mama
my neck of the woods, a positive pregnancy test demands a visit to
the nearest minivan dealer.
Young families salivate over the newest colors, accessories
and yes, the most space one can accommodate in a vehicle without requiring
a bus drivers license.
mind that purchasing an eight-seater for a family of three is like
moving into a mansion when a 4-bedroom split ranch will do. With car
seats, cup holders and televisions included, most new parents find
these new vehicles difficult to resist.
I, however, am not one of them.
If an auto doesnt come with five on the floor, I dont
Ben was born ten years ago, I longed for a Miata.
Its tiny oval shape conjured images of George Jetson - like
take-offs and landings. A year
and a half later, when Jacob joined our merry band of travelers, my
appetite for speed increased and a deep purple Porsche would appear
regularly in my dreams.
sigh, had to settle for a car that would accommodate two car seats
and withstand toppled juice boxes and pulverized Cheetos.
search was tougher than I thought.
my boys through showroom after showroom, minivan brochures would rain
on me as surely as if I had a sign on my head: New Parent
sell me the largest vehicle you can!
fate would have it, I parked behind a woman with two little tots at
the Infiniti dealership. Peeking
into the backseat of her new G20, I spied car seats snuggled close
do you like the car? I asked.
great, said the stranger.
That was the only endorsement I needed to make the purchase.
sister in law critically assessed the situation.
Most people buy larger
cars when they have kids. Why
did you go smaller? And
couldnt you get an automatic?
couldnt seem to make her see that I could not foresee lugging
a soccer team and its accoutrements around ever.
And it was even more difficult to explain that obtaining a
stick shift these days is like moving a small Japanese mountain.
I actually had to order it special.
For those women who define performance as something
you do on a stage - or in bed - having this conversation was like
talking to, well, a minivan owner.
have passed and I still dont own that purple Porsche. We do have a purplish-blue SUV that, thankfully, gives my husband
that King of the Road feeling one gets sitting seven feet above the
highway. We switch every
now and then, and even though an occasional dose of this yuppie car
marketed as some kind of sporting vehicle gives me a sense
of conformity, I still cant wait to get my twice built stick-shift
back in hand.
guess I was never meant to go along with the crowd. Id rather see them waving in my dust.
still attempts to sway me to the minivan side of the street. We have since taken on a soccer team and do have to haul goals
and balls and the occasional child around. I stand my ground. We Americans do have this thing about big open spaces. But I prefer them outside.
close my eyes and see myself cradled in a small space-like capsule
zipping around the country. At least my kids understand.
Mom, there goes your car, they say as a Porsche zooms by.
would you sit? I
worry. Wed squish
in the back!
Malerie Yolen-Cohen is a freelance writer based in Stamford, Conn.