Our red Deviled Egg

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, June 26, 2024

A lifetime ago, I drove a Honda coupe up on Jackson’s Lakeland Drive for my commute. I zipped in and out of lanes and timed my drive to utter perfection. But someone always put a kink in my commute, and she drove a white minivan. This woman had the depth perception of a house fly and the lead foot of Bo “Bandit” Darville. Between her and The-Lady-Who-Eats-Cereal-With-Both-Hands-While-Driving-a-Tahoe, Lakeland was warzone of carpool moms. 

I’d arrive 10 minutes late to work yelling, “It was HER again,” as I plopped into my desk chair. “I’m NEVER driving a minivan! I will NEVER be THAT person!” 

“Whatever,” said my coworker prophetically, “You’re going to be a ‘lady who lunches.’ You’ll play tennis, highlight your hair and,” he paused for dramatic effect, “drive a minivan!”

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To which I threw one of my four-inch heels at him, because I was still young enough to have padding on the balls of my feet and I could wear uncomfortable shoes. 

Fast forward 15 years filled with life changes and lowering of heel heights. I was pumping gas into my minivan. Catching my reflection in the window — my hair was freshly highlighted and I was wearing a tennis skirt. No, no. It can’t be. I screamed. 

My third child was the one that converted me to a minivan. I had an SUV that I was perfectly happy with. While car shopping, my husband kept asking if I would just test-drive a minivan. I stuck my nose in the air and refused. 

I’m going to blame the post-partum hormones for this next scene. Della was three weeks old, and my husband came home to finding me sobbing in our bedroom. “I want a van!” I hiccupped, “And I’m so MAD that I want one, too!” 

“You know if we get one, you’ll have egg on your face,” he said.

“I don’t care.” (sniff) “I just want sliding doors! And some decent cupholders! Oh, my word, I’m going have to burn all my push-up bras and stiletto heels and only listen to KidzBop on the radio!” I wailed as I threw myself back on the bed.

“I think you need a nap,” replied my husband.

One month later, I waved goodbye to my SUV and rolled off the lot in my new red van. We christened it with a bag of Goldfish and named it The Deviled Egg. After my first school drop off, I hugged the steering wheel and declared I was a convert. Gigi was so enamored with it that she asked me if she could have a van with magical sliding doors when she turned 16. I promptly wrote the request down and I’ll show it to her as I hand her the keys in 10 years.

I haven’t burned any clothing and, turns out, vans are lower than SUVs and much easier to get in and out of when wearing heels. My van has a sweet sound system and the girls enjoy a fine selection of 1980s hair metal at an audiologist-approved volume. 

Do I drive like the infamous mom in the white van? Maybe. It depends on how late I’m running to drop my kids off at school. 

Sarah Reynolds is a Brookhaven writer, wife, mom, and minivan convert.