Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Mother Road.

Today as I was driving home from my parents' house, I had a funny incident happen. I was coasting along in the right lane. The highway had a few cars here and there, but traffic was light and I could see a good distance ahead of me. I drove along, la dee dah, and came up behind a new shiny black Toyota Corolla. The Corolla had been in front of me for some time, but I had caught up to him, and I casually turned on my blinker and coasted into the left lane to pass him. A few other cars had passed him as well and I didn't think a thing about it. But.

Oh. OH.


Mr. Corolla suddenly hit the gas and took off in the right lane. I sat there, stunned, still in the passing lane, watching the Greek letters plastered on his rear window grow smaller as he sped away.

I shrugged and got back into the right lane and pondered why in the world he had taken off.

And then it hit me.

I'm driving a MINIVAN.

And incidents like this, in my experience, are not that unusual. I mean, nobody likes to be passed, I guess. But. Since becoming the owner of a minivan, I have noticed that there are certain drivers out there who are, say, intimidated? by an approaching van. They see a white Town & Country appear in their rear view mirror and they get flustered, their egos completely on high alert, refusing to be passed by the proverbial Mom Car, the definition of All That Is Uncool In the World, and their foot hits the gas.

As the driver of a minivan, I find this to be wonderfully entertaining.

I've found that on the road, we become what we drive. I am no longer Katie, the blonde who likes to take pictures and drink too much coffee, who had three kids in a row and outgrew her old car and chose to trade her old car and pay cash for a van, so we could transport our growing crew with ease. I mean, I guess we could have bought an SUV, what is slowly becoming the new Mom Car (like the Chevy Traverse, the "minivan without sliding doors"). But, we chose a van. We like sliding doors. Granted, I swore I'd never drive one, but we went ahead and chucked that promise into the pile of other "I Will Nevers" that I said in reference to parenting. Ha. And, I've found, that to drivers on the road, this is now the definition of who I am. I am Katie, the Driver of the Minivan. 

Actually, it's like I actually BECOME the minivan.


Drivers get angsty when they see me creepin'.

And I have to wonder, am I the only one that notices this? The only Mom Car occupant who senses that there are certain cars that SHALL NOT BE PASSED BY A VAN? 

I suppose it could be my imagination. But, I'm curious: For my van-driving friends, have you ever noticed this? And to my non-van-driving friends, do you hate getting passed by a van??

Have a lovely day. :)


  1. I drive an Expedition, but I tried to pass a kid in a big old Dodge truck a while back, and he was having none of it. He gunned it and wouldn't let me pass him. I guess that an Expedition is pretty much a mom wagon too or at the very least a family vehicle, and obviously, it's not very cool to be passed by a 32 year old mom. But as far as your question goes, I don't mind being passed by a mini van. :)

  2. Oh yes. Yes. I have been flipped off a few times (whilst going OVER the speed limit in the unassuming right hand lane) by people who just couldn't handle a minivan on the road, I guess. ;) For whatever reason, ours has a super huge engine in it, so I'd be lying if I said it wasn't super fun for me to ZOOM past people who never thought I'd catch up with them. A touch of road rage? Maybe. ;)

  3. I drive a church bus/12 passenger/behemoth of a monster van (which I also swore I would never drive)...Needless to say, NO ONE want's to get passed by me. They do everything they can outside of running over the car in front of them so I don't pass them. I just sit and giggle to myself. People really have some strange things going on in their heads. (myself included, but we won't go there.)

  4. I don't like to have a minivan or any other high vehicle in front of me, not because it's a challenge to my manhood or anything, but because I can't see through the blessed thing. I prefer to have a clear view of the road ahead.

    Mind, I won't do anything illegal or stupid to ensure this - sometimes the traffic is busy enough that I can't do much more than drop back a bit, but if I have a T&C in front of me and a chance to not. I'll go with the not.

    And I'm speaking here as one who drove a T&C from San Francisco to DC via Florida and back along the Mother Road. It's great to be up high, but I am conscious of the fact that I'm pretty much a mobile apartment block.

  5. I drive a 1999 Sienna which has a couple of dents and lots of scratches. But that doesn't mean it's slow! I have had the same experiences with people in "cool" cars not wanting me to pass or thinking they can sneak up behind me and pass me on the entrance ramp to the interstate. Haha! I will not let them do that. First of all, my van is way bigger than a little convertible and they don't want to get squashed. Second, my van has a more powerful engine than some little cars that think they are too cool to let a van be ahead of them. As I'm driving, I sometimes have to laugh at these silly drivers that don't want to be passed by a mom in a minivan!!