Soccer Moms

This is story about a girl and her ride, and the family politics that come into play when she decides it's not working for her anymore. I drive a 2003 Toyota Tundra that was given to us generously by my husband's grandpa last year. It's fun, it has tons of space to haul stuff, and is, of course, seriously nice. However, I've discovered that driving a truck comes with certain disadvantages.

1. Carseats and growing children don't fit easily into the back seat. Aidyn's legs now seem to be locked in a permanent wrestling match with the passenger seat, even when it's at the very frontest position (yes, I'm aware frontest isn't a word).

2. All of the gear I had taken for granted leaving in the back of my SUV (a stroller, sling, change of clothes, dead midget hooker) doesn't do so well being left in the back of an uncovered truck. I had to start unloading the stroller every trip so that it wouldn't get wet or stolen, and I can't tell you how many times we've forgotten to bring it in and thus, it's gotten wet, or how many more times I've went to go somewhere and realized I forgot the stroller again.

3. It's pretty environmentally unfriendly, which isn't working for me. The EPA scores my particular truck at a 1, on a scale of 0-10, 10 being best. Yikes! It's a gas hog and has more emissions than my husband after a protien shake.

And so, I did some research, did some more research, test drove a few models, and did some more research. After testing some hybrids and realizing that they can actually be more expensive to drive in some instances, I gave up my dream of owning a Toyota Prius (not to mention, who could actually fit anything in that boot?). I finally settled on the unassuming, decent gas mileage, good family carish Nissan Sentra. Once all figures were calculated (car payments, insurance, gas annually) it turned out that even adding a car payment, the Sentra, brand new, would be cheaper to drive.

And so, on to the last order of business, explaining our situation to grandpa and asking if it would be completely ungrateful wretchish of us to trade in such a nice present for something that was more workable for our family. I guess I assumed that all would work out, and after he understood the current problems, would understand and let us find something better for our family. What I forgot about was grandpa's ability and drive to find answers for all the world's problems and therefore, shoot our plans right out of the water.

After a conversation, grandpa had a think on it and returned his verdict. The truck was going nowhere, because he didn't want it leaving the family. That being said (I'm quoting that), he had three options for us.

1. Keep the truck and deal!
2. Swap the truck for grandma's 2006 Honda Odyssey, and then grandma would swap auntie for her 2003 Toyota Camry.
3. Swap auntie for the Camry and drive that instead.

In this way no one incurs payments and the truck stays in the family to be used for various family matters. Apparently, grandma really dislikes her van, and has always wanted the Camry back, so they're lobbying for me to take the van, which really leaves me two choices, the van or the truck.

I know that the van holds the answers to 2 of three problems, which both are about good, usable space. Neither option is very earth friendly, so to speak, and so I'm going to have to forgo my feelings about that. The van would be plenty of space, last for years to come, and I know, it's a great solution. The problem? It's just not me. The truck makes me feel, excuse me, but bad ass. I'm from Montana, truckland. The truck is my roots and I've always felt such driving it. The van is foreign territory, the land of carpools and WalMart and grown-uphood. I don't care how hip those Honda commercials try to make it, the Odyssey is still a van, and vans, in my mind, have always been...well, vans. 'Nuf said.

I know this is a selfish debate, take the car that is actually nicer and holds the key to so many problems, or keep what I perceive as the hipper option and continue suffering. If you're reading this, comment, give me some sanity and perspective. I already know the only good answer, I just don't want to accept it. Expect an update when the final decision is made, and thanks for listening to my selfish banter. I just need to add an "ugh", for posterity and because ugh happens to be a fix all, I think. I feel better already actually.



  1. Who actually owns the truck? If you hold the title in your name, then I don't see why you can't do whatever you want to do with it.

    Either way, I am sorry to hear that you aren't getting the car you really wanted. Maybe you could "test drive" the Odyssey and the Camry to see which one you like best!

  2. The title is in our name, but in my husband's family, grandpa's word is law. It's a respect thing. I did test drive the Odyssey last night, since that's what they really want my to take, and it wasn't bad, just not really my style. Oh well, I suppose functionality must win out over style.

  3. I drive my MIL's Town&Country occasionally, and while I don't feel badass by any means, it IS really nice to have space. We are still toying with the idea of more (and more) kids, and there is no way we are fitting another carseat into my Subaru, so if we want another kiddo, a van is in our future. I figure that as long as I still look good getting out of the van, I can handle it.


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