Driving around town in a minivan, even the sportiest of models, is a bold public status symbol statement in 2014. It's akin to a real-life tweet letting everyone know that, yeah, you've got a few kids, their mashed up crackers and forgotten-about banana peels smushed in your seats and their copious amounts of stuff, but you're still cool, you've still got style -- hashtag: #oldbutawesome.
Did you spy the wicked grille up there, junior? How 'bout them sweet curves on the rear taillights, young whippersnapper? Word. That's how I roll.
Long gone are the days of hiding away in your man van. Outta here like last year is feeling shame for trading in your electric yellow two-door coupe for a taupe, eight-passenger family taxi. In 2014, minivans are to be flaunted like a tiger on a gold chain. You are actually the hip one now because, if you wanted to, you could fit an entire 4th grade travel soccer team AND the black mesh bags of balls and cones in your van. And everyone would have a cup holder for their juice boxes! You're managing a modern family like a boss, and there's nothing in the world more punk rock than that.
Whether you've already got one sitting in your garage or have a hankering to buy your first, here are seven easy ways to know for sure if you're primo minivan material before you head out to your local Toyota dealership to negotiate price, mull over the Entune entertainment system upgrade options and ask if they'll throw in a portable vacuum cleaner for free. You know you're gonna need one of those every single day.
7 Signs You're a Minivan Owner
1. You frequently call your daughter Sienna... and she answers to it.
2. You've read Dan Gets A Minivan by Dan Zevin... and got all of the references.
3. Your second row kids insist on being called Captain... in and out of the minivan.
4. You're generally at ease with life outside of a minivan, but you believe it'd be about twice as awesome with more cup holders.
5. You and your better half look forward to getting a sitter and going on romantic date nights... to the driveway with a pizza and a six-pack to binge watch season two of "Game of Thrones" on the widescreen DVD player in the back of your Sienna (the van, not your daughter.)
6. You've uttered the words 'swagger' and 'wagon'... in succession. And proudly.
7. You take a lot of family road trips... and actually enjoy them!
Are you ready to join the legion of minivan owners who wear their bigger is better, third row seating, double moon roof, cup holder nirvana flags on their sleeve?
I don't own a minivan, but I've driven them: Fast on a racetrack, through the desert, to a convenience store and around the block. I know that they ARE cool and that with the windows down, wind in your hair, kiddie rock music blaring, that you are cool, too. Because being a parent who takes their kids on grand adventures in comfort and style is just about the coolest thing in the world.
A version of this post original appeared on Jeff's dad blog, Out With The Kids.