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You won’t ever catch me dead in…

by Yvette VanDerBrink


I’ve been asked, “Yvette, is there any vehicle that you don’t like?” Yes, yes there is. I don’t like minivans. These Mom-Mobiles, Family Trucksters, just don’t do it for me. I grew up loving to go fast. There is just no way to go fast and look cool in a minivan. Even when my kids were little and I knew a minivan would make life easier… I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t drive a minivan. To me, it meant that I was putting my wild side aside and settling, settling into my new role.

The minivan is a brilliant design that has many uses. They are wonderful as handicap vehicles, a vehicle for families of six or more, and I have even seen them used as a hearse. I don’t want to be caught dead in one, literally. I told my family and friends, “please, haul me away in my pickup box or in my auction trailer or even my old car. But please DO NOT put me in a minivan. Trust me I’ll know that you stuck me in one. There may be some haunting going on and it won’t make it down the road and you’ll end up having to get my pickup anyway.

When I had both of my kids in tow, I stood strong and didn’t get one. I bought an extended cab Chevrolet pickup and also owned a Jeep Wagoneer. I could haul my kids and not give off the Mom-Mobile look. Trust me, no matter how you pimp it out, a minivan just doesn’t say fast or cool. I love my children and the extended cab took a little more effort with child seats, but the kids liked the view and if we found something cool along the road, we could just throw it in back. I even had a baby calf in the back of my Jeep Wagoneer one time. The kids would turn around and watch him in the back. My husband, Steve, still talks about cleaning out the back pockets on the pickup and it was full of half eaten cheeseburgers, french fries, and Happy Meal toys. But it was always there when I took my kids on adventures, fishing, rock hunting, and sledding. Also, there’s no room in a minivan if you’re going to haul home a baby calf from the sale barn.

A couple years ago, all the Nordstrom’s went on a family vacation to Daytona to watch the race. The most economical vehicle for the money and the number of people was the mini van. Keep in mind we’re a family that loves our cars. My brother, Shannon, has Trans Ams, my Dad has Corvettes, I drive Chevelles, and well, my sister Suzie, has a Turbo Volvo. Trust me, it’s fast! We packed our clan into the minivan and headed to the track. Knowing my family’s automotive background and need for speed, the race was on! Attempting to drive the minivan like our own rides just wasn’t the same. It brought out the rage from the whole family; for we couldn’t get to the track fast enough to pile out of the minivan. What did we think would happen putting a family of “drivers” inside a mini school bus? The van seemed to bring out the worst in us. I swear it was the van’s ability to NOT go fast and inability to look cool.

I was driving home last week from Chicago and found myself trapped in slow moving traffic in the fast lane on I80. I tried to see what the holdup was and why in the world we were only going 60 on I80. Sure enough, stuck up in the front of the line was a silver minivan, just cruising along while everyone tried to get around on the right. This Mom-Mobile caused a whole bunch of ruckus thinking that they were going fast in the fast lane on I80! NO! So slowly, we all cruised by as the minivan’s driver was oblivious to the stream of trucks and cars passing on the right!

I know some people like minivans. My in-laws own a minivan, and it works great for them. The clearance is wonderful; they have room for luggage, and it is easy to drive. They are great vehicles, but well, they just don’t suit my style. I have HAD to drive one on occasion when my vehicle was being worked on, but I found myself tense, edgy, and well, just wanting to rail on the poor little vehicle. For me it brought out the rage, and yes, I saw the glances from people driving by in the cool pickups and vehicles, and got that look, that I “had settled.” Well that’s not the case baby. Even if I’m 100, I’m still going to be driving cool rides and be that wild, crazy, old lady from Springwater Township. Don’t take any offense if you own a minivan, that’s just fine. Minivans are built for function and ease, but they are just not for me.


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