When we buy a car we are making a statement about who we are and what matters to us. Some cars are showy and ostentatious, others are understated or just plain old. No matter what the car is, it reflects our tastes. Most people spend months thinking about what car they like, what year they’re interested in, and what can fit into their budget. When you find a car, the one that you know is yours, you can’t help but feel a personality attached to it.
I don’t name my cars, but I know lots of people who do. That doesn’t mean that my car doesn’t have a personality.
I drive a minivan. This suits me as a mother. It’s easy to put my kids in out of the van and it’s not so huge that I feel like I’m invading the road. I fought long and hard with my husband to get my minivan but in the end practicality won out over personality. Considering the van is the only car we have, I understand how my husband doesn’t see it as a reflection of him, and it’s not a reflection of him, but it is a reflection of his choice in family life.
A few weeks ago someone rear-ended us at a red light. We couldn’t open the trunk of the van so we took it to the body shop and rented a Chevy Malibu for the week. The rental was nice. It was newer than our van and it had lots of bells and whistles. The sound system was killer and having a sunroof was convenient. When the day came that the car went back to the rental agency and the van was fixed my husband and I looked at each other with a new understanding and appreciation for our van. We knew then that we picked our van with good reason.
The Malibu was cool. It was everything we could want in a compact car. But it only had a four cylinder. When we thought about it we realized we actually liked driving the van more. It’s nice to have a little power behind the wheel. Not to mention the view is better when you’re off the ground a few more inches. I felt like I was in a sardine can when I was driving the Malibu.
Above all else, the best thing about having the van back was getting the kids in and out of the car. No more bending over, no more walking each kid to each side of the car to get buckled in. My kids know the routine with the van. The car was confusing to them, they couldn’t even see out the windows!
When it comes down to it, that van is a reflection of me. From the light blue color that reflects my happy state to the look of utter utility, it fits me and my family just how it should. Looking back, I’m grateful for everyday we’ve had that van and I know when the time comes to say goodbye, I’ll miss it more than I’ve missed other cars. That’s the thing about a car that fits you well, it becomes a part of your family.