In August 2007 I bought a 15 passenger van.
That's because in August 2004 the twins were born.
The Sikorski's went from 3 kids (just slightly over the national average) to 5.
We needed a bigger vehicle and it only took us 3 years scouring every used car lot in a 200 mile radius to find a suitable one.
It wasn't fancy.
It was white.
It didn't have any of the bells & whistles.
Just 4 benches.
It wasn't even a cool color.
Did I mention it was white?
But it was clean. It wasn't ancient. And I could afford it.
I signed all the papers and transfered all our toys, blankets, diaper bags, trash and car seats from the
old mini van to the new passenger van.
I thought the kids would be excited!
Now they could bring a friend along.
Now we had extra seat belts.
Everyone would be thrilled but me. I still wasn't sure how I felt about the up size.
I mean I actually felt demoted on so many levels.
I went from soccer-mom-in-a-mini-van (that CAN be cool, right)
The van is just so ... white.
It looks so ... so ...
Well lemme try and give you an idea:
We rolled into town in our new purchase.
Fresh wax job. Shiny tires.
And our friends noticed our new ride.
"I didn't know your church got a new van until I saw you driving this!"
"Gosh, is that thing longer that an ambulance?"
"I saw your van at the grocery store. Now I can always tell where the Sikorski's are!"
"Halee, either the assisted living van is here or it's your mom out front!".
Slightly humiliating, I'd say.
Clearly, I resolve, I CANNOT look cool while driving this beast
or Hoop-dee (as my sister lovingly refers to it)
or the Crazy bus (fans of Marc Brown's Arthur will understand the reference).
And that's just too bad because I am cooler than my van.
And then something happens.
A guy waves at me.
"Gosh, I think, I must be having a good hair day."
another fellow waves at me.
"Man, these glasses must really compliment my face!"
And another day another man waves.
And another day another man waves.
And I am NOT exaggerating!
I am starting to feel a little funny about all the attention I get in our new van and I confess to dear hubby reporting all the friendly men who have been waving at me.
I mean, he really should know if I'm that attractive, right?
But then something strange happens.
When Aaron is driving the van & I'm riding shotgun, we get waved at again.
I sigh in exasperation! The nerve of some people I think. Can't they see that clearly I am with my man? No need to wave, thank you very much!
And that's when the light bulb goes on.
My ah-ha moment.
The hand hitting the forehead, in a "Duh!" realization.
There is something strangely and familiarly in common with all the fellas who've been waving at me.
They, too have all been in white vans.
The cable guy.
The local plumber, the water guy and construction company.
All of them in white vans.
All of them NOT waving to a sexy gal in a van.
I figure out that they ALL think they are waving to their buddy.
They think, as I approach head on, that I, too, am their cable man,
fellow electrician or water delivery person.
They don't notice my good hair day, my new sunglasses or applaud me for chauffeuring all these kids around.
I am getting the wave of the blue collar brotherhood.
All the attention I've been getting has not even been for me.
They think I am somebody else.
And it still happens to this day.
Just yesterday the pipefitter guy waved at me.
But I've resolved that it's ok.
Whether my friends think it or not.
Whether Joe the Plumber knows it or not,
I am cool.
I am probably too cool and too sexy for my van.
So I vow to drive it with confidence. I will press on and move forward.
I will wave when others wave at me.
I will strategically park in parking lots where I can avoid the reverse
and I will be persistent in my avoidance of drive thru's for fear of taking out entire buildings.
I will proudly display all the free bumper stickers and team logos that my children bring home in one of the windows of our van!
Because I've decided the van doesn't make ME.
I make the van!!!
Drive on sexy Soccer Moms! Drive on!