My sister came to visit with her beautiful brand new baby and we traded in my much-abused minivan for a twelve-year-old, ten-passenger van.
Whoa! Wagonhalt!! STOP THE WAGONS!! We always do crazy things when my family comes to visit. Matt and I get bitten by some kind of east-coast-relations wild hare. It’s just like when we all ate dinner together as teenagers and my father got his shorts in a twist about some trivial thing we hadn’t accomplished and we mocked him mercilessly. “Wow. How did that wild hare get in here? Just scampered in the door and climbed right up your ass, huh?”
I come by my lovely, lady-like vocabulary naturally. I also deserve everything these kids throw at me in the next ten years. You all have permission to remind me of that and laugh at me.
Back to the story. I’ve wanted a full-size van for a while because my life is a ridiculous parody of sister wives already anyway and My. God. Have you ever buckled four car seats in a ten-passenger van? It is a thing of beauty. You can reach ALL FOUR SEATS from the side without climbing over anyone or stepping on anything disgusting. And then when you climb into the driver’s seat (literally because it’s so damn HIGH), you are acres from your whining children. You can’t hand them anything; you can’t reach anything that they drop on the floor. You can’t get snacks. You can’t pass water bottles. You can’t even mediate arguments. You can barely HEAR the arguments.
I know! It’s so cool. I’m driving to swimming lessons and it looks like I’m on a top secret government mission!
Things were not so peachy, however, on Sunday, the day after the purchase of the van of my dreams. We loaded our entire lives, I swear to god, in our new luxury ride for a trip to the lake. We had our four kids in car seats, baby cousin Benjamin, Dianna (my sister), life jackets and snacks and towels and all other conceivable lake paraphernalia. We had Hampton stinking up the cargo bay. We were set. We just had to swing by the dealership so that I could sign the final papers. By the time we actually taxied down the driveway, it was 11:00 a.m. and 100 degrees, the hottest it has ever been in Spokane, glory, glory, halleluiah.
Two blocks from the dealership, the new-to-us van died completely and would not – despite copious amounts of cajoling and many attempts at swearing it into submission – start again. Sigh.
The saleswoman who sold us the van came to get us and I’m sure she is a very nice human being with a life and problems and joys and trials, but she brought us a loaner minivan. Five children in car seats and a Great Dane do not fit in a minivan, which is why we bought the dead van IN THE FIRST PLACE. Then, as I was preparing to allow my small children to ride home without car seats because we were slowly roasting to death at the only remaining manual pump Conoco and shit happens, I mentioned casually in passing that I wanted to be sure that she understood that we were not agreeing to buy a van that did not start and my accepting the loaner van was not an acceptance of purchase or an indication that I was willing to be responsible for the cost of repairs to the van that we had purchased YESTERDAY.
She said that she couldn’t make that call and would have to talk to her manager.
THEN my head actually levitated off of my body and spun around six times before it attacked her neck of its own volition, drawing blood and possibly severing tendons. I can not tell you the last time I was that mad. I will not repeat what I said because I am embarrassed that I lost my temper in such stellar fashion, but I will tell you that when I am shaking with fury I am very precise and very legal and very, very condescending and I am not proud of my behavior.
When my head finished gnawing on the saleswoman and deigned to return to my body, I loaded my four kids, my sister, the tiny baby and Hampton into the loaner minivan and I was all, “we’ll be at the dealership, Matt, we’ll see you there.” I left the poor saleswoman and Matt stranded at that Conoco and I’m pretty sure they were BOTH glad to see the backside of me. So, we drove to the dealership and I unloaded EVERY SINGLE FRICKIN CHILD AND THE DOG and in we went because it was too hot to leave children and dogs sitting outside. I let the children loose in their showroom, tied my pet pony to their pretty metal rail on their showroom floor, and sat down with my sister at someone’s desk. Then I’m all, “why don’t you nurse the baby while I wait for a manager.”
Hampton was very nervous and he has sensitive anal glands, which he shot onto the floor the minute someone said hello to him. Within ten minutes of our arrival the showroom smelled like dog ass and sounded like a preschool. The manager came down to assure me that I could take their pretty little minivan home right now and I was under no obligation to buy a broken van. They would repair it at their cost and then give us the option to complete the sale.
I won’t lie. I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment. I didn’t even lose my temper again.
In the end, we made it to the lake in two minivans, but we didn’t have the life jackets because Matt forgot to get them out of the back of the big van and also because I was really mean to the saleswoman and karma is kind of a bitch. My sister was a totally calm angel throughout our circus of a day even with her cranky, hot, nine-week-old baby, proving why I have traveled the entire world with her. They fixed the van and we bought it and now it’s mine. Even if it dies tomorrow. (Please no.)
Good lord. I am now going to sleep for a week. We’ve had non-stop visitors for two weeks and I am exhausted. I think I might have mono or possibly Ebola Zaire. If it’s the latter and I die, Marinka gave it to me. Please start a blog campaign blaming her and raising money for my motherless children. You can auction the van.
I’m a regular Friday writer at Mamalode now! If you want to read my very first post, The Call of Lightness, well, I’ll love you forever. Yesterday at Mamapop, I wrote about lakes I can only dream about.