A few years ago I told my husband that if he ever bought me a minivan, I would personally remove his spleen. There wasn’t any way I was going to be caught dead driving one of those big, ugly, soccer-mom standard-issue, vehicles. Two years later I found myself spending all my free time trying to convince him to buy me one.
When he finally acquiesced, we plopped down the money and picked out the one with the built in sunshades for the baby, the back windows that rolled down and a killer DVD player (which the kids can be watching with headphones in the back while my husband and I jam to tunes in the front – how great is that?).
Later that day, I drove my new, shiny, silver Odyssey into the driveway for the first time (take note that we lived in a neighborhood that prided itself on being hip). As we pulled in, one of our neighbors happened to be jogging by. Upon seeing us, he let out a throaty “Boooooooooo”, and then continued to run down the street. I got a similar response from one of my friends who when told we had just purchased a minivan, responded incredulously, “You did not.”
Strangely, these reactions didn’t faze me. I didn’t care what anyone else thought…I thought it was beautiful. Why? Because it made my life easier. That’s all. It made my life better, it was perfect for the kids and me, and I loved it. (My jogging neighbor later apologized and told me he was just jealous because he really wanted a minivan but couldn’t bring himself to buy one. He got a Pacifica instead.)
Now, I’m not perfect. I have my own preconceived notions about how “cool” or “uncool” certain things can be. For example – Crocs. My father wears Crocs when he’s hosing down his boat and my grandma wears them when she’s digging in her garden and they’re kinda cute on kids, but when I see a grown man wearing Crocs at happy hour at Houlihans’s…I seriously question his taste.
Until I saw this….
It’s Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers with his girlfriend and baby and yes, he’s wearing Crocs. All of the sudden I’m like, huh…Crocs…maybe they are cool.
Did I just say that out loud?
At that moment, my world turned upside down (nobody ever accused me of NOT being a drama queen). I began to question how I go about defining “cool”. Am I so easily influenced that anything be made cool simply by association? Apparently so, because size 11 Crocs are pretty ugly, right?
So, I guess the lesson here is if you love it and own it and are comfortable enough with your sense of self to take a few hits, go for it. We can’t always be followers…every now and then we have to take the lead. I wonder if when I step my cool ass out of my minivan, someone is thinking, huh…minivans…maybe they are cool.