My first car was my mom’s gray Mazda 626LX. I think it was my Grandma Betty’s before that. It took me to and from high school, to my first job at the Book Barn; then to Ohio State, and all my various jobs at restaurants and Estée Lauder counters.
Nearing graduation, I bought a red skirt suit at The Limited and upgraded to a leased, base-model green Honda Civic in my own name. I drove that sturdy little car all the way from Ohio to L.A. and used it to t-bone a brandy-colored Jaguar in Beverly Hills.
When the Honda lease ended, I bought a dulled black low to the ground 1987 Toyota Celica from my boss’s friend. It was sporty — my first two-door — and had super-heavy doors. Sometimes the driver’s side stuck, which was awesome for valeting at red-carpet events I was covering. This was the car I drove back across the country four years later, and the one I totaled with my mom about two weeks after returning to Ohio. Some of my packed belongings were still in the trunk.
After a brief stint with an old, power-everything Toyota Camry that gave me great lumbar support, I got my dream car: a super-cute, black Volkswagen Cabrio with tan leather interior. I’d coveted one since the ’80s movie Can’t Buy Me Love.
Soon after I got married, I dipped my toe into vehicular domesticity with a beige Subaru Forester. This car let the world know I was responsible, a coffee person and generally cool with camping.
After our second child came along and we regularly hauled enough stuff to fill my old L.A. apartment to capacity, I reluctantly leased a black Honda Odyssey mini-van.
Each car says a little bit about where I was in my life at the time. Right now, I’m happily in the mini-van stage.
The name for this blog, We’re the Mini-Van, occurred to me as I was thinking of the last time I had a date. I went to The Pearl, Deep Wood, G. Michael’s and Lindey’s all in one night – a hip restaurant crawl. I coolly pulled up to the valet blasting Kanye West. But when the valet brought it to us at the end of the night, the iPhone connection had reverted back to my music library — and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse “Hot Dog” song. I mean, it was THUMPING. We laughed. Yes, we’re the mini-van.