5 Family Car Faux Pas That Give Parenthood a Bad Name
Ah, the family car. It sounds just awful, doesn’t it? It sounds about as sexy and exciting as the dreaded family road trip, but it doesn’t have to — and not because there’s one perfect car that’s gonna meet your all your needs and simultaneously make you cooler (sorry, car companies). The real problem is the family attitude, and that’s something that’s easy to fix. So, listen up. Read my top five family car faux pas, and you may never want to have kids again.
1. Letting the kids take over.
As anyone over 60 will tell you, parents these days give their kids way too much power. And that domination isn’t just limited to the TV remote, Wi-Fi bandwidth and culinary selections (our parents never had no stinkin’ dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets). Unfortunately, this tyranny has seeped its way into our most sacred of spaces: the automobile.
For example, who in their right mind would sacrifice every inch of driving pleasure for a sliding back door and a roadside vacuum cleaner? Apparently millions. But even worse, they then take that $40,000 mini van and blow $2,000 on upgrades so that their little monsters can be plugged in to TVs and headsets during the 3-mile drive to school.
Now this is just too much. Who would do that? Someone who doesn’t have their priorities straight, that’s who! I’d take that extra $2K and get my mini van wrapped in a dope matte black and then add some low, fat wheels. My kids would get all the entertainment they need by observing all the pointing and staring out the window. Take that, Dora!
2. Bumper bragging.
By now, we all must know that my Border Collie is smarter than your honor student, so why are you still bothering with that sticker? It’s just awful. And don’t get me started on Family Stick Figures — they make me nuts! These days they’ve gone from simple explanations of how many and in what order to detailing what each kid is into and including their names. Call me crazy, but I think that’s a terrible idea. It’s like laying bait for a child predator. Not only do you know my kid’s nickname, now you also know her siblings' names, what she does after school and that her dog's name is Gunner.
So... I’ve basically provided the playbook for my kid’s abduction. Fantastic. In my opinion, the only situations that are family-stick-figure-worthy are the clans who have something interesting to tell. Like the fella above, who either has five sister-wives or one very exhausted, and likely irritated, wife. Yeah, you go right ahead, pal. You win.
3. They forget how babies are made.
There’s a reason why James Bond always drives beautiful, fast cars. It’s the same reason why one of the most successful movie franchises isn’t called "Driving the Speed Limit & Counting to 10." It’s "Fast & Furious," damnit! And it’s what they’re gonna call my divorce if my husband asks me to get into a station wagon that’s any less cool than this.
4. They forget what's important.
Remember your first car? Remember that feeling of independence, freedom and flirtation every time you got behind the wheel? When was the last time you felt that? I’ll bet it wasn’t while listening to the echo of Spongebob Squarepants as you hustled your way to football practice. There's really no reason why it has to go after you reproduce, so I say it ends today! I say we take our cars back! Make them into Cheerio-free, Taylor Swift-less, no-Goldfish pleasure zones. Like I tell my own kids — when they’re old enough to buy their own car, they can decide what goes on the radio and what gets eaten in it.
Until then, Mama’s gonna rock her own tunes and toss you a water bottle, if you’re lucky, when you start whining. Oh, and if your friend thinks she’s gonna come in here and get a ride with her headphones blasting, she’s gonna find her iPhone on the freeway. It’s not personal, it’s just that this is my car, thus it’s Mama's rules around here. If not, you can Uber yourself home.
5. Making the company car the family car.
For the same reason that babies are made in sexy cars, nothing good happens in the company's white sedan with tan interior that's so clean you can eat off the floor. Not to mention the fact that we know that you share this vehicle with your co-worker Bob — and I’m not lookin’ to share anything with him, at all, ever. And even if your company isn’t square, that doesn’t mean advertising on the family wagon is a good idea... It’s OK, mortified children of this owner that just Googled "go-go dancer," some kids have to drive in a pink car that Mary Kay bought them.
Either way, I think the perception of what’s an acceptable family car has gone from reasonable to completely out of control. Almost as out of control as the sparkle craze...
...but don't get me started. What did I miss? What family car nuances drive you crazy?