Thursday, October 18, 2012


Day #18 of 31 Days of Storytelling

We got a Honda Pilot yesterday.

Monte REALLY wanted a van.


I am not sure I can even articulate why.

On paper they make a ton of sense.

But either you are a van person or not.

Like the people that LOVE Disney World so much that they spend like a whole week there going to all the parks and staying from opening to close riding all the rides, seeing all the characters and having meals with them.


I almost died of exhaustion after one day at the Magic Kingdom. I had to spend the next day by the pool of the hotel to recuperate.

And we never went back.

But that's me.

And maybe this has NOTHING to do with vans.

Or maybe it does.

I don't know yet.

We test drove a Pilot first.

I loved it right away.

It felt right in the driver seat.

Monte had to admit it felt right in the passenger seat too.

He is a big guy.

He needs his room.

We have an almost 6-foot daughter who needs her room in the back seat.

Monte sat in every seat in every row and he had to admit it was all good.

And it seats 8!! 

Hook, line, sinker. Where do I sign?

We worried about the storage.

Our Ford had a lot of it.

This had less but it was doable.

We don't need pieces of plywood often.

Why do they always use that as their benchmark?

Tell me if I can pick up the chair from the curb down the street on trash day.

Now, THAT is a good benchmark!

Where was I?

Oh yeah, the van.

So we test drove the Odyssey.

LOVELY vehicle!

So soft and plush inside, it was like sitting on a pillow inside a bean bag wrapped up in a down comforter.

There was a compartment below the radio that redirected the air conditioning so you could keep bottled water or milk for the babies cold.

Shut the front door!


The sweet man from the dealership, Fred, began a complex explanation of the all the ways you could flip, pull, push, remove, widen or scrunch together all the seats.

I was overwhelmed.

As I was test driving it, Monte turned on the radio.

That song from Train came on, "50 Ways to Say Good-bye", at just the moment that the lyrics say,

"She'll think I'm Superman, 
not super minivan."


Monte and I looked at each other.

"That's embarrassing," he said in a tiny whisper.

Monte has ALWAYS wanted a minivan.


Some men dream of sports cars or big trucks.

Monte dreams of double sliding doors and the ability to walk from the front seat to the back without leaving the vehicle.

When he abruptly turned off the radio, he knew he was losing the battle.

Don't get me wrong, the van was AWESOME! So plush and with every imaginable extra.

But it was too much.

It was built for a season we aren't in anymore (thank you Lord!)

We went back to the Pilot where Monte began his attack.

He went through a list of negatives that didn't really exist.

Sensing his impending defeat he said it was "mannish".

Too "mannish" for me.

"It does have towing capabilities", Fred offered.

"And the ability to haul a full size sheet of plywood."

I loved Fred.

So we got the Pilot.

The whole process took 4 hours.

Did you catch that?

4 hours!!

We were there so long we had between us:
1 cup of coffee, 
2 slushies, 
3 trips to the vending machine 
and many questions to various people about where the nearest Waffle House was. 

Which we ran out of time to go to.

The best part? They bought our Ford! For more than we expected.

We didn't even say good-bye to the car.

Or take its picture one last time.

The second I smelled that new car smell of the Pilot, there was no looking back.

Except to peel our Waffle House sticker off and put it on the new car.

Waffle House is where Monte and I met. But that is a story for another time.

The girls flipped when they saw the car.

Ellie said, "So you got the van?"

Monte was elated.

McDaniel said, "Sick nasty!"

Which apparently means good. 
Very good.

We all pushed every button at the same time seeing what it would do.

The girls decided we needed to name the Pilot.

It is what we do.

Then Monte got a text from the guy down the street. It simply said, "Nice manvan!"

Monte felt like maybe his defeat was in fact a victory after all.

And we got a name for the car.

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