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Life in the Fast Lane

It's been a while since I've walked onto the lot of a car dealership. Usually I avoid the temptation, since even if I'm not really looking there's always the concern of falling for some sleek model and driving away with not only a new set of wheels but also a big, fat car loan.

But, the sexy models aren't for me anymore anyway. No, I've moved on. Recently the family went out hunting for a car and our sights were set on something a little larger, a little more practical. Yes, we were looking for a minivan.

And it was great! Really. As I stepped into the cavernous behemoth and surveyed the acres of space that seemed to open up around me in all directions, I felt like a king. This would become my driving domain, my transportation territory and within it my subjects would feel safe and cared for—just as long as nothing was spilled onto the fabric.

The pockets and storage bins that were located, well, everywhere, just screamed practicality and utility and I thought that for once automotive designers were really paying attention to the needs of passengers. My current car, for example, while great, has only two cup holders—one which barely holds more than a can of pop—and only one power connection. For a growing family, this hardly cuts it. And the minivan people know it.

Now, as soon as I tell almost anyone my age that we're considering a minivan I get the clichéd moans and groans about how I'm "settling" and that somehow my life is over. I've never understood this. I'm married, so it's not like I'm looking to drive around town cruising for babes; what's actually happening is I'm driving around town with my babes. And besides, usefulness can be sexy. Well, if not exactly sexy, it can at least be exciting. Having the room to pack my mountain bike along with all the baby gear or to carry a box of fresh Okanagan fruit on a summer road trip can make a person suddenly appreciate the value of function over form.

So, no, when the time comes to finally upgrade our mode of transport, I won't feel like I'm settling. And best of all, I can't wait until I can easily load the kids and gear and have everything fit without first having to take a refresher course in advanced geometry.

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