Patch Drives: Shopping for a New Car Helped This Mom Get Her Mojo Back
You can, indeed, relate a fear of getting older and a love for '80s hair bands to shopping for minivans.
Editor's note: This is the final installment in a two-month series. To read the full report, including all of Angela's car reviews, see our Patch Drives page.
I began this car-shopping, test-driving experience as a total non-car person. I couldn’t even tell you the year, make or model of my current ride.
To be honest, after two months of car talk, I still couldn’t tell you the year, make or model of my current ride. But I can tell you that this experience has taught me so much.
It’s taught me that you can indeed relate a fear of getting older and a love for '80s hair bands to shopping for minivans. It’s taught me that there’s a reason that we are somewhat auto-obsessed in America.
It’s taught me that a stay-at-home mother who just might have lost a bit of confidence in herself can indeed go car shopping with the big boys.
I felt the power
This writing assignment couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. Not only was my giant van getting old and tired in so many ways, but so was I.
Even though we live in a post-modern world where women have a thousand different choices and I happen to have an incredibly supportive, progressive husband, being a traditional stay-at-home mother to four children can make me feel a little like Betty Draper on Mad Men. (And for those of you who don’t watch that show, why aren’t you?) Betty is the stereotypical 1960s housewife questioning some of her sacrifices and choices.
Walking into car dealerships, asking questions, discussing gas mileage and technology systems felt good. My busy-mom-driving-kids-to-endless-activities demographic has some definite power in the marketplace. I sat up a little straighter, held my head a little higher.
I liked the power.
Cars are just cool
Here’s the reason America is somewhat auto obsessed: because cars are cool. They are necessary, yet fun. They are mass-produced, yet so personal. They are all steel and metal, yet emotionally connected to the stories of our lives.
Hopefully the reviews have given some of you some real insight into what cars work for large families and maybe some encouragement to any mothers who might have lost a little of their mojo.
And just maybe some of you went back and rediscovered a love for Whitesnake and other '80s hair bands.
In honor of my upcoming 20th high school reunion this summer, I made up some Mock Elections to help sum up my experience:
Friendliest: Ford Flex
The car was very friendly, but it was actually the people at Huntington Ford who were the friendliest and most helpful.
Read all about it in Patch Drives: In the Ford Flex, I Was Shaking Up the Suburbs.
Best Dressed: Chevy Suburban
The model I drove was tricked out with lots of bells and whistles. From the leather seats to the sleek interior, double DVD player and amazing sound system, it was top-notch.
Read all about it in Patch Drives: Hey, Chevy Suburban, is This Love I'm Feelin'?
Class Troublemaker: Honda Odyssey
I’m kidding. I found this experience very practical, AKA boring. No troublemaking here.
Read all about it in Patch Drives: Honda Odyssey Proves Smart is the New Cool.
Cutest Couple: The MINI Cooper and, well, me!
I mean, c’mon. There’s no denying it, really. We looked good together.
Read all about it in Patch Drives: Why the MINI Cooper is Not Perfect, Yet Perfect, for This Mom.
Most Athletic: Dodge Journey
It was reliable and zippy. That makes a car athletic, right? OK, that’s a stretch, but I couldn’t leave the Dodge Journey out of the mock elections.
Read all about it in Patch Drives: My Journey to Acceptance.
Most Likely to Succeed: Chrysler Town & Country
This was the best fit for me, so it makes it the most likely to succeed with my family. It was the right size and the right price. It was also the car you, the Patch Drive readers, selected as the best fit for me.
Read all about it in Patch Drives: 4 Kids, a Lot of Love and Maybe a Town & Country Minivan.
I think I have found the right vehicle for me.
Patch Drives was an editorial series. The cars Youngblood chose to test were at her discretion and not affiliated with any advertising relationships.
Follow Angela Youngblood at www.JumpingWithMyFingersCrossed.com.