May 6th, 2009

Whoop! There it is!


The other day, my department at work hosted a special guest speaker from out of town: a leader in his field. I got invited to a group lunch with him afterwards at a trendy, downtown restaurant.

Of course, I was the first to offer to drive, thinking with pride that I could fit everyone in my minivan, even without removing the two car seats. Note: this is the only time I think of my minivan without abject embarrassment. For some reason, I love its seating capacity, almost as much as I hate feeling like a person who drives a minivan.

We walked out to the parking lot together, me and my four childless passengers (special guest included), and I suddenly became a little self-conscious about the state of the van. So, I tried to use humor to explain what they were about to experience.

“I use trash as a theft deterrent.”

“If you’re hungry, you can help yourself to any of the crackers on the floor.”

So, I’m driving along and I start to hear some snickering. An outburst of laughter. It seems contagious. I looked back with my nifty back-seat-spying-built-in-mirror and sneak some of my childless colleagues looking at each other and laughing.

“What?” I say, half-amused, half-paranoid out of my gourd.

No answer.

More laughter.

I had a sneaking suspicion that they weren’t laughing with my minivan, they were laughing at my minivan. My minivan with all its food and refuse debris.

Those childless fools! They had no idea what parenthood was going to bring! Fools to laugh at me!

When I got in my car, alone, at the end of the day, I wondered: was it really that bad? I went to inspect the back of my minivan. A thousand pulverized crackers. A pair of one-eyed goggles right in the middle of the aisle. Various plastic wrappers strewn about. The usual scene….

And that’s when I saw it. Stuck to the back of the right middle row seat was an unwrapped, business-side up, spread-eagled maxi-pad. With wings.

I’m considering telecommuting indefinitely.

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