Is It Time to Primp Your Ride?

I don’t know too many moms who really “identify” with their vehicles. I mean, it’s not often that you’ll hear a woman say, “Hey, what do you think of my new red mini-van? Isn’t she sweet?” And it’s probably even rarer to hear her talk about souping-up the engine, raising the suspension or painting racing stripes on the mom-mobile. It’s just not done.

However, most mothers do spend a great deal of time in their cars. Errands, car pools and the daily commute keep mom on the road up to several hours a day. Not only does this cause great wear and tear on the vehicle itself, but carting kids and cargo all over town also takes its toll on the insides. Ever found last week’s Happy Meal transformed into this week’s science project? Or how about discovering that carton of sour cream you were sure you bought at the store but somehow never made it into the house? Last year’s school papers, stray lipsticks, gym socks, baby shoes, dog toys and more “treasures” are hidden in the confines of the family vehicle.

Are your wheels in need of a makeover? For the rest of the story, see my article in this month’s edition of Cleveland Family.

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  1. This gave me a real chuckle, because I’m one of that minority of women who actually do talk about engines, torque, tires, paint jobs, biodiesel, fuel efficiency, and much, much more. Which means my husband’s friends stare at him in awe as though he trained me well. (The fun part is telling them how I took auto shop, wanted to be a mechanic, and was the secretary of the Auto Club in high school – back when my husband and his pals would’ve been, oh, grade schoolers. heh)

    You made me think, though. I think a lot of women do identify with their vehicles, or feel that their vehicle says a lot about them. I’ve watched women jump for joy when they’ve gotten that dream car, or cried copious tears when their family van finally gave up the fight for life – and not just because they didn’t want a new car payment. Because they had Ol’ Faithful around for so many years and s/he was a reliable old friend with a lot of miles and a lot of memories on those tires.

    I’ve also seen people (male and female) who are so disgusted by a person’s car on a first date that they’ll never go out with them again; folks (like me) who clean out the car at least every few days (nightly if fast food has been involved); and folks who will think nothing of a run in their hose or a blotch on their shirt who will completely lose it when a spill mars their car’s seat. Even if it can be cleaned out, it’s still “not the same”.

    I wonder if, as women, we are just so used to being told that a messy van is a sign of a creative mother, or that a submissive woman won’t tackle the “manly” subject of automobiles that some of us have a secret knowledge, or a secret longing, to have a car that stays clean or to know what it means when the mechanic says “your tranny’s shot, and the Cat isn’t far behind” – but we just don’t talk about it enough?

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