A Marxist In A Minivan

Zapatista Subcomadante Marcos With my first child, I resisted the omnipresent minivan, opting instead for a station wagon. Because a 15-year-old Volvo 850 station wagon is cool. I know because I see them curbside at coffeeshops and thrift stores, outfitted with roof racks and ornamented with coexisting punk and foodie bumper stickers.

Minivans, on the other hand, tend toward Whole Foods and display well-regarded elementary school stickers.

I’ve always thought of myself as more left, less established. So my vintage Volvo felt right. Coffeeshops have long encouraged my dedication to books and ideas. Thrifting speaks to my disdain for rampant consumerism. I worry that whole foods and good educations are more exclusive than they should be.

So how do I accept my new (to me) minivan?

Easily. I like to open and close the doors with little effort. With a daughter in each arm, I’m happy for the help. I like to invite friends to come with us. Have a seat. We have plenty to share. The back of the van fits my boxes full of Costco finds.

There’s the rub: I shop at Costco. And Whole Foods. My daughters attend the well-regarded elementary school. Their principal’s insistence on learning outside the bounds of books and school walls is inspiring. I’m thinking of a school bumper sticker. I’m a card-carrying PTA member. Seriously. They give you a card to carry.

Lately, I prefer the acoustic version of “Here Comes Your Man.”

Oh. It makes sense that I drive a minivan.

I thought that aging would be difficult because of laugh lines. Or arthritis. Who would have thought the status quo would get me?

Can I escape a stereotype?

Tell me: can I be a Marxist in a minivan?


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