I owe you an apology.
Let me explain. Several months ago cruising along in life per usual we got an unexpected offer from someone who wanted to purchase our sixteen-year-old Camry. The car wasn't for sale but it was an offer we couldn't refuse, so refuse we did not.
Once our old car was in the hands of its new owner, the spouse and I began our debate for what the replacement car would be: a Minivan or an SUV. K championed the former. Me, the latter. You see, and it hurts to say this now [but I'm looking for closure here so honesty is important] but I found you completely undesirable. For starters, your shape. You were so wide. So boxy. I could concede you were practical. That your trunk alone could store a herd of Shetland ponies comfortably, but those sliding doors? Really? Just one look at the sheer massive spaceship-sized bulk on the day of our test drive, I shook my head. I would do the whirl around the block with but I couldn't drive it. I wouldn't.
So we bought our Toyota Highlander. And don't get me wrong. It's great. Drives like a car. Takes to turns well. I made the right decision, I told K. And indeed, ours was a happy union.
Until I went to visit my parents.
My father took the sedan to work and left the family minivan at home. For me. To drive. And when the kiddo requested a trip to the park, and I stared at weeks without a means of leaving the house independently if I didn't get in that thing, I put on a brave face, got in the car, and drove.
I cringed at first. Afraid of the wide turns. The apprehension at backing out of a parking spot. But slowly, your beauty began to reveal itself. Like those sliding doors? Those decidedly uncool sliding doors? A breeze for tight parking spots. An easy way to unstrap one kid and let them just walk over to the other kid getting unhooked so both can exit safely together. No child idling on loading or unloading. Ever.
And while that made me respect you, it was a Wednesday afternoon when I fell in love. Me and the toddler pulled up to the mall and parked. As I turned the engine off, large drops hit the windshield. Rain. Rain so heavy it would not dissipate as quickly as it came. Umbrella, the kiddo cried out pointing to the back. And there I saw it. Its thin black curve poking from the trunk. I undid my seat belt. Got up. Yes, up. In. A. Car. And I walked back. Got the umbrella. Unhooked my son. And then, the umbrella covering us both, we exited the sliding doors with nary a drop of rain to speak of.
Minivan, I nearly wept.
Three months after I had already committed to another vehicle, it was then I realized that what I thought were your flaws were in fact your greatest strengths. Your curvy boxiness? Adorable. Your sliding doors, a work of art. You were not ugly. You were beautiful. You always were. It was me who couldn't see.
So in short, dear Minivan, I am sorry. You are the one that got away. And I only have myself to blame. At least we'll always have Florida.