Somehow, R and I have found ourselves in the market for a new car. The smaller of our cars (the Accent) is not worth the money it would cost to fix it right now and, horrifying as it is, we have found ourselves in the market for a minivan.
The problem is, we live in a crowded city, a city with limited parking and quite frankly, I am not in a hurry to take up more than my fair share of space. Giant SUVs make me irate, not only because of the environmental impact (WHY does ANYONE who lives outside of Maine need a 4WD vehicle that gets 13 miles to the gallon?), but also because it is kind of like obese people taking up four seats on the subway--Dude, where's my space?
In this country of overpopulation, why on earth are people so obsessed with bigger cars, bigger portions and expanding their waistlines (while eating expensive fat free foods)?
R is convinced it has something to do with our capitalistic society and that all people want to seize the space they can before someone else takes it from them. He also says that the apathetic, gas-guzzling people I so do not get are only hastening our need to find other sources of fuel. He insists they, with their selfishness and utter disregard for the environment, are doing a good thing for people like him, for the scientists who will have to make us less reliant on foreign oil. I suppose this makes him a "glass is full" kinda guy. So, fine. But that still does not mean I get a parking space when three Lincoln Navigators make it impossible for my tiny Accent to fit on the street.
In Europe, cars like the Mazda5 and the mini Cooper are very popular. Most people in Paris would not dream of buying a Navigator. But here in the good old U.S. of A, we apparently need giant cars to fit our giant asses so that we can drive everywhere, including the two blocks to the gym where we will drink our $8 protein shakes and walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes because, god forbid we break a sweat. It just ain't the American way.
But I digress.
With all my clear vitriol and bitterness towards the American consumer and their giant cars (and portions and behinds), I refuse to get a car that has a bigger footprint than our Volvo, which is big enough. This kind of constraint does make it hard for us to find a good family vehicle for the family that now includes two children (well, 1.5), but will hopefully, at some point, contain three (however we choose to bring the third child into our lives because do not even get me started on ZPG).
That said, we have narrowed our search down to the Mazda5. I am quite pleased with the idea of a mini minivan that has three rows of seats and sliding doors, but also gets 28 miles to the gallon, has a stick shift and no bigger footprint than a Sedan. This car is not very popular in the US, so I am using this as my opportunity to advertise for Mazda. It is a cool car. Look into it.
****I do apologize if my anger and passion offends anyone (say, for instance, the driver of a Lincoln Navigator), but this is my world, too, and most importantly, this is my child's world. I am trying desperately to do my part with recycling, with walking, with considering not giving birth to my third child. So it would just be a little nice to feel like other people were giving a little more consideration to the world we share. Apathy may be what killed the dinosaurs.