Sunday, December 14, 2008

SUV Craze, Scary Moms: I Get It Now

We're expecting a baby in March, so we're car shopping. We pretty much need a wagon or an SUV, because I don't want the dog in the back with the baby. God forbid there's any sort of collision, I don't want our hound's claws scratching out the baby's eyes.
I've driven teeny cars for the past ten years (current car = Honda Civic), so I figured I'd be happy with a little wagon, like maybe the Subaru Outback or VW Passat, or perhaps, in my dreams, a used BMW 3 series. I've always said I didn't need a big car. Well, now that I've test-driven the largest wagon in existence, I'm relishing the thought of myself in a huge car. I want to menace the drivers around me who've been menacing me for the past 10 years.

I finally get why people buy big cars. When you have a teeny baby in the car, you want your car to be something that other people avoid. That punk in the Toyota Tacoma this morning, who came awfully close to me as he whipped around me as I was waiting to turn into Village Bagels? I bet that $&@&head would have given me a little more space if I'd been in the 4600 pound, steel encased Mercedes R450, which is the wagon we're eying that's basically the size of a mini-van. Used, it's a pretty good deal, possibly because it resembles a hearse. When I see that thing on the road, I can barely distinguish it from the Mercedes SUV. That's what I want: a big-ass car that's slightly terrifying to others.

I finally understand why all these moms in SUVs act so bitchy and aggressive. They're like mother bears protecting their young. They're going to run us over before we can hurt their babies. I say "we," but who I really mean is men. Women drive cluelessly, but men drive fast and dangerously, and we women don't like that. We want you to be careful. We buy big cars to try to scare you into keeping away from us.

Moral of the story: I've gone over to the FC dark side. I've always self-righteously driven a small car, and talked trash about how pompous it is to drive a big one, but once I was offered a 2-ton vehicle, do you think I shed a tear about giving up my Civic?
When I could only afford a Civic (although actually my Civic only cost 10,000 less than the wagon/hearse), I had to be happy with it.
However, if my husband wants to float me and this gestating baby a huge car, I won't protest. I might feel a little pang to let my Civic go, because that was the car I bought just before my first nephew was born, and a year before I met my husband. That car was with me in the best 5 and a half years of my life.
But, uh, this new car has heated leather seats. And I hate the cold. Yes, I'm ready to upgrade vehicles- for the baby's sake, of course.

In an ideal world, we'd all drive fuel-efficient, yet snow-safe, little cars. We'd drive cautiously, and respect each other on the road, and never take our anger out on other drivers by whipping around them if they're driving slightly below the speed limit.
But this is the FC, and we all hate each other, so big cars make us feel safer. I think I've finally accepted the way the FC works, and this big car marks my transition from nice Southern girl to FC alphabitch.

Maybe. I don't know. I'm still pretty nice and I'm not sure I can shake that.

But just to be safe, watch the hell out if you see this car. --->


CT Mom said...

Duly noted!

I went from driving a Protege to an Accord wagon when I had my first daughter. When we had our second, we got a Mountaineer. I now have a CRV, which I love. But I get you about the mama bear bit - I once chased down a driver who passed me in a no passing zone and almost ran me off the road, with my daughters in the car. I called the local police, and (safely) followed the car to it's final destination. Turned out to be her mother's funeral. I told the officer to let her know that she could have caused another tragedy, and let it go at that.

Congrats on the new baby!

Mr. Z said...

December 9: Ode to Darien
December 14: Ode to Mercedes Benz SUWs
December 19: Ode to Shopping on the Avenue?

I don't think we hate each other here in the FC....that implies we actually make personal connections. ;) Perhaps it's more accurate to simply say we hate everything...

patty said...

Once you go heated leather, you don't go back.

(Mazel Tov!)

Stamford Talk said...

Well duh, shopping on the Ave is great! Don't do it for myself, but for Xmas, they've got a decent- wait, I sort of did write an ode to the Ave in my Xmas guide a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, you're right about the hating each other thing, Mr. Z. When I wrote that, I knew it wasn't exactly right, and thought about writing "hate our lives," but I think many people do like their lives up here. It's more accurate to say a lot of people are also very frustrated, including me sometimes. I think we take our frustrations out on each other, especially when driving, which is probably easier to do since, like you say, we don't know most of the people we see on the road.

And when I wrote that, I think I was still angry at the guy who felt the need to accelerate around me really loudly by Village Bagels- he was clearly irritated that I wanted to turn left, and that bugged me. So, maybe I'm the hater! But the fact that this young guy had to bring his truck really close to my little car to show me that he was annoyed really bothered me, and I thought, I can't wait to get my monster car. And it gave me the idea for this post, which I wrote right when I got home while eating my mediocre bagel.

Anonymous said...

You are all killing mother Earth! We need to stop Global Warming or else our children will die young.

marathon mom said...

I was all what is the "FC"???? Then I figured it out. Yeah, here in Texas you are not competing unless you are in a Yukon XL, Expedition, Hummer or Toyota LandCruiser- then upgrade to your luxury versions. The biggest I can go is my Highlander because with zero depth perception it gets expensive to replace the R side of those big dogs on a regular basis. Congrats on the bebe and good luck with the car purchase!

chachmaster said...

not only did you sell out, but you made sure you fit in with the crowd with an overpriced status symbol.

dont be a label whore. there are plenty of very safe and reliable cars that dont say BMW or Mercedes on it.

Ali said...


Anonymous said...

Label or no label, I love that frickin' car! Nice choice. When we travelled to Aruba last year our livery driver was sportin one of these. Go Mama and congrats!

Yes, I used to drive small cars too, until I hit a deer in one, with my four month old in the car. Never again.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm with Patty! Heated leather, oh boy, oh boy! It's the best.

East Sider said...

Well, I'm sorry there will be one more gigantic monster vehicle menacing us on Stamford roads.

But I'm delighted to hear your happy news!! Best wishes for the final months of your pregnancy.

Jess said...

I wonder what else you're silently judging me for that you'll blog about later. You know, when you become enlightened.

AmyBow said...

Congratulations! I am an avid reader, but somehow I missed the memo re: pregancy.

Anyway, kids and their stuff take up a lot of room. Seriously, we just got a new CR-V and between the two car seats, the stroller, the bjorn, the groceries, a big mama car is the only way to go.

Anonymous said...

I'll put in the plug for a Prius as an excellent car for parents and babies. The back cargo area is huge, and it's a nice ride. And the lower emissions are an investment in everyone's health.

I don't allow myself to be menaced by big SUVs. I mostly ignore them, but snicker when I see them filling up at the gas station.

Congratulations on the baby! If you are planning to return to work, wait 'til you see how very little this area has to offer for working parents. Plenty to blog about on that topic.

Anonymous said...

Dont overlook Audi. Fantastic Wagons ("Avants" in audispeak) and all wheel drive. Miles apart from Subaru and Volvo. Close second is VW with its Jetta Wagon. Just the right size where the Passat is huge.

Julie said...

Wow you are getting some flack on this one my friend. Can't wait to get for a ride in the Mercedes with you and Baby ST!

Anonymous said...

If you get a large one, get wagon, it doesn't feel like you are driving a truck!

As a dedicated VW driver, I opt for a Passat.


Whitemist said...

Yes, the drivers around here scare me. When I was able to drive, I drove a small Saturn because...But many years back I had the chance to be driving my Dad's Silverado (after he past), Now that was something to intimidate everyone. I remember driving through a significant tropical storm on the way to Virginia and feeling completely safe. Of course this is probably cause I grew up in Texas. I still do not like SUVs. but a trucjk.....