November 20, 2009

The 9 Stages Dads Go Through When Buying a Minivan

In high school, most Dudes plan to grow up to be Independent Men. That's why we all take the Man's Hippocratic Oath: To ethically and responsibly uphold the laws of manhood throughout our lives. We pledge to live by certain principles, which are mainly a list of things we will never do, including buy a house in the suburbs, take ballet, use the phrase "Oh No You Didn't" and watch a Sandra Bullock movie.

As important as those rules are, none of them hold a candle to the Mac-daddy of all rules that are true and holy in the Man's Hippocratic Oath:

Never own a minivan.

It's so sacred of a rule, that we bold it. We underline it. We give it it's own paragraph. We also spell check it. Even in Catholic school we learned that though Judas betrayed Jesus and sold him to Roman authorities, Jesus forgave him because he knew Judas would never be caught dead in a minivan. So, as you can see, it's pretty serious.

There are many repercussions for buying a minivan. First, you will be stripped of your man identification card. Immediately. Your friends—who remember the day you took your oath—will treat you as if you've contracted some fast-spreading, contagious disease, and will avoid sitting at the same softball field as you. You will also become an instant target for Zima jokes.

It's a cruel world we live in.

Now I'm not going to be naïve and think that all Dudes will be able to stay true to the Man's Hippocratic Oath, especially Dudes who become Dads. In fact, I must confess that, after endless debates, fights and one hotly contested rock-paper-scissors match with my wife, I, Brian A. Klems, have caved and am now the pathetic proud owner of a minvan.

Here's my man identification card. Have fun setting it on fire.

But I'm not here to talk about me. I'm here to help prepare the millions of other Dads who will inevitably fall victim (rock) to a wife who wants a minivan (paper), and explain to them the 9 stages that all Dads go through when buying a minivan. Each stage is real and must be taken seriously. I've included examples to help you understand what to expect. Just by reading on, you will be able to handle the transition better than most. Without further ado, I present to you the 9 Stages that Dads Go Through When Buying a Minivan:

1. Denial.
"I don't care what my wife says, we aren't getting a minivan. I know that the previous five Google searches on my computer were 'How to buy a minivan,' 'Where to buy a minivan,' 'When to buy a minivan,' 'How much does a minivan cost,' and 'Minivan Minivan Minivan,' but that's just a coincidence."

2. Uncontrollable Weeping.

3. Lying.
"I think minivans are pretty sweet. Way better than your Ford Mustang and your Dodge Viper. In fact, I once read that chicks dig guys who drive minivans. Seriously. Wait, why are you laughing?"

4. Bargaining.
"OK wife, if we get the minivan, I'm buying a motorcycle! No? Well, I'm buying a TV the size of our house! No to that too? Hmm…well, I'm only going to shower three times a week. And fart louder."

5. Depression.
"What happened to me? I used to be cool. I used to party, wear awesome concert t-shirts and hurl myself at others in mosh pits, leaving welts on my hip the size of Montana! Now what am I going to have to brag about? Sore knees from having to step up so high to get in the car?"

6. Hysteria
"I can't be seen around town in this behemoth. What will others think? I know exactly what they'll think: What a Loser! Wonder if it'd help if I painted it to look like The Mystery Machine?"

7. Commiserating.
"So you own a minivan too, eh? Nice to find someone else to talk to about it. How have you survived … What's that? Can't talk? On your way to the store to get your wife tampons? Well that's just excellent …"

8. Overcompensating.
"Hey wife, I bought us tickets to the Motley Crüe, Metallica and Lynard Skynard concert. Plus I found my old chain wallet and "UP YOURS!" t-shirt with the middle finger on it—and they still (sort of) fit! Also, and this is just something I'm toying with, what's you gut reaction to neck tattoos?"

9. Acceptance.
"Man, these automatic doors and this massive cargo space are awesome! Plus, the kids' feet no longer reach the back of my chair. Maybe I miss-judged this thing. In fact, I love it! Let's celebrate. Wife, go grab me a Zima!"

The Life of Dad is updated every other Friday (barring the call of family duties). Thanks for stopping by and following my attempts to be a good dad, husband and co-ed softball player. I hope you visit again. -- Brian