I was never one of those women who stated that I wouldn’t drive a minivan. I spent years being envious of minivans. In fact, there was a time I had to squeeze three children in a Ford Escort 2-door with no stereo and no A/C. I lusted after minivans the way a Susan Lucci lusted after that daytime Emmy award.

When we got our first one, I was in heaven. Oh, but it was nice. Plenty of room for the kids and their friends. Me, up front on my throne where I could open and close all the windows and lock and unlock all the doors. I was like an egomaniacal dictator driving around in my own little country on wheels. “Quiet!” I would shout, “Or I shall fade the stereo from front to back and blast Simon and Garfunkel into your young and impressionable ears!”

The thing about having a lot of space is that, well, you have a lot of SPACE. And, oh luxury, oh opulence! I could fill that space with stuff. I had jackets and blankets and strollers and tool kits and toys and…. and well, it just kept going. The other thing about having a lot of space is that there is no incentive to take things OUT because, well, there is still more space.

Being one of those working moms (and yes, I do realize that ALL moms are working moms but I’m that kind that loses ten hours a day to a professional commitment that does not include taking care of my house or family which provides me with a paycheck that allows me to spend all my left over time [and by that I mean about 35 minutes per day] taking care of my house and family). So where was I? Oh, yeah, being one of them there working moms, I spend a lot of my life in my car.

I mean, there’s always something going on, right? Girl scouts or volley ball or gymnastics or PTO or something. How I managed to stay out of PTO for the past 18 years, I’ll never know but I’m in it now and I even have a project to manage. Let this be a warning to you – NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN! So I leave work and grab a child or two or three and on our way to wherever we’re going we need to grab dinner on the run.

There is a law about dinners on the run – somehow they must always include French fries. Yeah, the Senate passed it by a two-thirds majority and thank goodness the damn conservatives didn’t get their way, trying to go with mashed potatoes, but see? the liberals ARE good for something after all so French fries it is. So we worship at the alter of the Golden Arches, for they are the greatest damn marketing geniuses in all of the land putting their dumb little toys in their happy little meals so the children whine louder and louder until the mommy gives in and says “Yes, for the love of all that is holy, we will go to McDonalds if you’ll just – shush – up.” (Did you see that little mommy trick? I didn’t tell them to shut up – I told them to shush up. Had I said shut up you all would have called me a bad mommy but even GOOD mommies say shush, right?)

So my point is, me all proud in my minivan and it seeing more food in it than the Meals-on-Wheels truck and then the French fry law and all, well, it was pretty bad back there. But up front where *I* sit, all is well. Up in my throne, there are no French fries. So I rarely pay any attention to them. Maybe I vacuum it out every time a democrat is elected to office. But I’m relaxed; I’m a laid back kind of chick, so I don’t worry.

So where am I going with this?

Well, I was going to have to drive the PTO ladies to some PTO thing and so I thought I’d better manage the French fries, you know, since it’s the first time that non-child human beings would be riding in the mommy van in a long, long time.

So I pull into the car wash vacuum thingie (see? I do it so seldom, I don’t even know what it’s called) and, to my horror, here’s what I found:

~ twelve pounds of French fries
~ seventeen pacifiers
~ a group of Japanese tourists
~ an active colony of mushrooms, possibly psychedelic
~ the never-mailed letter to NBC outlining my fresh idea for a reality show with Donald Trump
~ Jimmy Hoffa

It wasn’t pretty.

So what’s the moral of this story? Hell, I don’t know. Maybe it is DO NOT LET THEM ROPE YOU INTO JOINING THE PTO! (It probably should be more along the lines of keeping your car neat and tidy but hello, I’m Linda, have we met!)