I never wanted a minivan. Sorry. I really didn't. Mr. Macchiato felt that is what we needed and bought me one. It was a 1998 Dodge Caravan. White. Boring. We were hosting a bible study in our home and he didn't make it back in time. He got home as we were ending things and was all excited. I wasn't too happy and there were some remarks made by others there to the tune that I was not appropriately thrilled by my husband's provision for me. I think they were expecting me to be weeping as I jumped for joy. The truth is, I didn't want to give up my shiny black Taurus with the camel colored interior. I loved that car.
To appease me, Mr. Macchiato said that I could get vanity plates. I thought that if I had to drive a minivan, at least it could have really cool plates. I wracked my little ole brain and came up with, "BRAT BUS." Amazingly, it was available.
Well, my little boring, white minivan wasn't quite so boring after all. In fact, my plates caused a bit of a stir. In fact, my little boring, white minivan became somewhat of a legend in our town. Once I picked up our babysitter in the Taurus and on the way to our house she went on about this minivan her family saw at a stop light with a license plate that said, "BRAT BUS," and how much fun they had joking about it. Then we pulled into the driveway behind the van and she saw it... her eyes got big... and she looked at me in utter disbelief. She then pointed at me and kept stuttering, "It was ya ya you!" Her eyes then filled with admiration and I didn't care that she was going to eat all of our food and leave our house a mess.
On several different occasions, out on the soccer field, I was surrounded by exclamations from other soccer moms as it was pointed out by someone that I was the owner of the, "BRAT BUS." My heart would swell and I would think that driving a minivan really wasn't that bad after all. I especially loved the calls from friends that would tell me that someone was talking about my van and they got to tell them that they actually knew me. I thoroughly enjoyed my notoriety and admiration of my wit.
That is... until the day I was at the gas station. I had just gone inside when a guy came up to me and asked if the "BRAT BUS" was mine. My heart quickened and a big smile came quickly to my face as I answered that yes it was. He then felt the need to lecture me about my lack of driving skills. It seems that I had cut him off on the spillway the week before. Ouch. I'd like to say that that was the only time a stranger felt the need to recount my grievous traffic violations while we stood in public places, but it wasn't.
There was also the fact that I was often told by acquaintances and strangers alike what parking lots the "BRAT BUS" had been spotted in. That isn't a big deal but sometimes people would ask me questions as to why I shopped certain places. Whu??? (that is teen for what? and you have to imagine it with an unflattering slouch and dull look about the eyes... I see it often around here).
Then, the big cherry on top of it all. The good parent police. Apparently, my license plates were seen by some as sarcastic and hurtful toward my children. How dare I call the vehicle I tote my little blessings around in a "BRAT BUS?" Little did some of these people know that my kids had all had brat names for a couple of years prior to our getting the van. They were Bratola, Braticia, and Brat Boy... and all said with the utmost love and affection. I made the mistake of trying to explain that our kids weren't offended by it and that we had pet brat names. Oh, the horror of it. I quickly learned not to relate that bit to any future offended good parent police.
Well, I no longer drive a minivan. The move from Mississippi to Colorado and life above an elevation of 6,000 ft. killed the transmission in the old "BRAT BUS." It served us well and we will always remember it fondly. We will also never ever own vanity plates ever again! We do jokingly come up with ideas for fun though. We kicked around the idea of getting one that said, "EAT MEAT" for our SUV... but living in Colorado... that might have gotten us killed.