It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a.... Mini-Van?

That's right. Nothing says commitment like "mini-van." A 2006, Honda Odyssey, with leather seats and a "mommy mirror." Yes, the carefree skirt-chasing days of my swinging bachelorhood are officially over. My beloved Dodge Charger with it's dual exhaust, and hemi engine, sits cold and alone in some strange parking lot, waiting to be auctioned off to some second-rate car dealer, or worse... a chop-shop! I've never been a "car person" per say (my 4 year old Sawyer knows more about changing the oil than I do), but my Charger was the first car I purchased because I liked it - not because it was the only one I could afford. It was the one vehicle that really meshed with my "bad-boy" image.

Unlike the Charger, The mini-van won't quite have the same effect when we roll up to the club and rev the engine at the valet station, ensuring everyone in line notices who gets out and walks straight to the front, slapping shoulder with our bouncer friends and walking straight on into the party. Usually, such dramatic, but warranted displays would later result in somebody offering to buy me a drink along with the comment, "You're the guy with the Charger! Nice car... that thing gotta Hemi?"

Although my buddies would appreciate the spacious, leg room and 17 cup holders, which equates to holding almost a case and a half of beer, we all would still be aware it's still not a fire-red, Dodge Charger. Besides, I'm sure they will be less than thrilled that I will now be parking a minimum of 6 blocks away from any clubs so as not to be recognized as the owner, nor will they relish the fact that they now have to conduct a quick inspection of each other's backsides to pick off the kids' "seat droppings" (stray gummy bears and snack crumbs) in the same fashion as monkeys when searching for hidden lice in the hair of their mates.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not bitter. The idea of trying to jam 5 kids (Ashley's 2 girls and my 3 boys) into the back seat of the Charger is pretty much on par with the Israelis and Palestinians simultaneously occupying the Gaza strip, irregardless of it's spacious trunk capacity and leather interior. Short of UN intervention and the presence of the Red Cross, a mini-van makes practical sense for long trips and smuggling illegal aliens.

No. My issue is merely that I am hoping I don't lose my manhood and "cool-guy" image as I transition into this next phase of my life. I'm trying hard to guard against it. The first day after purchasing it, I intentionally wore my black, Triumph Motorcycle jacket - the one with the skull on the back - to drive Ashley's girls to school; however, it just didn't feel the same clicking the remote to activate the automatic, sliding doors and discussing the joys of Hanna Montana as we walked into the building.

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