I live in an area with lots of big families and soccer moms like myself, so It shouldn’t be surprising that many people drive the same vehicle I drive: a Dodge Grand Caravan, circa 2008. There are tons of them out there, and they all seem to be the same dark red color that mine is. Add in the Chryslers which are twins, and you have quite a few on the road.
Many times I have walked out of Costco and gone towards a mini-van only to find it wasn’t mine after getting there. I was recently even trying to open up the trunk of one when the real owner showed up with her groceries. Luckily, she didn’t think I was trying to steal it since I was attempting to use my key, though to no great effect.
Last week when I was parked, waiting for my child to come out of a class at the rec center, a girl of about thirteen started walking confidently up to our van. I looked at her and she instantly stopped, turned and grew red in the face. I’m sure for a moment she was wondering who had snatched her normal mother and replaced her with the weirdo in sunglasses she saw behind the wheel instead.
But the best mini-van mix up came about two years ago. My husband, son and I were going skiing. My husband went into a grocery store to see if he could purchase some discount lift tickets. I was waiting in the passenger seat while my son was in the back. My hubby had left the doors unlocked since the vehicle was occupied. Out of the grocery store came a woman carrying a couple bags. She was walking quickly toward a vehicle, our vehicle. She wasn’t looking my way but instead was looking to the side. She used her key fob, “opened” the door and climbed right in to the driver’s seat–of our van, not her own, all without ever glancing at the passenger seat.
I was so shocked I simply said, “Uh, ma’am, I think you have the wrong van.” The poor woman jumped, then turned bright red, and stammered out, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” as she got out and walked to her own van about three vehicles away. Some men were standing in the parking lot, talking to each other; they witnessed the whole thing and guffawed until long after the hapless woman drove away. My son and I were laughing right along with them.
If I’d been thinking, I would have said to the woman as she got in, “Cool, where are we going?” or maybe, “Kidnapper!” But I was just too surprised to be anything but boring, and I doubt I’ll ever get the chance again. Although, with as many of those mini-vans as are out there, maybe I will. Help me out, and comment with your best reply so I’ll have it ready to go if I’m ever on the receiving end of a mini-van mix-up again.