Thursday, June 5, 2008

My First, but Probably Not Last, Political Rant

Okay. Here's the thing. Normally, I don't involve myself in "political" discussions or "hot button" issues. I just don't. Everyone has their own opinion, everyone is convinced their opinion is the "right" one (if there even is such a thing as the right opinion), and it takes divine intervention to convince them otherwise.

In fact, all political discussions have been banned in our house (by me) because my husband and I are on different ends of the political, social issues, spectrum. We can't have a discussion without it turning into a debate, without the debate escalating into an argument, then the argument becomes an all out war, so we don't talk about it anymore.

Now my husband has to look outside the marriage to have his political "needs" met. He calls his brothers, he talks to his parents, he talks to our friends, the neighbor, even my mom, to have an outlet for his insatiable political appetite.

Recently when he oh, so casually veered the conversation into the political arena I finally told him, "Fine. Whatever you say, fine. I agree with you. Now, let's not bring this subject up EVER again!"

But all this was to say there is actually one topic I am tired of defending myself on, and for once my husband and I are in complete agreement! Shocking, but true.

I drive a Ford Expedition. That's right. A gas guzzling, environmentally incorrect monster SUV. We have three children under the age of five, and we live in a rural area. There is no reason we SHOULDN'T have an SUV. We use it to haul everything from groceries, to lawn mowers on a trailer, to the baby stroller, to cement.

My husband commutes into the city during the week, and he has a small Hyundai sedan that he drives to work.

Our lifestyle is precisely that: OUR LIFESTYLE. We make our decisions based on what we feel is best for our family. And owning an SUV fits that lifestyle. We travel often; visiting family and friends, helping my mother and brother on the ranch, taking the kids to school, going to t-ball games, taking vacations, etc. We recently taxied visiting relatives to the zoo and to a graduation. We can comfortably fit 9 people in our vehicle, and that puts everyone in a seat belt and children in proper car seats, plus we still have room for luggage and a stroller.

And we face the consequences of owning an SUV with the high price of gas right now. We have to make adjustments to our budget accordingly. But if I had the option of trading in my SUV for something smaller with better gas mileage, the answer would be a resounding NO. Maybe someday, but not right now. I plan to own this vehicle until they make flying cars that whiz past me through the air, whose owners point at the ground and laugh at the idiot driving that ancient relic formerly known as an SUV.

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