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The battle for a third-row seat

Linda Boyne
Linda Boyne
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Remember in elementary school when you would fight for the back seat of the school bus? I don’t remember exactly what the allure was, but I find it funny that 30 years later, I’m engaged in a fight for the back seat again.

It’s totally different this time, though. It’s no longer a brief display of speed, block-out moves and flying elbows against classmates. Now it’s a two-year-long debate with my husband over the merits of having a vehicle with a third row.

Part One of the debate was convincing him of the need for more transportation flexibility. I started with well-placed comments like, “Wow, it sure would be nice if we could all go in the same car.” Eventually, I had to move on to more pointed observations of fact, such as: “I could arrange to have the boys picked up from school for you while I’m out of town, but I can never reciprocate because we can only take one extra kid.” I reasoned with him that not having the third row is limiting us, just like not having the right shoes to go with a great new outfit. I’m not sure he got my analogy.

Part Two was persuading him that the minivan was not a viable option for me. Functional, practical, the reasonable choice? Absolutely. Fun to drive, sporty, a good fit? No, it’s just too utilitarian. I’m not designed to drive a minivan. It’s not my car of choice. I said, “Honey, a minivan just doesn’t go with my shoes.” I thought this summed it all up perfectly, but, again, I left him confused.

Part Three: The Size. I’m not capable of driving a big SUV. Maybe I’m just not willing. No, it’s definitely an ability thing. The one and only time I’ve driven my husband’s big ol’ truck, I put it in a ditch. Now in my defense, it happened on a rural road and the ditch had snow-covered grass disguising it as a shoulder. But let’s be realistic – nobody wants to be dodging me coming down the street in a Suburban. I said to him, “It’s like wearing shoes that are too big. I’m all sloppy and sloshing around, I don’t know where the end is and I feel like I’m going to fall out.” This time he got it.

So the debate has come down to a handful of smallish SUVs with a third row, ranging in price from reasonable to that-car-is-too-expensive-to-allow-our-children-to-ride-in-it-but-it’s-oh-so-fabulous.

Finding the right car is just like – yes, I’m going there again – finding the perfect boots for winter in Colorado. I want something practical that will keep me warm, get me where I’m going without losing traction in the snow and is safe to wear around the kids, but I want it to look good, have some style and great details, and let me move like a cheetah. If you can find either the car or the boots, please let me know.

Linda Boyne is an Edwards resident and a regular columnist for The Vail Trail. E-mail comments about this column to editor@vailtrail.com.


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