Sunday, August 23, 2009


I am going back to Bryn Mawr tomorrow, and even though it will be super-exciting because I will get to see all of my favorite people, it will also be sad because I will be separated once again from Barbara! I've mentioned her before, but just to refresh everyone's memory, Barbara is our adorable, almost-seventeen-year-old minivan. Barbara is a 1993 Toyota Previa that we bought right after my little sister was born, and we have had her ever since! I named her in high school, because I needed something to call her when I was encouraging her to make it up the hill on D Street right after you cross Vulcan. So, basically every childhood/adolescent memory that I have somehow involves this car.

For example! When we lived in Delaware, we would drive down to Grandpa Joe's beach house (looking back, I'm pretty sure it was actually a condo, but I always called it a house) in Florida every summer. It was a twenty-something hour drive, so we would leave super-early in the morning and spend a night in Georgia, and we always made sure to bring empty grocery bags, because Jocelyn would invariably throw up on the way down and then complain about being hungry. Also in Delaware, my mom and I got stuck in the snow and my mom called my dad to tell him to come get us, but not before she spent a decent amount of time ranting at him about how we should have gotten a car with four-wheel drive and that we were going to get rid of Barbara. But obviously we would never do that.

Before we moved to Delaware, we all went up to Sequoia National Park around Thanksgiving, and I was a little over 5 years old and Jocelyn was a baby, and a bear ripped off the back driver's side window while it was in the parking lot to get in the car and look for food. He even ejected the Nirvana CD we had in the CD player, and left giant paw-shaped dents on the roof of the sedan next to ours. I remember because the drive home was the first time I ever got to sit in the front seat. We had put a garbage bag over the back window, and my dad had to sit with Jocelyn because she was screaming from all the noise it was making (it's windy in the mountains), and my mom was mad because we had to leave early. Then, when they replaced the back window, the Toyota people put a brown-tinted window in instead of one of the grey-tinted ones that we were supposed to have.

Years later, after Jocelyn's sixth grade graduation, we all went out to breakfast with Jocelyn's friend's family (their two daughters are also Italian-Japanese mixes and their last name rhymes with ours, which is too cute), and we parked Barbara on this tree-lined part of Second Street in downtown Encinitas. One of the tree's giant branches fell off and through Barbara's back window, and when the Toyota people went to replace it, they matched it to the brown-tinted mistake window, which is adorable because it reminds me of getting to sit in the front on the way back from Sequoia!!

Barbara was also a really awesome car to have in high school. When I got my license, my parents got a Prius that I drove for a while, but then I made my mom trade cars with me. This is because I went to SDA (the hippie high school), and it was actually cooler to have an old crappy car that all of your friends could pile into than it was to have a brand new car. Basically, everyone's dream car was a VW Bus (those are SO CUTE and I still want one). It ended up being really useful for hour lunch on Wednesdays. And for dances! When we went to prom our junior year, my friends and I decided that taking a limo was tacky and a waste of money, and that it would be way more fun to take Barbara with her peace-sign and Hobbes (of Calvin and Hobbes) bumper stickers. We ended up taking her to our winter formal our senior year, too.

Basically, Barbara is the most perfect minivan ever and I will probably cry when she finally dies and we have to get rid of her. That will be a sad day, but I figured that I should write about her while she is still here for all of us to love and appreciate! And now, since we always park Barbara right in front of our house, she is forever immortalized in Google Maps' street view!

Love, Jillian


  1. Jillian, this is probably the funniest thing I have ever read. I was basically rofling on the parts about your sister getting carsick and the bear attacking Barbara. Also, she is a pretty cute minivan.

  2. As soon as I saw the title of this post, I KNEW that picture of you sitting in Barbara about to close the door from prom junior year was about to happen. But I did not know that Barbara was in Google Maps! That is adorable.