Stay Positive and SPAM


Autumn Van Ravenhorst

A tree branch fell on my car today. It left a sizeable dent where the hood meets the windshield and yes, the glass is cracked. Over the next couple of days, it will likely spider and spread, for which I will eventually be pulled over.

I discovered it when I was heading out to write this. And with that unfortunate event, I changed the angle of my column.

I actually decided to shop around for a new car last week, but didn’t find anything I fancied. I am not looking for an upgrade—I am looking for cheap comfort. I did, however, find a wagon that I was super excited about. You read that right, a wagon. I can fit all of my favorite things in a wagon: my kids, an excess of blankets and perfectly ripe avocados. But it smelled like dog. Hot, wet, there’s no getting it out of the fibers, dog.

I had planned on trading in my car to shave a little off the price of said vehicle, but then you know, a tree branch fell on it. And with that, I found that other people were more troubled about my car than I was. I get it—life is a pain in the ass when something you depend on every day all of a sudden isn’t there. Then, if you don’t have the cash, there is taking out the loan for a depreciating asset. But in case it hasn’t sunk in yet, the world will find a way to put you into debt no matter how hard you try not to.

I am really not too upset about it. I just sort of cocked my head at the situation and said, “Well, shit.” Got in my car, and here I am.

I am not mad that my car is now crap because cars don’t make me happy. I don’t like paying for it. I don’t like when my ass is set on fire because someone needed leather interior. I will never understand how being in a vehicle can turn the most introverted and well-mannered individual into a complete dickhead.

I will be more distraught by someone putting nonfat milk in my coffee instead of cream over my car being totaled. There may be some crying, but it will be caused by a combination of the coffee and the car—not the car alone.

Creamy, delicious coffee makes me happy. My kids mistakenly calling someone else mom out of trust makes me happy. Her name is Jennie and she rocks some serious socks. She makes my life easier than a fully functional vehicle.

Peeing alone makes me happy. And that isn’t a joke—hoping to relieve ourselves in private isn’t something us moms just made up so people would feel sorry for us. When you’ve experienced chubby little fingers struggling under the bathroom door while your pants are down, you’ll appreciate your privacy a bit more.

And then there is Spam. Growing up, waking up to Spam sizzling on the stove with Bob Barker’s voice echoing down the hallway was the pinnacle of my Saturday. I would jubilantly saunter down to breakfast with my oversized butterfly T-shirt, be dished my hearty serving of Spam and sit down to watch the “Price is Right.”

I have never cooked my own Spam, though. I don’t want it sliding out of its can to have a long-lasting effect on me. I am like those people who don’t want to know where their food comes from—except I can’t even watch it come out of the packaging. I just want to be handed my plate of Spam, pan fried and ready to eat.

And as a 90s kid, I am feeling all nostalgic over Spam because we feel nostalgic over everything. In fact, 90s nostalgia has been flooding my newsfeed lately. It’s probably because my fellow millennials and I are going through some pretty big changes right now. A lot of that “real world” stuff is here that rightfully got overlooked by Surge, Skip-It, Heads Up 7-Up, orange Nickelodeon VHS tapes and Mr. Feeny.

I wonder what I will be seeing and remembering 20 years from now. I can tell you it definitely won’t be my car.