A coming-of-middle-age tale told with warmth and wit, Dan Gets a Minivan provides the one thing every parent really needs: comic relief. Whether you’re a dude, a dad, or someone who’s married to either, fasten your seat belt and prepare to crack up.
The least hip citizen of Brooklyn, Dan Zevin has a working wife, two small children, a mother who visits each week to “help,” and an obese Labrador mutt who prefers to be driven rather than walked. How he got to this point is a bit of a blur. There was a wedding, and then there was a puppy. A home was purchased in New England. A wife was promoted and transferred to New York. A town house. A new baby boy. A new baby girl. A stay-at-home dad was born. A prescription for Xanax was filled. Gray hairs appeared; gray hairs fell out. Six years passed in six seconds. And then came the minivan.
Dan Zevin, master of “Seinfeld-ian nothingness” (Time), is trying his best to make the transition from couplehood to familyhood. Acclimating to the adult-oriented lifestyle has never been his strong suit, and this slice-of-midlife story chronicles the whole hilarious journey—from instituting date night to joining Costco; from touring Disneyland to recovering from knee surgery; from losing ambition to gaining perspective. Where it’s all heading is anyone’s guess, but, for Dan, suburbia’s calling—and his minivan has GPS.
The latest in a slew of books on fatherhood, Zevin offers the latest installment of his ongoing memoirs about having to be an adult (The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grown-Up). In a book that lacks the humor of his previous books, Zevin seems unaware of how unbelievably smug he sounds as he recounts the travails of moving his wife and two children from a neighborhood of "impossibly cool Brooklyn families" to one of suburban bliss: "big yard, two-car garage, and a neighborhood playground." This leads him to fill his memoir with vaguely updated observations on topics that were old when they first described life in 1950s suburbia: "Here's what date night is... the goal is to stay awake in each other's presence." But he sometimes does have a way of making trivial and mundane insights into a deep spiritual experience that demands to be shared with others. In one chapter, Zevin finds himself berating an "Aloof Hipster Dad" to accept that the hip attitude doesn't hide that "ou're just in over your head like the rest of us."
Dan has such a tremendous talent for perfectly capturing the milestones of growing up (reluctantly or otherwise) with humor & honesty. I absolutely loved this book! It came out just after I lost my own battle against getting a mini-van, & helped me grow to accept & even enjoy this new phase of life. :)