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If The Van is Rockin'.....(.A Summer Story)

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. Once Memorial Day is over, spring gets pushed off the calendar. You can officially wear white, or bitch about how you are too fat to wear white. Or bikinis. Or shorts, for that matter. Or, you can be like one of these people and not care about fashion class at all - if it feels like summer, dress like summer, no matter what you look like in summer clothes.

I'm feeling all wistful and full of summer nostalgia today (even though it's only like 40 degrees outside); I have a novel length, picture filled post about summer rolling around in my head, but I haven't had enough coffee yet to get it all down. Instead, I'm going to share an old summer story with you. I call this one:


The summer between my junior and senior years in high school, I dated a guy I'll call Dave.

I dated Dave for a few weeks and while I wasn't falling in love with the guy, we enjoyed each other's company enough and had some good times together.

vantastic.jpgWe went to the beach a lot. I hated the beach, but sacrificed for Dave because he had this notion that he was a surfer dude and surfer dudes belonged with the sea and sand.

We drove to the beach each day in Dave's van. Now, this was the late 70's. Vans were all the rage. No, not Ford Econoline vans borrowed from your father's flooring business, but custom vans, the kind with beds and beaded curtains.

Dave loved his van as much as he loved the surf. Every Saturday he would go to the custom van shop and add something to his masterpiece; some new pinstriping, etchings on the windows, another mural.

One side of the van was dedicated to the Allman Brothers. The other side was dedicated to the beach. It was psychedelic, man. Like a car with tattoos.

The inside of the van was treated with even more reverence than the outside. The floor was carpeted and taken up mostly by a queen size mattress made pretty with a blanket crocheted in the twenty colors of the acid-trip rainbow. The beaded curtains separated the front of the van from the back, so whatever Dave's friends were doing to their girlfriends while Dave was driving them around remained private. There were velvet posters on the walls and a mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice. No, not really. But it was gaudily decorated in the sex-me-up theme so prevalent in that era.

So one day we arrive back home after a day at the beach and Dave turns around to me and says very nonchalantly:

I think we should stop seeing each other.
Excuse me?
I can't really date anyone right now.
Ok, that's cool and all, but umm...kind of out of nowhere?

Sure, my ego was crushed, but not for the reason you think. See, I had never had a guy break up with me. I was always the breaker-upper. I considered dating someone while still in high school more of a social activity than anything else. While all my friends were falling deeply, passionately in love at the age of 16, I was just looking for someone to hang out with. The idea of being in a committed relationship while still basically a kid seemed like a joke.

Anyhow, crushed ego.

Dave: Well, I have my reasons. And it's not because you don't put out.
Me: Dude, that mattress is skanky. I wouldn't lay down on that thing even if you promised me the moon. Which you did, by the way, and never followed through.
Dave: Yea, well. I didn't have a long enough ladder.
Me: So what's the deal then? Why are you dumping me?
Dave: I just don't think it's fair to you. I'm really devoted to my van. That's what I want to spend my money on and my time with.

Insert stifled giggle here.

Me: Your van? You are dumping me for your van?
Dave: Yes, I wanted to be honest with you about it. And fair.
Me: My god, your nobility is bringing tears to my eyes.
Dave: Do you always have to be so sarcastic?
Me: Yes.

So Dave dumped me for his van. I still hung out with him, though. Every Saturday I would go to Dave's house to check on the progress he was making with his wife/van. One day I got to his house and the van was gone.

Me: Where's the van?
Dave:I sold it to Keith?
Me: WHAT? How could you? I thought you loved that thing?
Dave: Barbara (his new girlfriend) said it was either her or the van.
Me: I guess Barbara puts out.
Dave: Yea.

Somewhere in there is a lesson.


[I stole the van graphic from this amazing van nostalgia site - anyone who owned or had a friend who owned one of these vans will really enjoy the stories and interviews here]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference If The Van is Rockin'.....(.A Summer Story):

» I Love You Like A Conversion Van. from Garfield Ridge
Michele over at A Small Victory has a wonderfully romantic story of an old boyfriend she calls Dave who dumped her because he loved his van more than he loved her. Very funny, and honest. Please note: I'm Dave, but [Read More]


Awesome story! But dumped for a van? Wowzers.

Todd actually dumped me once in college "to do manly things and spend more time with his dog".

Awwwwww...young love!

Thanks for the laugh, Michele.

(BTW, my favorite breakup line comes from the movie "Better Off Dead": "I really think it would be in my best intrests to be seen with someone more popular.")

...for the van. yeah, right.

That's a classic story.

Dumped for a van? Hey, Cy Young was once traded for a suit. How's that on the ego?

be nice WR, or I'll start telling stories.

dumped for a van? man, that's worse than getting dissed in the Malibu.

did he at least give you a pen?