Not long ago, I found myself living in a house inhabited by two entities: those who thought we needed a pick-up truck, and those who didn't.
It's an age-old dilemma faced by families from Alabama to Wyoming. To truck or not to truck? That is the question.
We had a truck years ago, back in our life BC (before children). After our daughter came along, we traded it in for a minivan. I never looked back. I can't say the same for my husband.
He is quick to point out a pick-up truck affords one many advantages and perks over a minivan. A proud truck owner can cruise into the local home improvement store at any hour of the day and grab a bunch of two-by-fours or that new toilet his wife's been eyeing. Home improvement projects are a breeze when you own a truck.
He adds that weather is no match for a truck. A truck can barrel through snow and sleet, rain and fog. It can get the kiddies to school during a blizzard. It doesn't matter if you're a butcher, baker, banker or builder, during inclement weather, everyone benefits from owning a truck.
Need to move a load of firewood? Not a problem for a truck. Ditto that for new furniture. And trips to the dump? They're an effortless joy from behind the wheel of your truck.
You can transport your four-wheeler in the back of your truck. (Once you get a truck, the next logical step is a four-wheeler.) The same goes for a boat and Jet Ski and snowmobile and oh, the list goes on. When you think about it, a truck is useful year 'round. It can pull and transport all sorts of toys, which of course you want and need, after you get your truck.
People who own trucks get to talk about things like torque, bed liners, and Hemis. They get to ask questions like "What's your payload capacity?" and "How's she do in the woods?"
Truck ownership certainly has plenty of benefits. My husband notes the disadvantages pale in comparison. I'm sure you'll agree.
Who cares if you can't fit your whole family into the cab? That's why toppers were invented.
As for the folks who claim trucks are gas-guzzlers, any proud truck owner understands priorities. Hauling a new toilet for your wife, or a few extra bucks in your wallet - the choice is obvious.
Some people think trucks are road hogs. Big. Not easy to drive or fit into your garage or a regular parking space at the grocery store. For a happy truck owner it again comes down to priorities. Something's got to give when a truck is supplying you and your entire family with so much.
Trucks are tough. Even their names sound robust. You've got your Toyota Tundra (Brrr!), and your Dodge Ram (Grrr!). For years, Chevrolet claimed their trucks were "Like a rock." We all know nothing beats a rock (except maybe paper). Ford plays it straight, saying their vehicles are "Built Ford tough."
There's that word again - tough. I've noticed tough and truck are often paired. Both begin with the letter T, as does, I'm sure you're aware, the word testosterone. Coincidence? I think not.
A truck may be ideal for practical things like bringing loads to the dump or getting to school in a snowstorm, but don't kid yourself. The real reason God invented trucks is because they are cool. Trucks are high up off the ground and hard to climb into. When you ride around in a truck you can look down at all the little guys in their minivans and think, "I bet he wishes he had a truck."
And you know what? I bet he does.
But, not at my house. After weeks of discussion I was finally swayed to the dark side when my husband, armed with a tape measure, assured me a truck really would fit into our garage after all. He was right. It fits quite nicely - right next to my new minivan.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" You can read more columns at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.