Dear Car Companies:
I know the past couple of years have been tough on you. On behalf of Moms, the consumer group responsible for over 80% of household spending, I’m here to let you know we want to help. We really do. But you’ve got to help us help you.
It is a well-documented fact, that Moms spend over half our waking hours (and a fair portion of our sleeping hours) in our cars. And let’s be honest, the current choices for “mom cars” just aren’t getting the job done. (The Ford Focus Station Wagon? Really?) Many of our needs have been woefully overlooked. We want a car that simplifies our lives, lends a helping hand, and last but certainly not least, a car that is not the automobile equivalent of Mom Jeans. (I’m talking to you, minivan makers.) We are still women, after all, and our desire to be practical should not have to come at the expense of our desire to look cool.
So here is a list of suggested features you should incorporate into cars if you want to pull yourself out of your slump and really start selling some cars:
- Fold down Makeup Mirror on front visor with LED light, replacing currently used Itty-Bitty Book light bulbs that makes us all look jaundiced. Upgrade option: automated programmable make-up artist who advises driver when she has lipstick on her teeth.
- Automated schedule control. A feature that allows her to input her daily schedule and will give her an itinerary and timeline of when she has to leave A to get to B in time to get C to D. Upgrade option: automated voice will yell at her kids to ‘hurry up and get buckled’ for her when she is in danger of being late.
- Hidden, pop-up coffee maker complete with settings for cappuccino, frappuccino, mochas, and macchiato. Eliminates need for pesky coffee shop stops that make her late, but still address her need for caffeine. Upgrade option: Offer scones, low-fat muffins, and fruit-n-yogurt parfait with auto-spoon feeding feature.
- GPS tracking link for pizza deliveries for dinner on the go. This feature allows delivery guy to find her while she is en-route and throw the pizza, frisbee-like, into her moving vehicle, cutting out the need to stop or even slow down.
- A central vac should be standard. Upgrade: tiny robots that clean the car overnight in the garage.
- A retractable divider shield, like they have in limousines, between the front seats and the rest of the car. This feature would be controllable only by the driver for those times when the kids are sleeping and she needs to make a call; when Radio Disney is threatening to make her head explode; or when she simply can’t bear to intervene in one more argument about who touched who first.
- A push button “Cool-Car” hologram feature. With a discreet push of a button, this would project the image of a cool car for others to see while she is driving. This feature will come in handy during those moments when she is stopped at a light next to a car full of young, stylish, unfettered people reminiscent of who she used to be. (This feature should come standard on all minivans.)
- Auto-sleep/Save Her Sanity feature. This will gently rock, soothe, and sing lullabies to crying or overtired passengers in order to get them to fall asleep. Upgrade: option to continue this feature even after the car is turned off so kids don’t wake up immediately upon returning home.
- Robotic snack dispenser and conveyor belt to pass out snacks, without Mom even having to take her eyes off the road.
- Extra loud automated message that comes on and says, “Don’t even think about it!” when a child unbuckles while the car is in motion.
- Pre-stain coating. This option would eliminate the “new car jitters” that result in a lot of yelling and ultimately, guilt and shame when the kids inevitably color all over the interior with a blue sharpie, drop their strawberry smoothie, and/or vomit in the vehicle.
- Validation of Life Choice Feature: An computerized voice (similar to the lady on GPS but without the condescending quasi-British accent) who tells her she looks beautiful, that her jokes are funny, and that she did the right thing by choosing to sacrifice her body, her sleep, and often, her education in order to basically become an unpaid chauffeur, chef, nurse, maid, and therapist.
We appreciate you taking the time to consider adding these features to your vehicles. Should you choose to implement even just a few of these ideas, I am confident that word will spread quickly through our super-secret Mom network, and we will take you out of the current economic time-out you’ve been in.