Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Messy ol’ men and their driving machines

How is it that a man can wear the same nasty-ratty-spotted t-shirt or jeans for days on end without being troubled, but the minute he sees a energy bar wrapper on the floorboard of a car or a spot on the interior windshield he winces in pain at the sight of it?  How does that same man, who normally utters monosyllabic grunts in your general direction about most things, suddenly becomes the nutty professor of a lecture series on clean driving machines?  “Hey, laaaaady!  Look at this!  Look at this!  Why is it that you haven’t ever managed to keep a vehicle clean?”  Really, honey?  You, the multi-decade record holder of most dirty socks gathered on a bedroom floor – done perhaps as a deterrent to burglars, who’ll mistake our home for having been already ransacked by the looks of things?


Sorry to snipe, but I just can’t figure out how men can get so upset over a harmless wrapper or two in a car, yet ignore their own personal hygiene or the growing mess around their caves for extended periods of time.  Maybe it’s because of the old wive’s tale about a car being a man’s extension of himself (and you can be pretty sure it was an ol’ wife who came up with that analogy the minute the first Ford Tin Lizzie was used as mid-life babe bait).


Whatever it is, I wish there were a bit more room for compromise on the subject.  I tried to make an effort to keep my car clean by puting a cute little girly garbage can in my mommy-mobile, but apparently I don’t empty it quickly enough for the satisfaction of some, who just love to point out how full it’s getting, even if it’s half-empty, (as I like to see the world).


Keeping the outside of my car shiny is a much easier task, what with those handy, dandy drip n’ dry drive through gas station carwash machines.  The inside of my car, well that's not so easy to keep clean.  Maybe I resent all of the time I spent in my car, so I don’t have the same reverence for it.  Every mom I know with kids under the age of 18 is constantly called upon to use their vehicle as a taxi / diner / locker room / art studio / therapist’s office / etc. and that requires snacks, beverages, clothing, craft supplies, kleenex, bandaids and a whole lot more to keep the whole operation running smoothly.  Plus, it's not always easy to simply maneuver the rolling beast from point A to point B.  Sometimes there is aimless meandering done in the course of a day and that requires more time spent in the bucket seat and the occasional Tiger’s Milk Bar (hence the above-mentioned wrappers) to keep a gal going.


No, my car can’t remain spotless and I sort of like it that way.  I have news for you, that “dirty” car of mine is going to save lives if there’s ever a disaster of any kind.  The kids and I will be able to live a week or more with our emergency snack pack, first aid kit, entertaining distractions and blankets (yes, I admit – I nap in the car when I’m trapped waiting for a kid at sports / choir / countless other forms of practice).  I can picture us now, stranded on the highway somewhere having a good old time, partaking of food and beverage, playing games and singing songs all the while smiling politely at the poor man wasting away next to us, in his surgically clean, highly polished chick magnet.  Poor guy, if only he’d had the good sense to drop a candy wrapper now and then.

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