Washing the car

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I’m afraid to wash my car. On my list of neurotic behavior this is one of the most embarrassing; second only to being unable to sleep with the closet door open. This will be explained in a subsequent article.
I tend to overdo every task I undertake. By that I mean that despite my forgetfulness and breathtaking disorganization, I become obsessive when I determine to actually finish something; gardening in ridiculously hot weather being only one of a host of examples.  
A clean car must be immaculate inside and out. The windshield should have nary a spot. The grill must be bug free. The wheels should be clean enough to see ones’ reflection. No water spots are to be allowed on the surface; this also includes bird bombs. The interior must be pristine with a pleasant fragrance. These are my standards. However, my kids don’t see it in quite the same light.
I indulge this clean car fantasy for long as I am able. The painstaking results of my detailing lasts until I am required to taxi my children to one destination or another. Once that occurs, it’s back to the landfill! A tsunami of refuse gushes forth with each opening of the doors. Strange, sticky substances take up residence in the cup holders, French fries appear in unexpected places and every broken ear bud ever manufactured, appear in door pockets, beneath the seats, under the mats and, mysteriously, in my purse. I don’t use the things because I find them annoying. If I’m tethered with something, that something will most assuredly break. I simply cannot comprehend what it is about a clean car that my family finds so offensive.
Currently, I’m plotting my revenge. If I’m ever a passenger in the car of one of my children, and that child is fussy about the car, I’m going to have some fun. I’ll bring the drippiest, smelliest food imaginable and leave it in the door pocket. I’ll make sure to spill most of a sugar-infused drink in all the cup holders. I’ll hide something under each floor mat that will decay in a spectacular fashion. I’ll sabotage the vents with a particularly rank item to fill the air with each use. I’ll smear finger and nose prints on the windows. Finally, I’ll leave mangled, broken earbuds on and under each available surface. Take that!
The exterior of the car fares no better. Once I finish washing it, I return my accouterments to the garage, roll the hose back onto its caddy and move my car to a dry area. I step inside the house for a cold drink with the sun shining merrily overhead. I return outdoors to the most foreboding sky one can imagine. I check the forecast to find that the predicted fair weather has taken an unforeseen turn to the nasty side. Suddenly, severe thunderstorms with torrential rain and bowling ball-sized hail are imminent for my area. I watch with dismay as the storm of the century moves in to maroon my poor, clean car in a swamp, splatter the sides with mud, blow tree branches, dead leaves and leftover pollen onto the hood and roof. As I watch this slaughter, a lone tear slips down my cheek.
I’m lucid enough to recognize a lost cause when it’s staring me right in the eyes. I know that once the kids have moved into their own cars, I’ll manage to fill mine with my clutter and my own door pocket surprises. I’ll make a futile attempt at organization only to forget where I’ve placed the things I’ve organized. Vacuuming the floor will be pointless with a gravel driveway. Finally, large vehicles are useful to haul large, dirty objects. One day my son inquired as to why my car had hay on the ceiling. Apparently, even Mister Sticky Clutter has his standards.
When the day arrives and I am the only passenger in my car, I know that I’ll miss the mob. I will look back on the entire French fry laden, sticky-cup holder, nasty door pocket, strange smelling, refuse-laden maelstrom with fondness and realize that my drives will be a little too quiet. The mess in my car will be mine only and strangely sad. No more tattered ear buds will materialize out of the blue to plague me. I dread the arrival of this day. However, if my drives become too boring I may have a solution. I could release a few enraged cats into my car, take off on a drive and let the festivities commence!