This morning I had to drop the Kia off at the dealership as it needed to be recalled for some specialised undercoating that needed to be applied. I wasn’t too bothered about the details, so long as it didn’t cost us any money.
I did pause for a moment as I was handing over the keys, to wonder if I should have tidied the car up a bit more. However this thought was only fleeting, because I had picked up the scattered receipts, wrappers, diet coke cans and lone, day-old banana peel stuffed in the side pocket. What more could they ask? As far as I was concerned they could ignore the scattered gym gear scattered all over the interior.
I love my vehicle I really do, but tidying it and washing it is not high on my agenda; besides my husband does a great job of it and really seems to enjoy it. Well that’s how I choose to look at it anyway. I do know the car would have been sparkling if it had been Andy dropping it off this morning. However I’m glad I didn’t bother because they washed it all the same.
When I was single I did try and look after my car, especially the new ones that I managed to procure in my mid 20’s. I even went so far as to check the tires and keep the oil topped up. I had to; there wasn’t anyone else who was going to look after my car for me. My dad barely looked after his own vehicle so he sure wasn’t going to take the time to sort mine out. I kept on top of servicing and made sure that whatever car I happened to own ran smoothly. I might have washed and vacuumed my car out about twice a year which seemed adequate enough for me. Besides, I did get better as my cars became newer and a bit more flash. Unlike my first car, a beat down little ford escort. The backseat of that looked like a garbage bin; I sometimes even managed to muster up the ability to feign sheepishness when I had to sweep the rubbish from one foot well to another so my friends could squeeze into the back seat.
Thinking of that little ford escort makes me think about my cousin Wayne. He was the one that test drove it for me because it was a standard and I didn’t have a clue how to drive it. I didn’t have a clue how to do a lot of tasks that are required when one becomes a car owner. For instance, I remember one very hot, summer’s day when I had the bright idea that not only would I wash my escort, but give it a good waxing to try and brighten its dull burgundy coat. No one ever told me how to wax a car, and they certainly didn’t tell me that you don’t spread the wax over the whole car, never mind on a day when the sun is out in full force. I tell myself now that I could probably have taken a few minutes to read the instructions that were likely right there on the label; not that I would have, the only labels I read in those days were the ones affixed to clothes and beer bottles.
So when it came time to finally take the wax off I was appalled. That stuff wasn’t moving. No matter how I wet it down or furiously scrubbed it, only a very small bit at a time was coming off. After 30 minutes of continuously scrubbing, only one small area of the hood was clear and not very shiny. I was exhausted. My mother had no answers for me. We didn’t have the internet in those days so I couldn’t use that as a reference, yet I knew there had to be some product I could get my hands on that would make getting the wax off easier. Because I wanted to know what I would need to look for at the store before driving a car that was covered in a grey film to town (humiliating enough), I did what I always did when it came to that car. I called my cousin Wayne, explained what I had done and asked him what I needed to use to get the wax off. I wasn’t best pleased when he started laughing and pointed out that I should never have covered the whole car all at once. I remember replying that I understood my mistake but would he please tell me what I needed to get it off. I was getting pretty fed up with it all. I was relieved when he finally answered that the only thing that was going to get the wax off was Elbow Grease. I then proceeded to ask him if I could buy it at Canadian Tire. Laugh if you must. Wayne sure did. To add injury to insult, he couldn’t come over and share his elbow grease with me as he was working on his own truck. It took me hours and I have never waxed a car since.
I find myself thinking of my cousin frequently today and will probably remind him of this story when I call him later to wish him a happy birthday.