When I opened my car door this morning to let my daughter in, an odor rolled out that momentarily took my breath away. The safest way to describe it would be Filthy Stank.
I used to keep a pretty clean car. Sure, I’d have the occasional crumpled receipt or coffee cup sitting in the drink holder, but nothing that lasted more than a couple days. I inherited my father’s love of a clean car, and I took pride in keeping it tidy.
My husband, on the other hand, has always kept a messy car. It often looks like a homeless person is living in there. Early in our relationship, he had a dirty blender in his trunk for over a year. The fact that he couldn’t be bothered to remove it, with who knows what kind of bacteria growing inside of it, was almost a deal breaker for me. What does this say about this man and how he will maintain our home? (Turns out it said quite a lot. Ahem.)
His trashy car used to drive me nuts, and I would constantly nag him to clean it. I remember one time he finally caved, and he filled two garbage bags with crap from the interior and trunk.
Fast forward to today, when my car is the primary shuttle for myself and our two kids, and holy hell have things changed. Preschool artwork litters the floor. Food is stuck between every seat. There are more articles of clothing scattered inside that car than in my closet. On any given day it smells like a combination of urine, spoiled milk, and what I can only assume must be a rotting cheese stick somewhere under a seat.
When I was working I at least tried to pick it up every now and then because I would occasionally drive coworkers to meetings. Nothing says ‘I’m a classy professional’ like apologizing to your supervisor for the pungent smell of piss, while issuing a stern warning to NOT touch the sticky spot on the middle seat.
I can’t even blame it all on the kids. My personal cleanliness standards have hit an unprecedented low. If you want to know what mama likes for snacks, come look at the floor of my car.
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” seems to be my mantra.
I pretend I’ll return to my cleanly ways some day when my kids are bigger. In the meantime I rest easy knowing if there is ever an emergency and we need to evacuate, I’m pretty sure I can feed a family of four for a week with the cheerios and fruit snacks under the seats. Just don’t eat any meat or cheese products. Those might kill you.