My husband knows everything about cars. It’s like this weird gift he has. All he has to do is hear one “off” sound that a car makes and he knows exactly what the problem is. He can take a quick glance at a car as it whizzes by at 80mph going in the opposite direction on the other side of the highway and not only tell you the make and model, but also the exact year the car was made. He really, really understands cars. All cars. Except mine. He doesn’t understand my car at all. Or, more to the point, he doesn’t understand the interior of my car. He doesn’t get how it can possibly be so messy. He doesn’t understand at all how there can be so many crumbs, french fries, and random snacks lying around my car that I could conservatively feed a small family for a month or more.
I can vividly recall a story I read once about a woman whose car went down an embankment, flipped over or something, and then was camouflaged in the brush so that the search parties couldn’t find her. And she was there for like a week! The only way she survived was by eating snow. Aside from the fact that she probably lost a ton of weight and could fit into her skinny jeans by the time she was rescued, it was probably nightmarish having nothing good to eat or drink while she hung upside down in her little hidden car waiting for someone to spot her and get her a sandwich. That would never happen in my car. My car is basically a survival kit on wheels. If we were to be traveling at a high rate of speed, around a hairpin turn, over sheets of black ice unseen to the naked eye; and then we plunged down a steep hill coming to a gentle stop, hidden in the tall underbrush… we would be fine. We may be a little bit dazed by the unexpected plunge, but we would basically have all the comforts of home right there in our car. First, for some strange reason, there tend to be clothes just strewn about my car. This is a mystery to me as we all enter the car fully clothed, and exit the car fully clothed. But none the less, we could be stranded in a ravine for days and never wear the same thing twice. In the way, way back of my car you can find cleats in various sizes, as well as soccer balls, footballs, and a baseball or two. If we are able to jimmy the car door open and squeeze out of the vehicle we could clear off a nice spot, set up goal lines, assign teams, and play a rousing game of catch while we wait for our rescuers. And if we were to work up a sweat with all our rambunctious play there are always plenty of drinks stashed willy nilly throughout my car. Not just one choice of drink either. There would be no “we just have one bottle of water everyone so use the cap as your drinking cup and lets ration.” No chance of that. It would be more like, “okay, let’s see everyone, we have waters, juice bags, iced tea…whoa whoa, no need to shove, there’s plenty to go around.” Once there was even a fork on the floor of my car. A fork! Why was it there? I don’t even know. But if we are trapped at least we can all take turns with the fork and eat the crumbs civilly. No need to act like animals. We don’t have a DVD player in my car, but if we did we’d be golden because over my visor I have a Redbox movie that I was supposed to return 5 days ago. You’ll even find books to read, and if you want to draw pictures to pass the time I happen to know for a fact that there is a giant orange and blue magic marker rolling around back there somewhere that we “borrowed” last week from my cousin Sharon’s house. (see exhibit A)
So, yes, my messy car may be incomprehensible to my husband, people without kids, and (when its really bad) possibly even the local board of health. But when I see a fellow parent open the back door of their car and I spot the crackers ground into their rug, well…it brings a little tear of joy to my eye. We are united in a solidarity that some people will just never understand. Fist pump.