It’s well documented that I drive to work. Occasionally, I have meetings first thing in the morning so I drive directly there and meet my work colleagues, who usually arrive by train or Luas. Then, the meeting ends and I obviously have to offer them a lift back to the office. At this time I love my cyclist colleagues most of all, they spare me the shame of accepting a lift and head off to their bikes.
It’s six years since I went back to work after my first maternity leave, so I have finally learned that I should
decontaminate clean my car before these meetings happen.
The learning moment happened when a colleague, dressed in a beautiful white silk outfit, went to open A REAR DOOR of my car to get in. I threw myself in front of her mumbling about Liga and raisins while trying to extricate the (possibly) clean fleece blanket from the boot at the same time. My other colleague who was coming along, dressed in darker, machine washable clothes, swooped in and requested to sit in the back. I loved her almost as much as the cyclists.
Because I drive the family car to work. The MPV. The Mammy-wagon. The car that brings three children on four-hour-journeys to visit Granny in Sligo. Journeys fuelled on raisins, breadsticks and juice, then biscuits and whatever else will keep them quiet from Longford onwards. (The kids, not the car).
It’s also the car I commute in, where I spend almost as much time each day as I spend in my bed. This means my car holds spare shoes, Vaseline, nuts, sunglasses. Stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.
This stuff does not reside in the roomy centre console. That’s where the chargers for our old phones and broken ones for our current ones are. And a plastic dinosaur, and some CDs. And that pen I couldn’t find.
This stuff and kid stuff are the reasons I should never, ever offer anyone a lift. At least without either cleaning it beforehand or getting them to sign a non-disclosure agreement. And maybe a waiver for the destruction of any valuable clothing items.
This might give you a better picture.
Things that are in my car right now
One almost empty packet of Rich Tea biscuits opened at Christmas (passenger door pocket)
1 packet of Extra chewing gum
1 hurling helmet
2 gumshields (in little plastic boxes)
1 buggy with rain-gear
Wellies x 3 kids’ pairs (muddy)
1 bottle of water (unopened)
3 bottles of water (empty)
1 school made snowman (I don’t remember ever seeing him before)
Shopping bags (lots, unless I’m going to the supermarket, then none)
1 opened packet of Haribo (out of reach when driving or it wouldn’t have survived)
No spare tyre (damned MPV)
Hiking boots (2 adult pairs)
70 odd squashed raisins (on floor, on seats, between seats, jamming the seat mechanisms)
3 pre-sucked partial Haribo jellies (stuck to floor, likely liberated from pack mentioned above but found to be the wrong colour)
Two high backed booster seats
One toddler car seat
One spare booster seat (just in case)
19 hair clips in various pastel shades
Wipes (for snots, bums and dust removal)
A variety of assorted stones from many beaches all over the country
The missing spare key of the house (yay)
My rain coat (under the buggy)
Many sticks that had to be brought home from walks
2 bags of “organic cheese snacks”
1 pack of nut and seed mix
12 children’s books (smug)
Random lumps of mud (hopefully it’s mud)
1 mini magna doodle
1 hat in the shape of a lion
1 pair of kids’ overalls
1 blue Power Ranger (the green one is missing)
2 baby dolls (one pink, one blue)
1 doll buggy
1 pink scooter
1 orange scooter
Spare work shoes
Coins (low value variety)
Fingerprints (everywhere, mostly sticky)
4 packets of tissues with 1 tissue used
A nappy bag (probably without nappies)
4 winter hats
3 gloves (none matching)
Not much room for any people, let alone extra people!
Dear Colleague, if you read this and I’ve given you a lift, please appreciate the effort, because obviously I’ll pretend that the car is a state and that I haven’t had a chance to clean it.
Tell me I’m not alone? Please?