We are a two-car family. My husband drives the sexy, little convertible and I drive the kid tank. I suppose it makes sense because he only uses his car to drive himself to and from the train station, whereas I use mine to drive the kids and a cast of thousands of their friends around all day. Naturally, I need a lot of space to carry tons of groceries to feed the kids and their thousands of friends. And of course, I need a big car so I have a reason to whine to my husband about the fact that he gets to drive a sexy little car and I have to drive a big kid tank.
Because he has a nice car, he keeps it immaculate. Because I have kids eating junk in my car all the time, my car routinely looks like an explosion happened inside a Frito-Lay factory. I really do try to keep it clean. I swear. But it seems that whenever my husband needs to drive my car, it’s usually right after the kids had an Olympic-sized food fight in the back seat.
“Oh my god, this is disgusting,” said my husband one day as he surveyed the wreckage in the second row. “I don’t understand how you can keep the house so clean and your car so gross.”
“I don’t understand how you can keep your car so clean and leave your socks on the floor in the house,” I responded defensively.
“There are crumbs on the back seat,” he said.
“There is a banana peel on your night table,” I shot back.
“There’s half a cup of coffee in the cupholder,” he announced.
“There is a pile of newspapers a foot high in the bedroom.”
“I haven’t read those yet,” he countered.
“Well, I didn’t finish that cup of coffee yet,” I said.
We stared each other down. It was a disgusto stand-off.
Now, in his defense, I know that he actually does try to pick up after himself. It is unfortunately just not in his gene pool to be neat. I think it actually takes two x’s on a chromosome to be aware that your dirty socks belong in the hamper, not on the floor. He has an x and a y, and that y, it seems, renders all dirty sock etiquette null and void. Conversely, without a y chromosome, I am genetically incapable of keeping my car clean. It’s like I always say… When in doubt, blame your DNA.
“OK, I’ll work on the car thing,” I finally said.
“I’ll try harder with the house,” he said.
We shook hands. I peered inside the car. “Wow, you’re right. It is pretty gross in here.”
“So…” I said. “Can I borrow your car?”