So this evening I took it upon myself to finish the project I started yesterday.
Yesterday evening I got a wild hair to clean the minivan, Moby Titanic. It had been a while and the filth level was teetering on the brink of acceptable levels of sloth. It’s one thing to say, “Oh dear, sorry about the mess, you know how it is with kids” to the poor co-worker who has been forced to hitch a ride to lunch with you, as you toss a few library books and a stray sandal into the back seat. It’s quite another to say, “Oh, you’re riding with me? Give me about ten minutes to stuff all the crap into the stow-and-go compartments and hang half a dozen Little Tree air fresheners to hide the smell of moldering graham crackers and despair.”
And so it came to pass that I spent a carefree ninety minutes clearing away various bits of domestic detritus from the van’s interior, vacuuming every last crevice and cleaning various of the grimier bits with spray cleaner.
It was during this time that I spied something between the front passenger seat and the mini-console next to it, something that I had long since given up for lost: my car keys. They disappeared around New Year’s, because the last few days before you get married are obviously the ideal time for your keys to come up missing. Evidently they had fallen there at some point during the frenzy of preparation or possibly the night we went to the drag show where I had a certain number of adult beverages, numbering perhaps three. For me this is something like depravity. Don’t judge. Anyway, a stray Home Depot receipt or similar had then fallen atop them, concealing them completely from view in the narrow dark little space.
So this means that for seven months we drove my keys around, wondering all the while where they could possible have gotten away to.
I didn’t have time to wash the van’s exterior what with all the OCD detailing and lost-keyring-finding exultation going on, so this evening I fired up the garden hose and went to town on that thing. It turns out that beneath the crusty layer of filth, it’s a fairly nice white minivan that we have.
My nine-year-old joined me in this which is to say that she pranced around with a soapy washrag taking swipes here and there at random locations on the van and then entreating me to spray her with the hose. I
enthusiastically reluctantly agreed and thus was she soaked to the point of drippy saturation. When she wanted to go in the house a bit later I got her a towel and brought her around to the back door so she could strip down out of view of the neighbors. If we let her drip all over the newly-installed floors our handyman would probably kill me on sight.
My kid is what you could call an enthusiastic nudist, charmingly free of self-consciousness and all too ready to get naked whenever the occasion calls for it. In another year or two this might become cause for alarm but for now it’s just the exuberant innocence of youth and I for one applaud it.
The Lovely Rhonda might have applauded it also up to tonight, but maybe not so much any longer.
I am not sure what in the world caused me to say it but my mouth opened and words came out: “Hey Delia, I dare you to go over and press your naked butt up to the patio door.”
Perhaps it was that I remembered seeing a perfect print of her nose and mouth to the glass surface of one of the French doors a couple of days ago, and perhaps also it was that I possessed the knowledge that TLR was seated at her desk just on the other side of the doors.
Very possibly it was just the whispered voice of mischief keeping me from getting too close to sainthood. Nobody likes a goody-goody.
My child doth not disappoint. She raced over to the door and gave it the full moon, laughing and grinning like the juvenile delinquent that I am evidently raising her to be.
I am sorry to say that I then dared her to wave it back and forth, which she did. At this point TLR came over to the doors and under pretense of unlocking them, lowered the blinds in each one without a word and then yelled through the closed doors that she would never be able to get that sight out of her mind.
I laughed until I cried. Eventually she let us in.
I am still laughing. I am a terrible person.