Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Life on my own #16: Wax on, wax off

My dad has bugged me twice about winter’s onset and the necessity of waxing my car before its arrival. I responded both times: “I’m getting there. I have to wash it first, though, and ______ meeting/event is happing so I can’t wash it immediately.” Or something along those lines.

Finally, the weather and my work schedule cooperated for a favorable car-care day last week! I spent my mid-day break filling up the gas tank, inflating my tires to the proper pressure (a Boston road trip really takes it out of them), and purchasing a few things to wash the car. I didn’t even have a sponge anywhere in my apartment… but now I do! A big honkin’ one that’s practically the size of my arm!

I have never seen liquid wax before, though.

The wax I found at the dollar store was the same brand as I was used to, but came in a bottle, not a round green tub that resembled an oversized tuna can. I purchased the strange item anyway. Couldn’t hurt.

Between getting off work and covering the opening of a new wing in the local hospital, I took my new gigantic sponge and a bucket of nice warm soapy water and washed the car hood.

Then I had to go to that evening ribbon-cutting, where I met a nice endovascular (I think…) doctor who tried to explain to me the process by which he relieves certain types of chronic back pain. However, he speaks hospital-speak and I speak newspaper-speak. Have you ever tried to explain a rather technical subject, one you deal with daily, to a completely ignorant person whose technical jargon is entirely different from your own? You have? You and this poor doctor should commiserate. I don’t think I understood one sentence in ten that he said.

I returned to my simple task of car-washing after that befuddling encounter. Armed with gargantuan sponge, refilled water bucket, and kettle filled with non-soapy water for rinsing, I set to work, and soon had the car washed up. Even the top—that was no easy task, but fortunately the car’s small enough that I can reach across half the top if I stand in one of the doorjambs. (Doorjambs? Is that what you call it in a car?) Unfortunately, I also had car dripping all the water (soapy and non-soapy) onto the gravel driveway, creating a serviceable moat.

I toweled off some of the surfaces that were still wet, then retrieved this strange-looking bottled wax I’d purchased. It wasn’t even a green bottle! And it certainly didn’t look like a jumbo tuna tin.

Yet I was unfazed (or, only partly fazed). Pour a little onto the wax sponge-thing, rub the car in circles, add more wax when it looked like it  needed more—actually it wasn’t hard to use the liquid wax. Except that I kept dropping the wax applicator into the very muddy driveway. It rolled under the car once, too, requiring me to do my best to kneel onto the only patch that wasn’t covered in an inch of mud. It wasn’t covered in mud only because it was rather thick, raised gravel, thus inflicting a bit of pain onto my patella.

At least I hope that was my patella. Otherwise, I’ve forgotten everything I learned in anatomy five years ago. It’s a definite possibility. (How’s that for an illogical cliché?)

The neighbors, who also happen to be my pastor and his wife, came out to their back yard as I was half-finished with the waxing job, so I paused to chat over the fence. It’s a short picket fence, so I can see their faces, unlike the fence in Home Improvement. “Wow,” my pastor said. “You don’t see a girl waxing her own car very often.”

Well who waxes their cars, then, is what I want to know!

2 comments:

mafia said...

1: next time take me with you, I might be able to translate about 5 to 6 sentences in 10 that the endovascularist said...:-D

2: patella = knee cap; more likely to be tendons or muscles than the actual patella unless you kneel like v (only imagine one / longer and connected to the rest of your body). :-D

3: or maybe they don't see anybody waxing his/her own car much and the girl part was just appended on...

Sarah said...

1: Haha, that I should! He was talking about some procedure by which pain is reduced, though, so it sounded technical even by your standards.

2: Ok, ok, I should know better than to use medical terminology. :D Actually since I was trying to get under the car, and that was an awkward place to reach, it did feel like my kneecap. That's where it was worst anyway.

3: Nope, accent was definitely on the "girl" part. :P