Detailing

Several years ago, I bought a two-year old car from a newspaper ad.  When I took it for a test drive, I couldn’t believe how clean and nice the inside was.  It was like a brand-new car.  The young woman selling it was also very neat and tidy.  She seemed like the sort that kept a car immaculate.

German Shepherd in back seat of car - detailingI had a very large German Shepherd who shed like crazy and liked to get muddy.  And, dog or no dog, I’ve never had a car that stayed clean for more than two days.  During our test drive, I started apologizing to the seller.  I told her about the dog, who was not with me, and that the car would not stay clean.  She said “oh, I usually have a mess in the car too.  Don’t worry about that.”  I thought sure, your mess would consist of one empty coffee cup carefully placed in the cup holder and maybe an empty water bottle rolling around.  My dear, you don’t know a messy car!

I bought the car and assured her that I would put proper covers on all the seats and floor so the dog didn’t mess them up.  I wanted to tell her that, if I were her, I wouldn’t sell the car to me.  She just took my cheque and wished me well.

I had the car for a long time.  It was always a mess.  I learned there was something called car detailing.  My in-laws did it with a van they were trying to sell.  The van came back looking brand-new.  I was impressed but it didn’t look that much different to me.  Their vehicles were always clean and like new inside anyway.

Then my husband and I borrowed my mother-in-law’s car for a trip to the States.  Our dog went with us – another German Shepherd who shed a lot and got sick on the trip.  Two weeks in the vehicle with dog hair, dog food, dog medicine, fast-food crumbs and wrappers, coffee spills, smoke.   My husband said it will clean up, don’t worry.  I thought we’ll have to buy an identical car and swap them and never ever let her see this one again.

Back home, we took it to a detailer.  I thought for what cleaning that car would cost we probably would be better off buying another one.  Next day, we picked it up.  It was like a brand-new car.  And it cost less than $200.  Before we gave the car back to my mother-in-law, I would sneak up on it and jump in and sniff to see if I could smell any trace of anything.  Only new, clean car smell.  I looked in every nook and cranny – not a crumb to be found.  I was gobsmacked.

And then I knew why my neat tidy young woman didn’t mind selling her neat tidy car to a slob.  It may indeed have been a pigsty when she drove it.  But she’d had it detailed.  What a truly wonderful discovery that was for me.

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