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.
I 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.