My mother is older, and from time to time she needs a ride somewhere. I love my mom, but I dread such occasions. I dread having anyone in my car. It’s alright if a person is in the back seat, but if someone is in the back seat that means that another person must be up front in the passenger’s seat. Having a person next to me sends my anxiety level through the roof. I have to constantly glance over to see if the person is invading my space.
So it happened this week. Mom and I took a short drive to a relative’s house, and I had to look every few seconds to see if she touched the gear shift, the radio buttons, the air vent – anything. I don’t know why I watch, though, because the outcome is always the same. The passenger might have touched something one of the seconds when I wasn’t looking. So I must sanitize the areas that might have been touched after the passenger leaves the car.
Sanitizing takes a few hours. Here’s why. I have to use my alcohol spray bottle to saturate the possibly affected areas; then I must leave it to dry. I have to allow it to dry because there are too many crevices that make wiping down impossible. During the summer everything dries in twenty to thirty minutes. Now, when the weather is cooler, I wait about an hour. Multiply by eight spray downs, and I have an all-day affair.
Yet this pales in comparison to taking my car to the shop. I take it in once a year for maintenance. At least that is scheduled and I can plan for it. I try to take it in on a Friday so that I have the entire weekend to clean it. An unplanned flat tire or breakdown it is monumental. These events are more traumatic because it involves a repair person sitting in MY seat and touching the steering wheel and everything else on my side of the car. The next time I take it in I will detail the process when it is fresh in my mind. It’s not just an all-day affair – it’s an all-day (or two day) job.