For someone so detailed oriented, I really don’t pay attention to what most people consider to be “important” things, like having proper air in your tires, or windshield wipers that work. It’s not that I’m irresponsible, I just don’t pay attention. If you were to ask me to describe the questionable man I caught sitting in his car at 11 o’clock on a Thursday night while my friend Lori and I walking through the parking lot home, I could tell you. He was in an evergreen jeep meets SUV type vehicle, the kind that owners refer to as a “truck”, but really has no business borrowing the name from the bad boys with beds and sometimes cabs included. He was wearing a black shirt with a dark zip-up hoodie left half opened. He had a longer face, sagging with extra weight. He by no means was a small guy. Had I been by myself I would have never noticed him sitting there watching people, I would have been on the phone talking with Matthew or my mom, or heading to check the mail while planning dinner.
Winter necessities like a shovel and a decent snow brush with ice scrapper are things I just never thought to have. Sometime last year when I could still walk to work (before I changed jobs and zip codes) someone gave me a dinky plastic snow brush after watching my push the snow off my car with my gloves, making me realize that my good snow brush had been left in the car I had given to my mom. This winter, while in a home supply store on my way to the registers, purchasing paint for the bathroom on more or less of a whim, I passed by the aisle with shovels and other such handy tools. After making it through last year with no shovel and a dinky snow brush I figured I deserved the upgrade to a fancy black and yellow shovel, on sale for $13, and my dinky little snow brush, valued at best $1.
Having owned my shovel since January I am confident that I’ve used it twice, at most, once at home, the other time at work. The morning maintenance man had been very busy cleaning up other areas, so I unloaded my shovel (kept always in my trunk – imagine how scared I was when it started bumping around and I had forgotten I owned a shovel) and went to work clearing a path, the five wooden stairs to my office, and the little landing in front of the door. Other than that my shovel resides comfortable on top of the two frozen solid cases of water used as both emergency weapons and weight to prevent my car, Linus, from fishtailing. A few weeks back, on a Monday morning, I had been quickly clearing off my car when my neighbor pulled in to her spot, and my snow brush snapped in half. Since I was already delayed longer than I had anticipated, and was determined to get coffee before work, I threw the plastic handle into the car, laced my fingers (yes, they were bare) through the top half of the brush with the bristles still intact and ended up half pushing/half brushing the snow off Linus. My neighbor, who had returned from her weekend away at the boyfriend’s saw me and handed me the scythe (for people who weren’t obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer go catch up) of snow cleaners. She had been staying in for the remainder of the day and told me to hang on to it, and when I left work I cleaned my car and my supervisor’s windshield with that bad boy. Unfortunately, as the day ended so did my time with the best snow cleaner ever, and before I went home I returned it back to my neighbor.
A few Thursdays ago, we had a snow day at work. After sleeping in for a little bit, which for me usually means until 9 am, sometimes if I’m really wiped, 10:30 am. When I looked out to check out this snow accumulation to find that not only did it look pretty decent out, my car had been cleared off. Long stroke marks were visible where snow had started layering this was clearly something my dinky snow brush was no capable of producing. I texted Lori, who aside from being my friend, is also my neighbor, and thanked her for cleaning off my car. Lori had also home due to the inclement weather, but since she had been dog sitting she had to venture out in the snow to walk the adorable doggy, which is why she texted me back to not go outside, it had been so icy she ate it, twice, and that she hadn’t cleaned of my car. I updated my boyfriend on the strange car cleaning incident, which he quickly solved by saying I had a secret admirer (and he thinks I’m the weirdo).
Since I clearly wasn’t making it to the gym, with better reasoning than usual, I dropped down and attempted some crunches. Five minutes later and ten different styles of crunches “completed”, I popped up and checked the snow status. There was a good covering on the ground and a fair dusting over my car. Snow days, like my mental health days (the last one of which occurred sophomore year of college when I had mono and didn’t know) consist of sitting on my chaise, also known as my royal throne (not to be confused with my duo nightlight and heated toilet seat) writing, eating, and watching reruns of the best worst television featuring waitresses and waiters or wealthy women in popular cities gallivanting like jackasses. This snow day was no different. After numbing my brain, editing, and munching for countless hours I peeked outside to see how the snow was falling, to my surprise my car had been fully cleaned off for a second time that day.
Being someone who loves writing both fiction and real life stories, I tend to have an overactive imagination. Naturally when my car has been cleaned off twice in one day, and I hadn’t heard from Matthew in a few hours, the obvious conclusion for me is that my boyfriend must be surprising me. The first time my car had been cleared of snow that day I had chalked it up to a Good Samaritan on the loose. The second time though, I really believed that Matthew had cleaned off Linus and was sneaking around the back of the building with a hot caramel latte or a large pumpkin coffee (or dark roast if they were out of pumpkin). The next obvious move was to call him and ruin any type of surprise he might have been planning, even though I damn well knew that he would be working his sexy ass off 50 minutes south west from my house. Shockingly and disappointedly I had been right, Matthew was hard at work and I was completely clueless as to who had cleaned off my car not once, but twice that day.
To whomever it was: thank you!