Detergent, defeat … and redemption.

I have the cleanest spare tire in all the land!

That is the only silver lining I could find, and I’m going to stick with it.

I bought a bottle of laundry detergent at Target. And then, like a fool, I put it in the trunk of my car. When I went to unload my bounty of cleaning supplies, paper towels, and trail mix, I found that the detergent and fallen on its side … and the cap hadn’t been secure. The trunk of my car was soggy with Seventh Generation Free & Clear.

Now, I got a new car a few months ago. I traded in my grey ’03 Honda Accord for … a grey ’17 Honda Accord. I keep my stuff nice, so that ’03 was in great shape. But finally having a new car has put me on high alert. No, I will not be parking by that hoopty that screams, “Free door dings.” And I won’t be hauling mulch in this car anytime soon.

But failed to see the danger of detergent. Oh, the detergent.

It got on everything. I will spare you the details, but here are the low points:

  • The detergent soaked the carpet in the trunk and dripped down into the compartment with the spare.
  • Liquid detergent is sticky and hard to clean. If you Google it, the results are basically, “Dude, you are fucked.”
  • I ended up with my ice scraper, all my reusable shopping bags, and my ancient-yet-beloved suede messenger bag drying in my bathtub. It took forever to rinse them off.
  • I sopped the detergent out of the carpet using two rolls of paper towels. It was not the most ecologically friendly option, but I was desperate and mired in defeat.

All told, that’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back. At the end of it, I found myself, wine in totally dry and chapped hand, watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

My Guy suggested we go out to eat. He is smart like that and also probably feared my wrath.

At the Mexican restaurant, I decided to continue my run of imbibing moderately priced white wine. Yes, I know Mexican restaurants aren’t known for their stellar wine selections. I didn’t care. I ordered a class of pinot grigio. The waitress clearly was not prepared for such a non-tequila-based request, but she scribbled something on her notepad. Then, she asked to see ID.

It was my turn to be totally unprepared. I dug my wallet out of the very bottom of my purse, figuring she’d been instructed to card all the people all the time. She apologized as I handed her my ID. And then she started laughing.

“Oh my god! Oh my god!” she said. “I don’t believe it! You’re older than my mom!”


“Your skin – how do you get it to look like that?”

And then? Then I rose above my station in life. No longer was I the shrew who’d been hunched over the trunk of her car for hours, bemoaning the roving packs of young ruffians who were obviously loosening the lids on bottles of detergent merely for sport. No. I morphed into a gracious, gorgeous woman, ready to lead youth onto the righteous path of proper skincare.

My Guy jumped in first. “She moisturizes like 17 times a day.”

I eyed him, them turned to the waitress. “You are so kind. All it is is sunscreen. Use sunscreen every day.”

She looked at My Guy. “And moisturize? I should get some moisturizer?”

She was all of 20 years old, if that. “A moisturizer that has a sunscreen in it will treat you right,” I said in my effervescent, naturally gorgeous way. I did not mention my recent realization that my skin looks good because I have a fat face.

The waitress put her hand to the soft spot between her chin and her check. “I’m already noticing changes and I don’t like any of it!”

Now, here, admittedly, I got a little “Oh, honey, get used to it.” But she thanked me for the advice and went off to get our drinks. I tried to convince My Guy that we should adopt her.

Later, she approached the table apologetically, with urging from another waiter. “Umm, I’m sorry, but we don’t have pinot grigio. But we do have chardonnay … or merlot.” She pronounced the latter as it really should be pronounced: mer-LOT.

I smiled and said the chardonnay would be fine.

After she left, My Guy and I smiled at each other. “I love her,” I said.

He shook his head. “We can’t take her home. But we’re going to have to tip her sooooooo much.”

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  • Reply Ernie January 29, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    This is hilarious!!!! I can't stop smiling . . . I hope that won't cause wrinkles. I suppose I should ask you whether or not it is safe to smile, since you are the keeper of good skin. I recently started (I don't know that I will ever finish) organizing the closet in my study where we keep all of our photos. I stumbled upon a few head-shots of me from when I worked in a school. It wasn't that long ago, but I was STRUCK (as in someone hit me in the face with a shovel) by how young I looked. Boo hoo to aging. (I am not good with sunscreen. There I said it, so now you know who you are dealing with. Guessing I don't deserve much sympathy).

    Such a bummer about the detergent. What a mess!!!! And in the NEW car!!! NO!!!!!

  • Reply Leesa January 29, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    At least it was detergent (not a gallon of milk or an economy size of Mrs. Butterworth), so now you have the ‘just laundered’ smell. Those pods are sounding more and more appealing, aren’t they?

  • Reply Becky January 29, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    I once cleaned up spilled detergent for a friend (long story) and yeah, it's quite the task. However, having once had a dozen eggs break in the trunk of my car, I'd say your car got the better deal.

    Moisturizer with sunscreen makes me break out, which also helps to keep me young looking! Or so I think.

  • Reply Andrea February 7, 2018 at 12:29 am

    I sympathize with your detergent drama-hopefully it smells better than when I smashed 2 glass bottles of milk in the back of my car…in the summer heat!

    New favorite restaurant!!!!

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) March 13, 2018 at 4:37 am

    Never have I been told I have young-looking skin. **slinks off to moisturize**

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