For as long as I can remember my dad has ALWAYS been a clean freak.
Hey! MY dad was a clean freak… I am not exaggerating when I say he took three showers a day. He ALWAYS smelled of Aqua Vela…..always dressed to the “Nines”.. I think he wore a suit and tie to throw out the trash. Bottom line… I get it honestly!
Seriously, growing up we could literally eat off the kitchen floors, heck, we could eat off the garage floor. Not that we did , because that would be weird, but we could have if needed to. As we grew up, had our own place, when we knew he was coming for a visit, the entire house gets scrubbed down with bleach, Lysol, vacuuming, professional carpet cleaning, you get the point.
My wonderful daughter neglects to inform you that I am also allergic to cats, dogs and dust. If I get around them, I look like I went nine rounds with Muhammad Ali and he beat the living crap out of me. Eyes closed shut, swollen…. You get the picture!
Of course he would never criticize (openly), but we knew how he likes everything. Clean, extra clean, again, remember the kitchen floor and garage. As if that was not bad enough, he carried this weirdness ocd compulsion to his car, AKA "DAD'S CAR" (dun dun dun duuuun) Now there are two things that are pretty funny about this.
1. He was MORE obsessed with having a clean car than a clean house (and I already explained how he was with the house)
2. His clean car ocd compulsion did NOT carry over to mom's car.
We could not eat, drink, or even sleep in "DAD'S CAR" (for fear that us kids would either spill or drool on the precious seats). None of us were allowed in "DAD'S CAR" till he inspected the bottom of our shoes, and god forbid there was anything on our shoes, we would have to go back inside and change....this went for mom as well. Mom's car somehow got a free pass. It was her car that we would take to the beach, park, pretty much anything that involved the possibility of dirt, in any way shape or form,that is where Mom's car came in. We rode around alot in her car because of this craziness.
Geez… again my daughter neglects to mention that the jobs I had required me to practically LIVE in my car! It had to be clean, right? Cars were a big thing to me: the cleanest ,“baddest” car on the block was something to be proud of. I never had the “baddest” car… but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have the cleanest!! Oh, and did I mention that my dad always had a spotless car. Always shined and buffed… the interior and the exterior. How could one “cruise” listening to the great songs of the 60’s with a dirty car… I mean… come on!
However, there was an occasion or two where we "had" to take "DAD'S CAR", and if memory serves me correctly, us kids had to sign some type of waiver (in blood) stating that if anything should happen to "DAD'S CAR", he would take away one of our toys.
There was never a waiver… only threats.
"Daddy, can I have a piece of gum?"
Again, a bit of an exaggeration…. Gum was allowed… but no falling asleep with the chance that the gum would somehow exit the mouth onto a seat!
One cold December morning found us on a family outing to the local Farmers Market. This particular market was not your normal stop and shop market. It was an all day adventure. You had all the fruit and vegetable stands, along with different little shops. There was on shop in particular that I loved. It had different themed Christmas trees, Victorian, Country, candy,food,silver and blue, pink and silver, red and green (my favorite). There was also a candy shop. The candy shop was the highlight of this trip for me. As usual, everyone had a great time, our very last stop at the Farmers Market was always the candy shop where The Parents allowed us to pick out our own lollipop. This was not your average lollipop, these were the ones that were as big as your head. Just another one of many Ortolano traditions. However,we were NEVER allowed to eat the lollipops in "DAD'S CAR". Oh no no no no no. We could either save it till we got home, or eat it while still at the Farmers Market.......just as long as we had plenty of napkins and wipes to clean our sticky hands with.
Sticky, large lollipops in the car??? That is just not right! Especially with two sisters that took pleasure in putting those sticky, wet lollipops into each other’s hair!! Lollipops in the car?? Forgedabouit!!! Oh, and another point; please ask Jennifer about her amazing ability to fall asleep while eating!!!
On this particular trip, I had made the decision to eat my lollipop while still at the Farmers Market, but I kinda had to devour it because we were getting ready to leave, and under no circumstance was an opened lollipop allowed in "DAD'S CAR". Everything was going fine, we had a great day, we each had our lollipop (although my sister opted to eat hers at home). The Parents picked up some more Christmas decorations, and we were now on our way back home.
And then something went terribly wrong.
"My tummy hurts"
Words of terror!!! Those words always meat that Mount St Helen's was about to erupt! There
was not time to react! When the infamous words escaped Jens lips: “My tummy Hurts”, you were as good as dead.
As I briefly touched on in the first paragraph, car sickness was nothing new to me. I have always had a very sensitive stomach, especially driving long distances, but our trip to the Farmers Market was not at all "that" long. I was not prepared for this. I tried to think about anything and everything, whatever it took to get me to stop thinking about how my tummy hurts. It did not work.
I saw panic in The Parents eyes. We were driving 60 miles an hour on the highway, I knew there was no time to pull over, I knew it was only a matter of seconds before it was going to hit me. I was going to throw up.
"I don't feel so good"
There goes that panic look again between The Parents. I heard them whispering to each other, and despite how nosey I was, I did not even feel like trying to figure out what they were saying. My sister was sitting as far away from me as she could, any further away she would be outside on the road. Her hand was on her mouth and ears, she was no fool,she knew what was about to take place.
More moving around up there in the front seat, and then, then, what? What is this, I had mom's empty purse on my lap. Huh?
What to do??!!! 60 miles an hour! No shoulder on the road…. No place to stop!!!
Me: “Rhonda!! Give her your purse!!”
Rhonda: “are you crazy?”
Me: “No !!! Dump your purse! Quick!!! Let her throw up in your purse!!! HURRY!!!!!”
"If you feel like you are going to throw up use the purse, do not throw up in DAD'S CAR"
Well,I guess that is all I needed. I needed the "okay" to let it all out, and boy did I.......in my mother's purse.
While I was throwing my insides up, Dad had somehow manages to pull over to the side of the road, once that he saw I was okay, and finished doing my thang, he made sure "DAD'S CAR" was not ruined. All was good, kind of.
Saved!!! The purse saved the day and the car!!! It was just large enough!! Thanks Rhonda for buying a nice sized purse, one never knows right? Nothing on the car!!! It’s all in the purse! YEA!!!!
The Parents left the purse on the side of the road for some poor schmuck to find. I would love to be a fly on the wall when said schmuck found that purse.
Well, what the hell was I supposed to do with it? I had a very nice purse full of vomit. I was not going to ride home with it, right? Why would one ride around with a purse filled with vomit?? ( The aroma was not all that pleasant) Leaving it on the side of the rode made perfect sense. Besides, the sadistic side of me imagined the right dope coming along and saying; Hey man, someone lost a purse!! I’m gonna grab that and see what’s in there. Ha ha ha ha ha ….(evil, eh?)
So we are back on the road, headed home. Some old school AC/DC was playing on the radio, my sister and I were singing along "Dirty deeds done dirt cheap" and then it happened. Without any warning, maybe 5 minutes away from home, I threw up again, and again, and again, and, this time,there was no purse. I had no choice but to let it all go on the floorboard of "DAD'S CAR".
Whenever I hear AC/DC sing Dirty Deeds… I think of my two lovely girls… and I think of Jennifer exploding all over MY CAR!!!!!
Once again, The Parents made sure I was okay, all the while Dad hit about 75 miles per hour trying to make it home before anymore damage was done to "DAD'S CAR". Yeah, right. Little did he know there was plenty of damage, right there on the floor board of the back seat. I better not be grounded for this.
Got to get home!! Fast .. I have to clean this car out!! My God, the smell… I’m gonna die!! My seats!!! Oh lord how am I gonna clean this out!!! There is so much back there!! How can one little girl throw-up SO MUCH!!!! And in MY CAR!!!!!
Me: Open the windows!!!
Rhonda: What? It’s 20 degrees out there!
Me: I don’t care !! Open the windows!!!
We get home a whopping 3 minutes later, my sister jumps out of the car before it even comes to a full stop, I try to maneuver my way through all the vomit that was on the floor, the back seat, and now me. Mom rushed me inside, being extra careful of the carpet and walls (which she was just as obsessed with, but more on that later) and Dad, well Dad went straight for the garden hose, in 3o degree weather. You can see where this is going can't you?
The hose!! I have to get the hose! I hope the damned thing is not frozen!!!
Ah!! not frozen! Good .. now just turn it on and hose out the entire car!
Oh NO!!! the water is freezing solid when it hits the seats!! I HAVE FROZEN VOMIT ALL OVER MY CAR!!! AGAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
I jumped into the bath, put some nice clean fresh smelling clothes on, following mom's (very strict) directions I took the dirty clothes to the washer and then made my way outside to where The Parents were hosing down the car with frozen water. I think this was one of very few times I had actually heard Dad cuss. Not at me mind you, I mean I was just a poor Innocent sick little girl in all this. If anything I probably earned some extra points because my stomach is so sensitive, but still, he just had to get "DAD'S CAR" all clean and fresh smelling again. Yeah, I mean have been young, but even I knew this was no small feat.
Six weeks…… it took six weeks to finally get that car back in shape. I had to scrape frozen vomit off my seats with a knife!!!! And the aroma!!!! I poured more air fresheners’ into that car than one would find at a funeral home!!
To this day… it I hear the words, “my tummy hurts”, I have a panic attack.
and now it looks like my youngest will have the same fate as I did.
As I said before,someone upstairs is getting a good laugh out of this.