Insecurity around the way your car smells. Your car is an extension of you, so it’s only natural that you feel a little paranoid about the way your car smells to others. We’ve all had that moment where we’re in some sort of sweat-inducing circumstance and we think, “Crap, do I smell? Can I even smell my own scent? PLEASE SEND FOR HELP” It’s a vulnerable place to be and it often leaves us awkwardly reaching up and pointing to some nothingness on the ceiling so that we can quickly take a whiff of ourselves and evaluate our situation. When people enter your car, it’s a similar moment of vulnerability. Your guests are basically entering a hot box of YOU and whatever it is that you hoard in your sweet ride. If you’re lucky enough to have a car that smells of lovely things like daffodils or the inside of Anthropologie, well congratulations! But if you’re like me, your car’s scent is sabotaged by the various items stored in it at all times. I’m just guessing that the combination of yoga mat, bridesmaids dresses (yes plural), new running shoes, various pieces fruit (you never know when low blood sugar will strike!), gym bags, and newly purchased coffee beans might not be all that appealing to my passengers, although I PRAY that I am wrong.
If you’ll be able to fit your car into that precious spot you just found. Some people have body dysmorphia. I suffer from car dysmorphia. I’m usually convinced my car can fit into ANY spot that I find. Mostly because by the time I actually find an open parking spot, I’ve been driving around in circles for a solid 45 minutes while blasting the Carly Rae Jepsen station on Pandora and have absolutely lost my ability to assess situations in a rational and intelligent way.
How long you can last once your gaslight turns on. Most of the time when we refer to something/someone getting “turned on,” good things are implied. This is an exception to that rule. Once my gas light turns on, I basically tailspin into a deep state of panic. My mind takes me to scary, ridiculous places and I start to imagine that my life will start to play out like that scene in Clueless where Cher gets stranded/held at gun point in front of a liquor store in the Valley and then that mean man proceeds to ruin her red Alaia mini dress. The most embarrassing part about my gaslight turning on is that it’s always 100% my fault. I’m the one who fills the tank, I’m the one driving my car every single day. I should be taking inventory of my gas tank instead of waiting for that little orange light to come on and start “beep, beep, BEEPING.” I think my subconscious resents my car for not lasting longer on the amount of gas I’ve provided it with and therefore feels like pushing my car to its near-death limit. Every. Single. Time.
If that little scratch on the bumper was there before you parked and went into Trader Joe’s to pick up (frozen) dinner and wine. New scratches are like new zits. They cause stress and embarrassment and they require extra energy/time/care (that we don’t normally have) to be remedied. When I notice a new car blemish, I immediately start to treat everyone like a suspect. Did that little old lady bump her shopping cart into my door? Probably. Was the mom in the minivan parked next to me looking before she threw open her front door into my innocent sedan? Unlikely. Did that student driver just tap my back bumper at the stop sign? He sure did. Your car, much like your face, will never look as good as it did on day one.
Whether or not your passenger(s) are judging your entire life based on the contents of your car. I’m somehow always unprepared for car guests. I’ll even offer to be the driver for the night only to realize five minutes before I arrive to pick up my friends that I have a stack of embarrassing self-help books on my front seat like my library’s copy of He’s Just Not That Into You plus an outfit or two scrunched into a giant ball in the corner of my back seat that just screams “walk of shame.” To be fair, if I entered a car filled with yoga pants in every nook and cranny, a high school year book from 2003 tucked into the passenger seat’s back pocket, and a box of brightly colored Tampax Pearls scattered throughout the interior of the vehicle, I’d be judging that person too. Heavily, heavily judging them.
If you left your vanity light on over night and whether or not this is going to be the straw that broke your battery’s back. I don’t much about my car’s battery but I do know this much — you are SCREWED without it. And what’s worse than leaving your office after a long-ass 11-hour day, so eager to head out to your evening plans you could CRY, only to greet a lifeless car? Oh that’s right, nothing! Nothing is worse than this.
The chance of a rain/mist storm as it relates to the timing of your most recent car wash. Let’s be honest — car washes do not happen as often as they should. At least they don’t in my world. I’d much rather spend those 15ish bucks on precut cantaloupe from Whole Foods and/or other overpriced and necessary things, like gum or Kombuchas. On the rare occasion that I decide to front the money for a proper car wash, a rainstorm will most likely occur within 24-48 hours of said wash. And when mother nature decides to mess with your efforts to be a clean and responsible car owner, it’s very demoralizing.
Passing or failing smog checks. I’ve never heard of someone failing one of these, which makes me feel like they’re a total scam. They’re probably legitimate and I’m mostly likely paranoid and ill-informed. Either way, I still stress out over passing my smog checks the same way I used to stress over vocab quizzes in the 10th grade.
Whether or not someone on the street is going to notice that you’ve been using your back seats as storage space for some of the most valuable things you have to your name. When you’re constantly “on the go” aka you’ve been “couch surfing” for the last few months, your car can easily morph into your mobile home. What’s great about this: you have space to store your stuff that isn’t nearly as limiting as the corner of your friend’s couch! What’s not so great about this: random strangers can look through your untinted windows and discover an entire collection of lightly worn size 7 ½ shoes. It’s unlikely that these valuables will be enough to motivate a thief into breaking and entering, but YOU NEVER KNOW.
Wax jobs. No, not THAT kind of wax job. Unlike the um, wax jobs that I arrange for that involve my lady parts, I have zero clue how often I’m supposed to wax my car. Has anyone given their car a wax job on their own besides my father? The only thing that comes to mind when I think about waxing my car is that one scene with Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid. That movie taught me all of the nothing I know about car waxing.