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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

A Girl and her Car

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Some days, I can’t write about decorating ideas, but my head is still filled with observations of life, and the most infinitesimal, yet joyful thoughts that happen inside us every single day. Here is one of mine.

I was in the car dealership earlier this year, waiting to get my car checked, when I noticed that someone had left a newspaper on the chair next to me, and the magazines (all about automobiles and sports, not a feminine thing to be seen) were scrunched in an almost impossible pile of paper mess on the table. The guy before me had also left his empty, paper coffee cup there; pretending to ignore the garbage can a few feet away, as he rushed off to his haircut appointment (he actually told me he was in a hurry to get his oil changed because he had a haircut appointment, which made me smile).

After a few minutes, I was the only one there, and I tried not to look at the mess laid out in front of me. I watched the morning show on the television, and pretended to be really interested in what percentage of people showered every day, and how John Cena had proposed to his girlfriend last night during a wrestling match, but I still couldn’t stop looking at the pile of papers.

Eventually, I thought that if I grabbed one of the magazines, I could accidentally straighten the pile in the process; who the heck accidentally straightens a pile? Me. So, I picked up a magazine and casually straightened the first pile at the same time (so nervous in my self-perceived, organizing insanity, that my bottom almost missed the chair when I hastily went to sit down again).

My eyes went back to the television, as I wondered what type of coffee had been in the cup, and how long it would sit there before someone tidied it up. I thought of bringing some magazines from home, for the women to read while they waited for their own cars to be fixed, and if I should offer to answer the phone as I heard it ring endlessly then go to voice mail. I sat there, wanting to help and wanting to clean up (first impressions and all that) until I heard fast heavy footsteps behind me. While I was lost in my thoughts, the mechanic had flung open the door, and was now sitting down next to me. And he was calling me “Ma’am”. He was barely a few years older than me, and I had just been “Ma’am”ed.

My thoughts turned to the extra ten pounds I had put on, the frumpy skirt I was wearing, and the fact that I hadn’t slept more than a couple of hours last night, and I suddenly felt every inch a “Ma’am”. Feeling as if I had just aged a decade in just a few seconds, I said a polite thank you and paid the bill.

As I sadly walked to the door, I looked back up at John Cena on the television, beaming broadly at his new fiancee; the Ma’am comment had stung a little, but I realized in that moment that they were just words, and they hadn’t actually changed me into someone else. I was still me. So, I flipped my hair back, turned myself around, straightened the mess on the table, threw the coffee cup into the bin, and smiled at the man behind the counter as I waved him a cheerful goodbye.

p.s. Thank you to John Cena and Twiggy for being so original, and inspiring me to be the same. 

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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