My friends used to nag me because the trunk of my car looked like a homeless lived there. It was a huge mess; nothing else could fit it in it, but it had its purpose. If there was anything needed, more likely than not, I had it in there: needed to cut something? I had machetes. Needed to paint something? I had spray paint. You wanted it, I probably had it.
Recently, however, I moved into a new apartment, so I took my little Chevy Malibu home and traded it for my mom’s Expedition so I could move everything into my place. When I came back, my well-intentioned mother has completely cleaned out my car and left it spotless, even in the trunk. I made a resolution to keep the car clean and mess-free…it was time to grow up.
WORST IDEA EVER.
Since then, in span of less than a month, I’ve ran into 3 cases when my old, messy trunk would have come to my rescue.
Spending the night at my friends after partying, then having to work the next morning. I had nothing to fix myself up the next morning.
Pre-Clean Trunk: I would’ve had an extra hair brush, perfume, foundation and mascara, (if not a whole makeup case), flat shoes, (or at the very least non-stripper heels), and a bag full of clean laundry I had never taken out of my car; basically, anything I needed to make myself presentable to my boss.
Instead, I had to run to a McDonalds bathroom, wash my face, try to make my going out clothes look appropriate, (luckily I had brought a blazer in case it got cold), and smell like a liquor store at work. Not classy, my friends….not classy.
Problem: As everybody knows, gas prices are ridiculous. As my good friends know, I like to push my gas money as far as I can push it, so I’ll make the drive from Palo Alto to San Jose with my gas tank on empty so I don’t have to stop and put gas again. The other day I went home to see my parents, so I drove from Santa Clara to Watsonville on an empty tank. I tried to take a “short cut” through the back roads so I could get there faster, because I really had to use the bathroom. Well, the short cut wasn’t short enough so I got stranded in a narrow road in the middle of the woods with absolutely no one around and bad phone service.
My gas ran had out. I had to get out and find a bar of service so I could call my mom to come get me. She came. We had no portable gas tank. She went to get one, and came back…it only had a gallon of gas. My car still didn’t start. She went again for a second gallon. All this time I had left my emergency lights on, so by this time, my car’s battery died. She had to go get jumper cables from our garage. All this time, I had to wait with a internet-less phone, hearing strange noises in the woods.
Pre-Clean Trunk: I wouldn’t have been able to prevent my gas running out, but in the past, I had one of those big red plastic cans for gas and jumper cables, (which I wouldn’t have needed, because my battery would never have died!). I probably also had a deck of cards back there before, so I could have played solitaire while I waited for Mom to show up.
Problem: I wore a cute black sheath dress to work. During my lunch time, I made a quick stop at the bank. On my way out of my car, I caught the back flap of my dress with my car door. When I pulled, my back seam of my dress tore…all the way up. I exposed my white fanny and undies to the Wells Fargo parking lot. (Surprisingly, this is not the first time something like this happens to me.)
Pre-Clean Trunk: As I mentioned before, I used to have a bag full of laundry in the car just in case, but I also had a sewing kit. I could have easily mended the dress and continued my day, with nothing but a little flashing incident. Instead, I had to go home, (on an empty tank of gas, no less. I kept crossing my fingers it wouldn’t run out. I couldn’t figure out how to put gas with a half dress on. Drove home under the speed limit just in case.) By the time I got home and changed, I was ridiculously late to work.
The moral here is, have your messy car trunk. What is the trunk for if not to fill it up with useful stuff. However, keeping on my I’m-a-grown-ass-woman-and-should-have-my-life-together tip, I’m creating tidy emergency car kit to keep in car to prevent what happened to me this month from reoccurring.
Diana’s Don’t-Go-Anywhere-Without-It Car Kit
1. A cardboard gas container from www.itzagascan.com. It’s a flat little package. Then, when you need it, you expand it, fill it with gas for your car, then throw it away.
2. A pair of jump starter cables. Also, learn how to use them. I was terrified I was gonna blow up my car before my friend Jessica taught me how to use them. Here’s a How-To from the Art of Manliness.
3. An extra pair of conservative clothes, (including undies!). Just play it safe, Have some jeans, flats, nice short and cardigan in there.
4. A stay-over case. This is a little makeup case with a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, foundation, mascara, chap stick, deodorant, mini hairbrush, hair tie, bobby pins.
5. Flash light. I’m just glad I have never been stranded in the middle of the night, but you never know.
6. DuctTape. It fixes everything..for you or your car. Yup. I could have duct-taped the back of my dress till I could go to a store and buy another one or at least put some gas.
Fire Extinguisher I am against carrying fire extinguishers in your car. But that’s only because the one that used to be rolling around in my back seat lost its locking pin, so the extinguisher went off in my car, covering every inch of my car in yellowish-white powder and making my friend and I think we were hallucinating. Carry one at your own risk.