Protective Coating


I am behind on replying to comments and/or emails so if you have commented and/or emailed me, I’m not ignoring you, I’m just lazy busy!

I do enjoy the contact though, I really do! This way when Adam asks me what I am doing, I get to say “Replying to an email from a reader, get it yourself.” (because guaranteed if he is making conversation at 11:15 at night while we are both staked out in our little media nests he is asking me to get him something.)

We got a car recently, which is terribly exciting. We’ve done without/begged and borrowed the cars of others since our feisty little Mazda 3 died in a blazing hellfire less than a week before we were about to move. Remember that? Good times.

Why did it die? Well, friends, the answer to that question has since become the topic of much family folklore. You see, the official answer is that technically the car ran out of oil.

Look, yes I was the primary driver of the car and I was the one responsible for maintaining the car and YES I will readily admit that for the first six months we owned the car I was operating under the mistaken belief that it was not necessary to change the oil in one’s car until the oil light came on (not at all the case incidentally, FYI!) but the car dying it’s final death was NOT MY FAULT.

I have repeated this every time the story comes up, and I will continue to repeat it until I die, surrounded by books and salsa con queso at the ripe old age of ninety-six.

Yes I was a bit clueless when we first bought this car, I was 23 years old, a wee slip of a thing who knew nothing about cars or men or the right way to serve cherry tomatoes to a toddler (whole, for optimal choking hazard. Cutting them in half ruins them, apparently.)

Quickly I learned the ways of the world and I had all scheduled services done on time at fine establishments like “Canadian Tire”, and this time – the last time- was no different! We were hundreds of kilometres away from the next scheduled oil change as specified on the official little sticker they put on the inside of your windshield and really if we are living in a world where you can’t even trust that damned sticker anymore then we’re all screwed.

And yet. The oil, she ran out. I guess you are supposed to check it occasionally when you are filling up with gas or what have you, which my informal surveys have indicated that exactly 16% of the population actually does but nevermind. In my mind it is clear that the car running out of oil WAY before it should have is a symptom of a bigger problem, and my haphazard internet research supports this conclusion.

Nonetheless, the car ran out of oil a cylinder cracked or a piston broke – something happened that rendered the engine – the going part – inoperable.

Adam and my brother-in-law like to tease me that running the car completely out of oil was one of my hippie initiatives, part of some complex protest I was mounting against Big Petroleum – “You can take your oil and shove it! We don’t need your dirty black poison! I’m not a part of your system, mannnnn!”  and our car was nothing but an innocent bystander, sacrificed to make a point.

Anyway this has devolved into a longer segue I ever intended it to be. All you need to know coming away from this was that I was a responsible car owner who should shoulder NO blame in this tragic matter.

SO. We have a different car, now. Something small and simple to get us from one side of the city to the next. Adam picked it up and has been driving it for the last few days, and as I took the keys to go to yoga this evening (my first class in over a year, SO. GOOD.  So sweaty!) he said to me “Don’t take the plastic off!”

I remembered him mentioning that he had left some of the plastic on the exterior, and I thought it was sort of weird at the time but whatever, we all have our weird, right?

Then I opened the car.

I stood there in front of the open car door for a good three minutes, while literally silently mouthing, “What the actual fuck?!”

You see, he didn’t just leave to protective coating on the outside of the car. He left it on everything. I had no idea cars even came like this (seriously the plastic!). The gear shift is wrapped. The seats are wrapped. The e-brake is wrapped. The manuals are individually boxed, there are hygienic hairnet thingies on the headrests, and plastic liners on the floor mats, and he left them all on!

Our car was one of Dexter’s kill rooms, basically.

I dumped my yoga stuff in the backseat and turned towards the house to ask him to come undo this ridiculousness, and then I wavered. I stood there looking back and forth between the car and the house; the plastic covered monstrosity and the man protecting it.

Here we have dear old Adam, father to a toddler who is going through an extreme clingy period and spends literally 68% of her day chanting, whining, and calling out “Mama! Mama! Mama!”; he has graciously relinquished control in our house hunt, AND I regularly exploit his immense artistic talents for my own fame and fortune – the dude has earned a little protective coating. I have no idea why he wants it left on, nor how this strange idea attached itself to his mind in the first place, but Ima just let him have it.

So I closed my mouth, turned back to the car and got in.

When I got back from yoga, I casually asked him how long he was planning on leaving it on for. He muttered “Oh, probably two weeks or something. We’ll see. ”

It’s never coming off. IT IS NEVER COMING OFF.

I will be driving around for the rest of my days in what is, essentially, the car-version of this lady’s living room:



Why is this my life?


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  • Reply katezharvey April 28, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    Your posts make me laugh SO hard. This is the funniest thing ever!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine April 28, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      Hearing people say that is the best thing ever. Thanks, Kate!

  • Reply jamieramirez April 28, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    yeah, like, two weeks, or, maybe just a little bit longer. you know… just long enough for olive to finish up the messy toddler phase. 😉

  • Reply little miss black bean April 28, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    16% is a serious overestimation. Those oil change stickers are OFFICIAL and LEGALLY BINDING as far as I’m concerned.

  • Reply Patti miller April 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Lol…. Had a friend in high school who’s parents living room was all wrapped in plastic…. Thanks for the memories and the laugh. You guys are great. And I must confess I to at one time didn’t realize the importance of an oil chane and my engine seced.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine April 28, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      See?! It’s not just me! We’ve ALL unknowingly engaged in protests against big petro! 😉


  • Reply KL April 28, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Laughing so hard. Silently mouthing – I love it!
    Also, lovely coincidence that my husband and I are knee deep in the Dexter series 🙂

    • Reply sweetmadeleine April 28, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      Ooh how timely of me! Adam and I got totally into it and then he started sneakily watching without me and eventually I gave up and he finished the series! I think I’m still in season 2 or something.

  • Reply Kat April 28, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    You are the best! I love reading everything you post.

    I’ve made up a voice for you in my head, which is totally not creepy because we are in fact internet best friends (obviously), and now I can read your posts out loud and laugh with you. I had a crappy little Nissan Pulsar when I was in college and the petrol gauge didn’t work. I was always running out of petrol, and oil – and other vital car things. Hilarious now, totally entirely the cars fault then.

    Thanks for the giggles.
    Ps. This comment sounds far less creepy in my head.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine April 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      Oh my gosh, I wish I could hear the voice! That’s the weirdest part when you see/hear someone you’ve only ever read… They open their mouth and you’re like “Wait, what?!”

  • Reply Penny April 29, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    Wow! You have some series self-restraint. IF I had somehow managed to hold my tongue and not demand the car be unwrapped, I still would have teased my husband mercilessly til he did it anyway. I applaud you!

  • Reply 3 litres of water | Sweet Madeleine June 15, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    […] also realized the other day that I never updated you guys about our car. THE PLASTIC IS OFF! I know. Adam is really loosening the reins, and I think he’s already regretting it […]

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