As any Beta Mom knows, there is no walk of shame like the one up to the office of the car detailing place when your vehicle is ready. I'm prepared for it now, because inevitably I get the phone call halfway through the morning from the owner: "Yeah, this is Bernard from Auto Shine....uh.... I know I quoted you $90, but.....we've really got a lot of work to do here...I need to have another man come in for this one." I immediately blame my children (usually claiming I have 4 instead of 3) in the hopes that Bernard will view me as his partner in disgust. Bernard has no need for such comraderie and settles on an extra $40 instead. Apparently there is gum involved.
This whole car thing makes my husband mental. You could eat off the floor in his car. The only extra objects in his car besides his person are a Chapstick, an EZ Pass, and a pack of gum. Maybe a travel pack of Kleenex in cold and flu season. All neatly tucked into the center console, where they should be. The floor of my car may not be clean enough to eat off, but you'll have plenty of snacks to choose from. Alpha Moms behind me at the school drop off circle roll their eyes because you cannot open one of my doors without something falling out: usually an empty water bottle or a shoe. My kids, God bless 'em, chase the rolling water bottle and chuck it back in with a "love you!" because it's all they know.
"So", you want to know, "is MY minivan or SUV a Beta Vehicle?" Well let me ask you this: Do you apologize when anyone but family gets in? Do your cupholders contain something resembling congealed popsicles? Are there more coats and shoes in your vehicle than in your hall closet? Does the dog consider a ride in the car "mealtime"? Have you, at any given time, had 10 or more of the following items strewn about the car?: Sweatshirts, soccer shoes, Goldfish crackers, water bottles, fast food wrappers, granola bar wrappers, grocery receipts, grocery lists, doctor appointment cards, dentist goodie bags, mittens, hats, hair ties, headbands, half-eaten bagels, school projects, school papers, school memos, fire safety booklets, CD's, DVD's, Nintendos, Webkinz, ipods, karate belts, ballet shoes, old fruit, juice boxes, action figures, lollipop sticks, Cheetos, Barbie shoes, Bratz feet, Bionicle pieces, Blockbuster cases, drycleaner slips or those freakishly large Bed Bath & Beyond coupons?
(sigh). I would like to say that I intend to turn over a new leaf. I would like to say that I never used to keep my car this way before children. But if I'm honest I do recall ejecting the latest Laura Branigan tape in my '85 Mustang cassette player and flinging it behind me into the back seat, where it probably got lost among the aerobics gear and beer bottles. Chances are, if you're a Beta mom, you were a Beta girl, too.