My mom is afraid of going to the carwash. Our old van sat around for over a year collecting dust and pollen and bird poop and rainwater gunk. If you opened the passenger side door your hand would turn toffee-brown. The windshield sagged under a vignette of old who-knew-what.
She asked me to scrub down the car with a hose and a sponge on hands and knees. I was indignant until she offered payment.
“How about you make an offer and I’ll tell you whether or not I accept it?”
I thought for a while. My lips worked uncertainly around heavy numbers. “Ten dollars?”
“You can go as high as you want, you know.”
“… Fifteen dollars?” That felt unfair. “Thirteen dollars? Twelve dollars? I don't know. Ten is fine.”
The job sat around not being done. Two weeks later Mom approached me again.
“Fifty dollars if you do it on Thursday.”
I did it on Thursday.