Any time I want to feel particularly inept, I just go to the drive-through car wash. One can always use a slap to their ego and you will get it there, making it clear to the world that you are a not car-wash regular.
I wash my car every Molly-be-Good Day, which is perhaps, quarterly. I have no excuse for my slovenly habit, except time and money. I could be a redneck. I also have trouble with efforts that only remain visible for about 45 minutes.
I also have never been car-proud, and have little patience with those who are. I like to be presentable, but my car is more of a workhorse than a showpiece.
All I ask is that it get me from A to B without stopping or requiring my attention.
From the minute I get in line at the carwash, I go clumsy. I can’t find my money or free car-wash card, can’t decide which wash to get, can’t seem to stop where they say, can’t remember to put it in neutral or how to put it in neutral and I never ever line up properly with those annoying wheel tracks.
It is, for about 60 seconds, completely humiliating. Somehow I get over it.
And, of course, I could (and occasionally do) use the unmanned car wash. That, of course, makes things a bit more shiny and spot-free, but the result doesn’t really last much longer.
Did I mention my Prius is 12 years old? Yeah, that right there pretty much clarifies my “pretty car” requirements. It has dings I do not plan to fix. They will just be replaced with other dings. I have enjoyed sending other drivers happily on their way, after they collide with me, pointing out that another small bump isn’t really going to turn my car into a pumpkin. I refuse to get crazy-eyed and take pictures and call the police, as if my child has been kidnapped. Life is just too short; don’t you think?
Jean Gillette is a freelance writer enjoying a comfortable car. Contact her at [email protected].