Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Prefer A Black Car And All The Dirt That Gets Stuck To It Looks White. I Also Like White Baseboards In My Home And Mine Are Covered In A Coat Of Dark (Fuzzy) Dirt. Darn You, Irony!

I washed the car on Monday.  I have a bit of a weak spot when it comes to car cleanliness, both inside and out.  In my defense, I am working on doing a better job on maintaining a cleaner automobile interior.  I recently sat in some melted chocolate that was camouflaged by the car's dark leather seats and found a petrified clementine while I was looking for water bottles.  I also believe there may be a mouse skeleton somewhere in there, but that's a story for another day.  So I'm feeling motivated right now to clean up my act inside my ride.  The outside however, is another story.

Dirty cars are part of my history.  I worked in a clothing store in Boulder during the Gulf War period and my car was so dirty that my fellow employees dubbed it 'Desert Storm'.  Old habits die hard, I guess because this past weekend I was driving somewhere at night and I had to double check that the headlights were working because they were giving off almost no light whatsoever.  I realized the light was being diffused obliterated by a thick layer of dirt and dried road stuff.  I was a danger.  It was time for a wash.

Now, I know there are real sticklers out there about what kind of car wash is better.  Geoff and I have different opinions about this.  He likes the stand alone system with the vacuum stations outside.  These kinds of establishments have always intimidated me a bit.  I'm afraid I won't correctly get on the conveyer belt  that pulls the cars through the wash or I'll somehow get stuck inside the machinery and have to participate in a soapy rescue effort.  I choose to go to a wash that's part of a gas station.  I like this for a couple reasons.  One, it's convenient.  I can gas up and get a wash in one fell swoop.  Secondly, and to me more importantly, the soap they use is colorful.  It comes in pink, purple and yellow and it makes your windows look like a bubbly kaleidoscope.  And it smells like grape.  If this is the attraction for other patrons of this particular wash, it's a strange crowd indeed.

Regardless, there must be a lot of us out there who like pretty soap because the car wash was packed when I went.  Which brings me to my main thought.  Car wash lines need an escape option.  I never felt I was a claustrophobic person until I sat in this line on Monday afternoon.  When I pulled up there were four other cars in front of me.  I used my keen math skills to figure it would take about 15 minutes for the cars to get through so I hopped in.  Everyone must have been getting a super deluxe wash because it was almost 10 minutes before I even moved an inch.  I thought I'd just back out and come another time, but when I checked my rearview mirror I saw five cars behind me.  There were 10 cars in the line at the time and I was dead in the middle.

I started to feel panicky.  We looked like a Pez dispenser.  What if there was an emergency?  What if my car stalled?  There was no escape.  I wanted an exit option so I could change my mind - just a turn off lane for those of us getting sweaty palms or needing to use the restroom.  But, no such luck.  I distracted myself by opening all the mail I'd picked up earlier, singing two full albums of Christmas music, and nearly finishing an article in Sports Illustrated.  It was such a relief to finally enter the wash, but I was so edgy I didn't really enjoy the soap (that much).  When I came out of the dryer it was like being reborn.  I was gasping for air and blinking in the bright light (now that I could see out of my windows).  Next time I'm bringing snacks.

I'm wearing this today.

It's all I could reach as I've lost access in my closet to most of my clothes because I'm hiding all the Christmas presents in there.  I told Geoff that I'm locking myself in our room and wrapping all the presents today.  He is under strict orders to not allow me out of the room until everything is wrapped no matter how much I beg or plead with him.  I swear every year it won't come to this, but it does.

gratitude:  the end of Geoff's travels (for now), enchiladas, warm weather, sleep

thanks and love.

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