Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bad Choice, Mama

Merrick is all into the bad choice.

John: "Merrick! Time for bed!"

Merrick: "Daddy, that is a bad choice. Make good choices like let's stay up fow ice cweam."

Carrots at dinner? Bad choice.

Homework? You know the drill. But add REALLY before bad.

The Matron was reminded of this recurring family anthem early this afternoon when she decided to get gas and wash the van.

Pause here.

Do you live in California? Kansas? Oregon?

If so, you have absolutely NO IDEA what "wash the van' really means. This is MINNESOTA. Today was a typical weather day: wrapping up 8 inches of snow, 19 degrees and a whopping north wind. If you want to walk or drive, you are required to plow through six inches of gray slimy half-snow half pollution half dirt gunk. Which gets on your car.

The Matron washed her van about eight days ago. This afternoon, the vehicle was unrecognizable as such but instead a murky gray-grown palette of slush. Windows and mirrors, unusable. Parking in the lot at her very fine community college, she emerged from meetings to find this swiped into the dirt on her van:



Okay, okay. . . why does her thirteen year old follow her everywhere?

But here's the deal.

The Matron tried very very hard to run her vehicle through the car wash. But here's the deal. The Matron? Brave, true, tried, humble and all get out great --- has a pathological fear of car washes.

Here she is, in the middle of the brush, valve and soap, LOCKED INSIDE, and creating her obituary:

"Local woman crushed in bizarre car wash accident when soaping suddzers went amuck and crashed into the front seat."

The details of the narrative vary but the end result, the same. Death to the Matron. Poor dear (Me, Her) cannot sit through a car wash without panic, sweat and anxiety attack. And that dratted obituary.

"Death by soap brush."

"Woman drowned in car by bizarre car wash breakdown."

"Mother of three crushed when car wash took on a life of its own, plunging massive scrubber brush into front seat of minivan."

"Why don't car wash doors open in emergencies?"

Today, friends, she made a choice.

The van was black. Windows unusable. Car wash? Horrifying.

So when she filled up the car with gas? You know those little pouches of window wash with the squeegee? The Matron decided to wash her van with that. Sorta like the window but the whole vehicle.

Picture this. Heels, good coat, nice hair, tidy. Disgusting everything else falling apart as she's streaking the van with industrial strength wind-shield washer. Mind you, she got under the wheels really well even if it meant exposing thigh (with wind chill).

Between the ruined shoes, the ridicule, the gas station worker running out and asking "are you all right," the streaked ugly van, and the children's horror?

Bad choice.


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Try the Downtonwer Car Wash -- you give them your vehicle, you go inside to pay and drink coffee while they do the work -- It's in that weird place where hwy 52, 94 and 35E kind of meet... by Savoy pizza and the Holiday station with the cheapest gas :).

Deb said...

Go for one of those "Touchless" car wash systems. Car washes freak me out too, and I always try to get one of the older kids to take it for a wash.

Plus, I found my dealer washes my car when I bring it in for service. Worth every penny.

jenn said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with irrational (to others, not to me) car wash fears. Mine center more around not being able to pull the van onto the little track that pulls it forward, but now I have a whole new death-by-scrubber-brush scenario to obsess over. Excellent.

Minnesota Matron said...

But isn't the Downtowner just for detailing - the really expensive deep clean? I did it once and LOVED it!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You forgot to add how this choice to wash a van in winter means making sure the temperature is above 25 so you don't end up with the doors freezing shut. Not that I have EVER had that problem...

Common Household Mom said...

I know this isn't your topic for today, but does anybody have some pointers on how to survive a nasty winter? Here in Western PA and points east we are suffering through what seems to me to be darn close to a Minnesota winter. Help! Cabin fever! Schools have been closed for 3 days straight! Aaaah!

P.S. I haven't washed the car in weeks. Is this bad?

MidLifeMama said...

I love going through a car wash. I love the cucoon of sudsy water and swishy brushes or whatever they happen to use. I find it rather peaceful. Like being in the shower only I am not the one getting wet. The only time I freaked out in one was when the thing began moving my car along before the car in front of us was out of the way. I was fairly sure we were going to be pushed right into it. But we weren't. Then there was the time that my trunk popped open while I was inside. This was one of those touchless ones, so I just drove right out and went back to the attendant to explain what happened and started over again.

Daisy said...

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at the visual you've presented. I was the minivan windows, but I don't bother with the rest. The part that really matters is the underbody wash to get the salt off, and that I am NOT doing at the gas station.

Trudy said...

I also share the fear of car washes. It was my dad habit to get the car washed should they attend a funeral....well, it seemed like every time, the car jumped the rail and my parents were stranded in the car wash. While it never happened to me...I am scared to death.

I toughed it out last week as I keep brushing my white coat against the grey crust and got a wash...of course yesterday we got our snowfall from hell so it looks like slop again (although I am a princess and my car is in the garage)

js said...

Yes! I'm saving this for my BF to read so he can see that I am not the only one with a fear of the car wash. I freak out, panic, damn near burst into tears. Can't. Do. It. Our Michigan weather is similar to yours, and due to the snow, the rain, the salt, my windows and mirrors are HORRIBLE. So I just wash those and leave the body of the Jeep to rot. The one time I tried to take it, I panicked about lining the car up on the tracks correctly, jumped out of the vehicle, thrust my keys at the poor guy trying to direct me and told him to do it. My BF thinks it's hysterical. Of course, I don't see HIM jumping to take care of it for me!

Anonymous said...

This is one of those times when I get my husband to take the van to an open bay, DIY type place where he can spray the undercarriage with water to get the salt/chemical/slush gunk off. And then we drive home and get more on it. Ack!!
I love the touchless car wash tunnels, but I can see how a car wash place would NOT be a good place for someone with claustrophobia.