Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful…   Leave a comment

I have been feeling increasingly self-conscious about my minivan. Not the fact that I actually drive one, no, that is something I’ve become used to. The exterior condition. It is filthy. It is brown. But it is actually supposed to be light blue. My parents had said things, other people had said things. I had accidentally rubbed up against it and gotten myself stained. It was time. So I went to the car wash. I waited behind five people. I paid for the “ultimate” wash – it had the longest soaking time and I knew I needed it.

The wash began, the girls were thrilled (just goes to show how infrequent these things are!) and we got through the dryer. And limped through mounds of slimy ice (being created as we drove – by the run-off from the car wash itself), hit a gully and spun. I slipped into a lower gear, nothing. A lower gear, nothing. I rocked, I swiveled, I eased, I used my car mat to get at least one wheel up. It is now missing, thrown somewhere (by my car) on dirty snow, and no, I didn’t go back to find it. So I did the only thing a mom with a minivan, three children in the car and no metal shovel can do. I shut the car off, rallied the troops, and went in search of help.

Did I mention there were six people behind me in line when I went into the car wash? The one right behind me? She was just finishing up as I hiked through the mid-calf deep snow, in clogs. The slide-in kind. So I announce to the people in line, and the two people behind the counter, “I’m stuck! In the car wash line! Out front!!” One worker nods, and a lady in line says, “I have a tow line. I’ll drag you out.” So the kids and I go back through the previously described snow and the lady in the car wash, who is now trying to dry her car off mouths “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????” She was going to be my new best friend. I could tell. So I slide toward her in my soaked clogs on the dirty ice and explain. She asks me if I am going to go and tell the people in line behind her? Since that would require me to walk THROUGH the car wash (it is on a steep hill and there is no way around), I mumble something and see the lady with the supernatural 4WD vehicle backing into the driveway in front of me (which means she blocks one lane of traffic at a shopping center intersection – sigh).

Down on my hands and knees (in the murky black water-covered ice) we can’t locate anything to put her hook in, it keeps falling out, and we try multiple times. The behind-the-counter guy comes out with a bag of snow melt and an icee cup. He liberally covers my tires and the mountains of ice. We vote for pushing my van. Because, of course, the car behind the car behind me is trying to get to the dryer before it shuts off…and we swivel and rock, and I’m clear. I nearly hit the lovely 4WD of my rescuer – but brake just in time.

And that is why there is a car mat, lying on a pile of dirty snow, at the Albertson’s car wash. And yes, my minivan looks lovely – but I’m not going to get another car wash until July. It obviously isn’t worth it.


Posted January 18, 2007 by comomma in fun

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