Shift your focus

May 8, 2014

The car wash in Southern California is a total sh*tshow. Case in point: this afternoon.

I don’t think I’ve washed my car for 3 months so I wheel up in there only to be greeted by 14 cars in front of me. Do I want to leave this location? No, it’s 50% off Wednesday and I’m cheap. The guy comes over, I choose the wash and proceed to sit in the waiting area after some little kid at the pay station repeatedly screams at me, ‘I FOUND A PENNY, I FOUND A PENNY, I FOUND A PENNY, I’M PUTTING THE PENNY IN MY HAIR. WATCH!’ while her mother silently rifles through the $50 scarf bin and I contemplate breaking the news that those things are worth approximately $5.00 at Target. By the way, your daughter found a penny and is rubbing it in her hair?

Anyway. As I’m sitting there the cars start coming out and the wipe down guys are making a big scenario of dramatically wiping down for maximum tip action. No harm, no foul. Carry on, young fellows. Next thing you know it’s call out time:

  • RED MERCEDES (some number)! Puffed out chest guy glances around to make everyone sees it’s HIS RED MERCEDES. Yes we see you. No we don’t care (or at least I don’t).
  • BLACK 750 BMW! BLACK BMW!! Old guy in striped tennis shirt who clearly heard the first time, but wanted to be extra spay-shul saunters over to claim his ride. <yawn>
  • SILVER BMW! Young chick wearing sunglasses in the shade meanders over after side eying the penny screamer and her mother who I’m pretty sure are in a much nicer BMW, but hey that’s youth. Ride it while you can sister because when daddy’s not paying you’ll be in the Camry.
  • Speaking of which, SILVER TOYOTA CAMRY! Mid-30’s woman is horrified after the string of luxury vehicle shout outs. Head down she races over to her car, darts in and speeds off. She had the best shoes on of any of them, only wish she knew it.
  • GREY HONDA MINIVAN! Mom of two young boys, also horrified to a. have the only minivan b. have to dig one kid’s hand out of the tip box that one of the wiper downers caught him in c. have to shake the shoes off the other kid who refuses to enter the clean van shoes on because who only knows why kids do what they do? She’s still trying to get the little bugger in the side door when I’m up.

Like an old bag I roll over there after letting them see me drop the tip in the now locked box (take that derelict minors).

Unlike the other drivers who were either very proud or very horrified of their rides, I just want mine clean. Two young wipers try to swing their rags all ‘we cleaned this baby down’ -like as I proceed to walk around the car. The car is still dirty. One of the wipers is watching me notice the still dirty car. Nope, I’m not leaving. Hey, can you wipe this dirt off the bumper? And over here, still dirty. And on the window, still dirty – in fact that’s sticky!

In an effort not to be a total beyotch, I buddy up and say ‘I just got back from camping so it’s probably tree sap’ (not sure where that came from, but sounded good at the time) while he scurries over to wipe it off THE OUTSIDE OF THE CAR WINDOW. Meanwhile I’m convinced it was one of those kids who are still not in the minivan, but who am I to judge?

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Minivan mom is now watching me examine my not-really-wiped down car when the light bulb goes off. Maybe her vehicle is still dirty, too? She can’t be sure because one-shoe-on kid is giving her major grief while she continues trying to shake the shoe off his foot while holding him under the armpits. Honestly, I don’t know.

I open my car door and the inside of it still has sand swipes on it. Uh-oh. Wiper guy is sweating, ‘What?! Oh no…’ he says <insert eyeballs bugging out emoji>.  Nice as pie, I stare puzzled at the grime while he ‘grabs a clean towel.’ Yes sonny, those dirty ones you guys were waving in the air kind of didn’t do the trick? His sidekick is now hiding on the other side of the minivan.

As I go to leave, he tells me to come back for some kind of wax thing to buff out a couple scratches. Okay, thanks. Minivan mom is standing by her door with a sly grin. She’s got his partner in her line of view and there is no way in HELL her van was cleaned properly based on the behavior of those two kids alone.

And with that, my work was done. No one cared what anyone was driving anymore, and I was the first one to leave in a clean car.


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  • Reply Elena May 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    It cracks me up how different our coasts are. I think I haven’t washed my car for about 9 mos! I know, I’m totally gross. But I literally just use it to get from point A to point B. Don’t get me wrong, I have moments where I look at my sweet Ginger and wished she was shiny new Mercedes, but that moment passes real quick. I mean, my drop top doesn’t even work any more on my convertible bug. Thank goodness I don’t have that constant warm and sunny weather breathing down my back! Haha! 😉

    • Reply Jen May 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Elena, I’m an East Coaster and I didn’t wash my car much this winter either because of all the horrible weather, but I did get it done here and there when we had a window of clear weather just to get the salt off. AND I have a young kid so the other big benefit is getting all the crap vacuumed out of the back seat! Talk about GROSS – lifting that booster seat up is always a moment of truth. Now that winter has FINALLY left us, I need to get it washed again to get all the yellow pollen off!

    • Reply This Free Bird May 9, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Aren’t we on the same west coast? LOL

      I’m not sure certain parts of the Silicon Valley aren’t very much like the car crazy OC and LA down here, only you guys also ride bikes. And get a LOT more rain.

      That said, if my car didn’t have approx 7 mil bugs on it from the drive back last week it wouldn’t have been at the car wash either. I really don’t give a frig about cars and stuff. If it runs, I’m in it. HAHA!

  • Reply Jen May 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I’ve come home from the car wash with a sub-par job before also. Stinks when that happens so I’m glad you said something! As for status cars…we all need cars that are safe and functional, but after that it just becomes a waste of so much money. I guess whatever floats your boat…But we are a family who drives their vehicles into the ground…I know I’d rather use that money for other things (like the shoes on that lady, haha!).

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