I get anxious and nervous about a lot of stuff, like flying on a plane or seeing a mouse in my kitchen, but I don’t have a lot of those common fears that actually have names, you know like acrophobia, the fear of heights, or claustrophobia, the fear of small spaces. I’m not really afraid of the dark (well maybe a little!), or spiders, or elevators, but I do have one major fear that even I admit is a little bit nutty~~CAR WASHES.
And yesterday I had to face that fear alone…. (cue the scary music)
I guess if tried to figure out the reason for this bizarre fear, I would trace it back to this scene with Doris Day from the movie ‘Move Over Darling‘.
Even though I haven’t seen the movie or this scene for 30 years, watching it again just now has made my heart race a little faster and my palms sweat just a tad.
But my fear of THE CAR WASH doesn’t just involve getting myself washed instead of the car, no my fear also has to do with getting stuck in the car wash and not being able to drive my jalopy out…see this kind of happened to me…
When I was a 20 something, and they still had car washes that pulled you through on a track, I kind of sort of pulled up to the car wash and didn’t quite line my front wheel up on that track thingy and then my car started being pulled through, while my wheel was half in and half out of the track. The attendant was waving his arms and yelling for me to turn the wheel, my tire was making a terrible noise, and I was in full on panic mode!
My car scarily dropped down into the track mechanism, completed the wash, and I vowed to never ever go in another car wash as long as I lived!
But of course, like so many vows of things I will never do again, I haven’t kept this one! With the development of the stationary car wash (maybe I wasn’t the only idiot that couldn’t line up a tire on a track?), I am not quite as terrified as I used to be, but I am still afraid.
There are still so many things that can go wrong…
What if I forget to roll all my windows up or I accidentally press the window button with my elbow?
What if that crazy robot arm delivering the water and suds falls off and hits the car?
What if the garage door in the car wash doesn’t go up and I can’t drive out?
Can you tell I over think the whole car wash experience a bit too much?!
Because of this over thinking of the ‘what-ifs’ I usually wait to get the car washed until I have someone to ride shot-gun. This way there is someone else with me to share the panic if any of the above things, or a dozen other scenarios I can think up, occur! But yesterday I decided that being a grown up, with a dirty car, I was going to be brave and go it alone~~no co-pilot, just me and my cell phone.
So I pulled up to the car wash, waited for the green light to tell me it was my turn, drove into the car wash, stopped when it told me to stop, and the wash began. Well, it kind of began for about 30 seconds before the loud alarm started honking, and the sign started flashing in red, “REVERSE”, and I started panicking just like 30 years ago!
The car wash then abruptly stopped in mid wash, I reversed slightly (just like the it blaringly told me), and then the sign starting flashing in green, “PULL FORWARD”, which I guess I didn’t do quite fast enough because the alarm began honking yet again! I shakily did as instructed and then waiting, what seemed like an eternity, before the wash started up and finished the job of cleaning my car.
Jeepers creepers talk about wishing I hadn’t broken my vow of never ever entering a car wash again….sheesh!
But maybe I’m not so afraid of the car wash as I am afraid of the embarrassment and the possible public ridicule of my car wash faux pas!
So next time my car is in need of a little washing and waxing I’m going to wait till someone comes with me, even if it’s only my sidekick Jasmine!