Posted by on Sep 8, 2011 in Uncategorized | 8 comments

Everyone always wants to hear my carwash story.  I have mixed feelings about sharing it.  On one hand, it’s  rather funny and I love to laugh.  On the other hand, it’s embarrassing.  I always emphasize that it happened many years ago.  I remember the approximate date by the fact that my niece was a baby in a car seat at the time.    She is now an adolescent.

My sister was visiting from out of town with my niece.   We were driving around and I decided to go through the car wash.  Our neighborhood car wash has an awkward entrance.  You have 2 options when you pull off the street.   Either you  basically  make a u-turn to get into the line-up or you drive around several buildings  maneuvering into line with a little more finesse.

This particular day, there was quite a line-up and everyone was taking the long way around.  The endless line of cars seemed to snake around several buildings.  I decided that the u-turn option was more convenient for me but it meant I would have to merge with the longer line.   Since I am a rule-follower by nature (sort of)  I wouldn’t dream of cutting in, so I made a mental note of my place in the “merger”.    I noted the last car, a blue van, and decided I would slip in after he passed me by.  This made perfect sense to me.

I waited patiently, moving forward only after my targeted van passed.  Unfortunately, the cars behind him knew nothing of my immaculate reasoning and simply thought I was cutting into the line.   The car immediately behind the van was a black Eldorado with a young man behind the wheel.  Surprisingly, he did not look upon my efforts to inch into line, with kindness.  Behind his windshield, his hostile eyes met mine and in that instant something triggered in my brain.  I was simply going to win this battle, because I was right.  With hand gestures I indicated that it was my turn and I was going to be next in line.  Using a few hand gestures of his own, he let me know that he did not agree.

Forgetting that my sister and baby niece were in the back seat, my mind focused on my need to win this battle at all costs.  Both of us inching our cars forward, I was prepared to sacrifice my car (not to mention my sister and my niece) at that moment.   In my concentration to inch past his front bumper, my car nudged the blue van in front of us with the bumper.  It was only a small nudge, at least my mind barely registered it.  Far from deterring me, it only intensified my focus.  Again, I inched forward and for the second time, my car nudged the van.  It was the last straw.  The driver of the van jumped out  of his vehicle,  followed by the El Dorado driver and myself.

We stood near to the entrance to the Car Wash, all talking (ahem…rather loudly)  at once, as the employees came running in an attempt to avoid the outbreak of World War III.   When it was all over (I did go through the car wash and they didn’t even charge me!), it was like I was coming to out of a coma.  I suddenly became aware of my sister and her baby.  Only then did I consider what she might think of my behavior.   Lamely, I stammered something about this not being the behavioral norm for me.  She was kind.

Upon hearing the story, my husband was not so accommodating.   He was absolutely right:   I had lost my cool, and in the process had jeopardized my credibility and reputation.  I had become a crazy person for a few minutes that day.   When I really think about it,  it’s somewhat embarrassing, which is why I didn’t tell the story for a long time.

God help us not be crazy people as we move about our world… least not very often.


  1. I love this story:-) Mostly because it makes me look at my similar Crazy Moment and realize that we all have that one moment that in the telling makes us laugh… but in the remembering is so embarrassing!

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