Author’s Note: I hadn’t planned to write a blog post tonight, but had a rather interesting interaction at the car wash I thought both touching and worth retelling.
I love this photo of my car I took after her wash today, taken at the pumps while filling her up. My car has an aggressive stance and front end – several have remarked it is mean-looking.
And frankly, she is mean…and loud. And scares people when approaching from behind or pulling up to a sidewalk. What you are seeing here is a funny angle which just managed to make her, Daryl Samuel, look happy like she’s smiling. I tweeted this…
— Jason Krech (@JasonOutLoud) January 6, 2016
I get my car washed about two to three times a week, something only a few people know, and this is much more than just gliding through the automated wash.
After that, there’s at least 30 minutes of wipe down after to dry her EVERYWHERE, not just the surfaces, I clean the engine, I scrub the wheels, I polish the glass. I have a dust buster always charged in the trunk to do some spot vacuuming. I clean the glass, then polish and seal it. I use two different types of clay to remove minerals from both the glass and paint.
There isn’t a spec of dust on any of the door jams or joints, no dust on the engine, nothing.
It’s a labor of love.
I had pulled in to the detail area where I do all of this between a flashy looking Prius V with lightly tinted windows and a lifted pick-up truck who’s owner looked like he should have been on the front lines with the Hammond’s in Oregon.
A woman, dressed in what I can only describe as a “utilitarian sari” emerged from the passenger side of the Prius.
She, like me, continued to round her car, wiping off the surfaces, checking for any damage to the exterior. I continued to glance over at the Prius and noted that it had aftermarket wheels.
This Indian woman, in the utilitarian sari, was probably in her late 40s, had short cropped hair, and flawless skin. About 15 minutes in, I was completely shocked she was still there, continuing to clean her car AFTER the car wash.
Finally, we both met in between our cars at the same time, and I apologized if I was blocking her…
“You have a beautiful car. Wow, it’s beautiful. What are you using?” (pointing to my bottle of Griot’s Speed Shine and the small nub of paint cleaning clay I was using to remove mineral deposits.)
I explained the products, walking back to the back of my car, showing her the rest of the supplies.
“Where do you get these things? How often do you wash your car? How do you deal with the rain? You drive an M3, are you an outlier? I thought everyone drove hybrids here. I’ve only lived here three months. We chose this car quickly and to fit in, but I’ve made it mine for now…”
She opened the door and just like under my couch with the Hue lighting, this woman had installed what I can only refer to as “ground effects” under the front seats, essentially lighting the ground beneath the back row of seating where two child seats were buckled in – and spotless.
It reminded me a little of my many Prius vehicles.
And just so you know, her question about dealing with the rain was 100% about how to keep your car clean when it rained so much…not about a life in the Seattle rain.
The flashy Prius V was indeed a flashy Prius V and this woman was a car enthusiast who clearly had the support of her husband in a culture where I’ve often seen the interest of women set aside next to that of the family’s.
“Well, maybe I’ll see you again here. Good day.”
She dropped in to her whip, louder than the average person would listen to traditional Indian music could be heard through the window, and looking like any parent of school children you might imagine, pulled away…with some oomph…in her really sick Prius V.
Don’t judge a book by its cover doesn’t go far enough. This is the type of person I want surrounding me every single day. What an amazing sense of self, identity, and belonging, with an ageless amount of curiosity still in place.
Makes me tear up a little typing up the story of it now. #TBTG