Yesterday, after lunch with my mom and brother in my hometown of Arcadia (often termed Arcasia because of the more than 50% of Asians who dominate the city), my brother and I decided to get carwashes for our extremely disgustingly dirty cars. The last time I got a car wash was in December from my last car maintenance, and I don't think they even vacuumed my inside so the car was not in good shape. Now we knew our usual go to place was, as of late, not that great. They did a quick job, but usually left some stains, missed some spots, etc. So off we went to the place my mom had mentioned being way better than our usual spot.
When we first got there, I noticed business was slow but with all the nearby street construction, it made sense. I pulled in first and wanted the deluxe rainbow wash, originally $10 - but for today's special - was cut in half! The savings were unbelievable! I looked back to find my brother pulling in back of me and I yelled, "I'm getting the deluxe one - it's only $5 today!" but apparently he didn't hear my entire statement and he responded with, "You're doing the cheapest one?" which was also slashed down to $3 that day. "No!" I exclaimed, "it's on sale! I'm doing the most expensive one for $5!" Confused, he stepped out of his car and came closer so he could hear me correctly. I explained to him the cost savings we were getting and what a lucky day it was for us! He was stoked as well. "Sweet!" he said. So with that, I paid.
I didn't notice it was weird that I was paying before the carwash. Normally, you pay while the car is going through the conveyer belt after you have dropped it off at the vacuum center. Oh well. Without a thought, I got back into my car and would pull the car to whatever drop off station was necessary. Only there wasn't a drop off. I was directed straight into the car wash and in that moment, it hit me. Epiphany! This is like one of those old school carwashes that my dad used to take us through. I quickly turned off my radio (it's habit, I know my antennae is not one that extends), rolled up all my windows, and shifted into neutral, getting ready for the exciting ride through the carwash.
Let me tell you - this one was unlike any other I've ever been in. First of all, the soap is RAINBOW colored! A swirl of beautiful red, green, blue, purple, yellow puffed onto my car and I oohed and aaahed as I took in all the colors mixing together in a declaration of beauty on my car. Then, like many things in life, it was taken away with the big bad bands of rubber that came to put the soap to work. Within seconds, the soap bubbles were gone and all I could see was black. The car continued on its way and the next thing I knew, I was watching the powerful dryer zap away the little bits of water struggling for their lives on my car windshield. They hung on tightly but without avail as the omnipotent air demanded them to depart.
In that moment, I looked at the carpet inside my car which was infested with dirt, leaves, and crumbs of whatever Andy and I had eaten in the car since December. Ewwww. Man, how I wished I could at least have a chance to vacuum the insides, that was a part of the carwash I was looking forward to! But wait! Behold - as I looked onward to the exit of the carwash, I saw people.... ordinary non-uniformed laymen (and women) using a small suction cup thingie majiggie that was attached to a huge hose.
Oh my. I pulled into an empty spot that was adjacent to another empty spot and motioned for my brother's car to come over when he exited. There, we spent the next hour, vacuuming every inch of our car mats, insides, throwing away trash accumulated over time, and laughed at the possibility of what if our mom showed up here expecting a normal carwash without self service? We worked side by side, each commenting on the disgusting state of our cars - mine adorned with an assortment of crumbs and covered with hair which by the way, did not get sucked up by the all powerful vacuum. So with my hands, I plucked every single bunch of hair attached to the carpet of my car. It was probably enough to make a short wig. My brother's car had old Starbucks cups, old red velvet cupcake wrappers, some stuff we were unable to identify and I concluded were chicken bones, and old magazines leftover from when I used to drive his car. We worked hard, never complained and my brother (who is normally labeled as quite indifferent about cleaning up) commented, "It's kind of nice to do it yourself so you can get all the details right." Wow, I was shocked. And then, another shocking statement came thereafter with, "You know, it'd probably be a lot easier if we kept our cars cleaner consistently instead of a one time clean up every now and then like this."
That was my precise conclusion about toilet cleaning a while back (my toilet story), but why had I not thought of it when it came to cars?! An hour later, exhausted but feeling good about our efforts and successfully cleaner (not clean, just cleaner) cars, we left for the very fobby Chinese tea station with free wi-fi where we would aim to work for an hour together. Mainly, I needed my brother to show me how to use the new macbook pro I just purchased (it's so odd going from a PC to a Mac and I'm still slowly adjusting and feel the need to learn more shortcuts so I'm more efficient).
What an adventure we had with the rainbow deluxe carwash! It reminded me about the value of work and how rewarding it is. We felt good when we left, like we had accomplished a lot! And for $5 and an hour later, we felt great! I also enjoyed the time spent with my brother. When our time together overlapped with me living in the back house, our time spent together consisted of VH1's best of the 80's, 90's, reality trash on MTV, etc. But with my demanding work hours, his busy school schedule and extracurricular activities, we didn't see each other much and that time has only decreased since he got back from New York, I got married, and am now having a baby. So it was indeed nice to have the adventure we did together.