Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Inappropriate Relationships

**NOTE** I wrote this in February... I am just getting around to posting it.

I'm not talking about you and the significant other that doesn't treat you right. I'm not talking about how some NRA members relate to their guns. I'm not even talking about what some people have with their own cousins.

No.

I'm talking about some people and their relationship with their cars. Yes, their cars.

Before you start thinking that good ol' Gunfighter has been sniffing gunpowder or something, let me tell you what caused this particular train of thought to burst forth from the station that is my mind.

Today was my day to drop Olivia at school, which I did @ 9 A.M., I had to return home to switch cars, since it is against agency policy to transport anyone in my government owned vehicle, as I turned the corner onto my street, I noticed one of my seldom seen new neighbors was out in his driveway, lovingly washing his car.

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Now, at first you might think that this isn't that big of a deal... after all, people wash their cars all the time, right? Well, read on, gentle friends.

Some of you live in the same geographical area as me, so you might have noticed the frozen precipitation that we had last week. You know, the ice that had area schools closed most of last week? Well, the good thing is that the weather took an upswing yesterday, with warm breezes, temperatures in the 50's, and a bit of warm pre-spring rain. This nice weather, which continues today, is melting lots of the plowed up snow and ice, leaving the wet streets slick with the gummy remains of all of the sand that the various public works people have spread to keep us all from killing ourselves on the roads.

Well, since the roads are still wet and mucky, why would you be washing your car? Now, I don't mean rinsing the muck from your car, that’s one thing, but this guy is out there with a long-handled brush, hose, sponge, and large bucket of sudsy water, actually caressing the bloody car! To tell you the truth, it was kind of creepy. It isn't like the guy drives a Jag or anything... I don't get it.

Now, if this was just some sort of aberrant behavior, that would be one thing... but this is just an indicator of a phenomenon that I have observed for years. This is mostly a male thing, but, women can be just as nuts about it as men can.

I understand that people want to get the sand, grit, and snow-melting chemicals off of their cars, but please… these same people are the ones that, before they go to work in the morning, are wiping the dew off of their cars with a chamois cloth! What’s that all about? It’s just a bleeding car! Sure, keep it clean, but wipe off the water? That’s just stupid. When I have asked people why they do that, I have been greeted with the blank stare usually reserved for the village idiot, and gotten this reply: “So I won’t have water spots” (God save us!) I just wish that these same people were the sort to be as careful about keeping the neighborhood clean, or their yards as nice, as they keep their cars.

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I see this phenomenon as being a small part of one of the worst parts of American culture. You see, we tend to think that our stuff makes us special. Our stuff, our immortality symbols. We see them as things that make us better, more desirable, more valuable. People drive monstrous SUV’s that they never haul anything in, and never take off the road, despite the fact that SUV’s are considered trucks, and are therefore not required to have catalytic converters. This means that they pollute the air more than vehicles that do have converters. People drive these vehicles because they impart (in the minds of some) a certain level of status. Near where we live, there are subsidized income apartments (a great many occupied by members of the armed forces) where many of the residents drive these gargantuan, $40,000 cars. What does that say about us? We’d make a $600 a month car payment, rather than buy a house to live in?

I struggle with this regularly. I’m not suggesting that everyone drive the same kind of car as me… not at all. I just don’t get it why anyone would spend that kind of money on something so incredibly depreciable. That $40K car won’t take you anywhere that my $6K car won’t take you (and mine is paid for!)… so, what’s the point?

I know guys that I work with that drive Chevy Suburbans… who the hell needs one of those things? It costs them $70 dollars to fill the gas tank. That’s nuts! Some of them even spend money for this:

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Anyway… this is just sort of spilling out because it has been on my mind (aren’t you glad you can’t see inside of it?). You can go back to your regularly scheduled programs, now.

GF

15 comments:

Tasha said...

I've always wondered the same thing. An ex of mine was so in love with his car (he thought he was in the "Fast and the Furious" and souped up a little Honda Civic that he could barely fit in) that he would actually talk to it every morning. He would spend entire weekends washing and toying with that stupid little vehicle. We finally had to break it off because he managed to drop $5000 for his car's "birthday" but absolutely forgot mine, which was two days later.

Gunfighter said...

Absolutely pathetic, Tasha.

(This isn't what I was planning to blog about today... but I was overcome by events)

super des said...

My friend's neighbor was like this with his BMW. The really funny thing was that it was a model BMW that looked absolutely phallic. So he was out there washing it, lovingly stroking it, and taking a little too much care of his "baby." Gee, what was he compensating for?

It was utterly hilarious.

Brillig said...

Well, hmmm. Since I drive a crumb- and puke-covered minivan, and since I don't even really wash my hair very often, I really can't relate... But if my car were the only thing I had in my life that made me happy (what a life that would be!) I guess I could sorta see it.

And, come on GF, that last picture. You don't really think that having a half-naked lady wash your car is about getting your car washed, do you?

Gunfighter said...

Des,

I'm not going there, my friend!

Brillig,

Welcome! No, the nearly-nekkid car wash isn't about clean cars... I just used this post as a vehicle to talk about something that people I know actually have indulged in. Personally, I think that they would be more honest if the went to a strip club.

vasilisa said...

I hear you. I live next to a neighbour that has a weird relationship with her cars and house. I mean, I'm all for cleanliness... But in the summer, she washes the outside of her walls practically daily! Now, that's a weird relationship...

Though I wouldn't mind developing a little better relationship with my car, cause right now it often resembles a garbage bin on wheels :-)

King Isepik said...

I think a little of his obsession could rub off onto the Queen and she might be inspired not to use the inside of the family car as a trash can. :) I don't ask her to wash the car as I take care of that once or twice a month. :)

Where was that car wash lady when I was single?!?! :)

Emma Sometimes said...

I run it through the autowash two, three times a year, give it recommended tune ups and make sure the tires aren't bald. It's all good. hehe.

I'm with you on an affordable car, plus you don't get so bent out of shape when someone inevitably dings the crap out of your door in a parking lot when getting into their vehicle. hehe.

soccer mom in denial said...

I noticed the, um, lady at the end of your post earlier today and have been thinking about the, err, girl dry jobs available at certain car washes.

What drives me insane are the high school cheerleader squads that set up in crazy outfits to "dry cars" for fundraisers. J**** C***** parents! I've got a daughter and I wouldn't want her boobs all over someone's windshield!

Girl con Queso said...

So if I've washed my car exactly zero times, does that make me lazy or gross or both? I mean, it rains a lot here. So, I figure that covers it. Sortof.

Terri said...

hum...
I hate getting the car washed...
I never do it...
Mike can't stand it and will take it in to get washed...
I'm really bad about that...
I'll clean house all day long...but taking the car in for a wash....nope!

Maybe if I were skinny and hot I'd be out there in my babing suit like Paris!

Kateastrophe said...

OK i found out via, via, via . . . like lots of blog hopping, but I heart you and your blog already.

My husband is the guy lovingly washing his car in the snow. Granted, I still don't get it or really agree with him, and his car isn't that expensive, but he loves it, he picked it out, and he is that guy who takes care of all of his stuff like that. His shoes last forever . . . his clothes look new forever.

I trash things. I ruin shoes in a heartbeat and my car is always a mess.

I guess I don't really have a point other than to say "whatever floats those clean weirdo's boats!!" Right?!?

Gunfighter said...

Welcome new visitors!

Thnaks for the love and for the visits.

Please come back again... every once and a while, I have something of interest to say... usually it is just stuff that erupts from my head.

Peace,

GF

Kelley said...

I have a major problem with America's car obsession. What are we trying to prove, anyway?

I've always internalized what my dad taught me about cars as a kid: that they're basically a horrible investment. Like him, I buy practical cars, and I drive them forever. I can think of so many better ways to spend my money, "the Joneses" be damned!

Gunfighter said...

Right on, Kelley!

How is your neck?