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Her first time

October 11, 2010
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I wonder if this kind of thing happens to the editor of Professional Hairdressing Magazine? Last month, my best friend Julie called me completely out of breath and in a real frenzy. At first I was worried it was a wedding emergency. I got married last month and Julie was my maid of honor. But alas, the caterer hadn’t lost my order, nor the florist shop gone up in flames. Instead it was something much more worrisome: Julie had used a conveyor carwash.

For. The. First. Time.

“It was so scary!” she screamed into the phone. “Why didn’t you tell me it was so scary?!”

While Julie carried on describing the details of her “terrifying” trip to the carwash, I was wondering how many more of my friends felt the same way. I tried to remember my first time; just a few years before I accepted my job at Professional Carwashing & Detailing®, when I was a young college co-ed. I went to a Hoffman Car Wash in Albany, NY. Little did I know then that I had chosen capable, confident experts!

I recalled being nervous about driving the car onto the correlator, but not as nervous as I felt thinking of my father’s reaction if he had seen the state of my little Nissan Sentra. Cleanliness is Godliness in the Carr family household, and it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to say that David Carr expects his children to be little gods and goddesses.

So, there I was, anxiously staring at the uniformed employee guiding me onto the conveyor.

Wondering if this tunnel would eat my car up and spit me out. I was pleasantly surprised. The wash went smoothly enough; I remember being excited to see the triple foam cover the windshield and oddly comforted by the idea of my car “driving” itself.

With the sounds of Julie’s horrific trip still ringing in my ears (she says she’ll stick to the self serve from now on) and my own happy memory stuck in my head, I decided to check with some other friends. I used the social networking site Facebook to ask my 300-some-odd online connections a question: Do you think the carwash is scary? Fun? A chore?

The majority of the women in my life responded the carwash was a nerve-wracking and oftentimes overwhelming experience. Except for dear Jen, who said the carwash was never a problem. You see, she pulls up, hands the staff her keys and enjoys an iced beverage from the comfort of an outdoor patio. It’s practically a vacation!

With the exception of Full-serve Jen, most of the gals said they relied on their husbands or boyfriends to handle the carwashing chores for the household. The guys seem unimpressed with my question: A carwash is a carwash is a carwash. A necessity, a chore, a better feeling afterwards.

My “research” did reveal one happy fact: Most of my friends and family use a professional carwash. Which either means I am an excellent influence or they are all too terrified to admit anything differently.

Either way, I’ll take it.

(p.s. For tips on how to get Julie to visit your carwash — and make it a friendlier, more inviting environment for all your customers in the process, turn to page 58 and read “Facing their fears.”)

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