I love having a clean car. I’m really picky about it… to the point that I usually get the full car wash (interior and exterior) at least once a month. Sadly the cost keeps going up for this car wash. When I had my Altima, it was simple: Get the Special Wash for only $15. Then we had the Element, which was classified as an SUV, so that incurred the $1 SUV upcharge.
Now we have the Mazda 5… It is probably the same size as my Altima in length. (Yes, it may have a little more space inside, but not much.) But because it has sliding doors, I have to incur the $2 upcharge for a minivan. Ridiculous! If you look at our car compared to an Odyssey or Sienna, it is much smaller. True minivans are cavernous! Ours is a Mini Minivan. But the sliding doors are all they look at. I’ve complained a couple of times, telling them I’ll accept the SUV upcharge, but not the minivan. I usually hope that I am there the same time as a true minivan to be able to do a side-by-side comparison. You may wonder why I’m such a stickler about that $1, but when you go as often as I do, you have to save where you can.
After our rainy and muddy drive through West Virginia on Saturday for the Green Home Tour (put on by the Potomac Audobon Society and some great homeowners willing to let dozens of people tour their homes), our car needed a thorough cleaning. The car had mud everywhere. Think of a trip to the beach when you get sand in every crevice, but just replace the sand with mud. I tried to be good money-wise, so I went to one of the gas station car washes just to get the exterior cleaned (Note that there are no more discounts for car washes when you buy a full tank of gas. What happened to that?) It was ok. Not really worth the $7. When I got home, I had to do more, and since I had already spent the $7, I couldn’t go spend more to get the full car wash. So I cleaned… And I cleaned… And I cleaned…
And now… I have a very clean car! AND I felt awesome about it. I get such satisfaction from cleaning. I hate it in the process, but when I’m done, I love it. It’s the same with cleaning my house. If only I had the time to do thorough cleanings every week, I’d be good to go. This whole event may have convinced me to wash my car myself during the warm season, though. (I’ll definitely be back fighting the minivan upcharge in the winter!)
I’m still not convinced that our hard work cleaning our house and the satisfaction we get from it is better than paying someone else to clean it, but for now, that’s all we’ve got. The quick dustings, the daily quick vaccuming and the serious vaccuming on the weekends, the “whenever I have 10 extra minutes in the morning” bathroom cleanings (that should happen more often!)…. It’s good enough for now, but certainly not ideal considering what a neat freak I am. My dream in life is to be able to afford a cleaning service. Is it sad that that is one of my big dreams? Forget a European vacation or a new deck… I just want to come home from work and see a sparkling clean house without having to do more than write a check. That’s luxury to me.