Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

No Minnesota car wash blues for us December 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

HOW LONG WILL YOU wait in line at a car wash?

Which line should we choose?

Which line should we choose?


My husband and I recently waited for nearly half an hour at the Kwik Trip Car Wash in Faribault on a Saturday evening. Fourth in line. Next to a second line equally as long.

Moving up in line.

Moving up in line.

Arriving, we pondered which row to choose. Which will move faster? The one with the monster pick-up that doesn’t really appear in need of a wash? Or the other row? It’s a gamble. We chose the pick-up line. (Yeah, I know…)

I passed the time by deleting content from my cell phone. I took photos. I scanned the waiting vehicles and wondered why some were there, like that truck.

Before we headed over to the car wash, I snapped this photo through the dirty driver's side window.

Before we headed over to the car wash, I snapped this photo through the dirty driver’s side window.

It was obvious why my husband and I were waiting. Road salt and grime layered our van from a 600-mile round trip to eastern Wisconsin when the windshield wipers and washer fluid dispenser worked over-time. We could barely see out the side and rear windows for the film of white.

Randy wished aloud for some car wash tune to play on the radio while he amused himself by timing the length each vehicle was in the bay.

Not exactly a night at the movies, but entertaining anyway in the form of car wash art.

Not exactly a night at the movies, but entertaining anyway in the form of car wash art.

As for me, I thought to myself, after 32 years of marriage, it’s come to thisโ€”a Saturday night date at the car wash. But, you know, I’m OK with that.

ยฉ Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


25 Responses to “No Minnesota car wash blues for us”

  1. Almost Iowa Says:

    I would take my wife on a car-wash date in a heart-beat, if she were such a practical girl.

    “That’s silly,” she’d say, “We live on a gravel road. You are a city boy, you fail to grasp what that means. By the time we get home our car will be layered in dirt.”

    “But honey,” I’d say, “it’s a DATE.”


    “We sit in the car and listen to romantic tunes while sprinklers smear pretty colors on our windshield..”

    “You want to move back to the city, don’t you?”

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    love that multi-color soapsuds.

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    Oh I know the car wash date well—especially since I became carwash challenged there for a couple of years. Thank goodness the local Fleet Farm changed theirs out so now I don’t have to face the dreaded treadle pad alone. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have many pictures of car wash foam like that.in my stash as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Jackie Says:

    Something about this post I just loved… I think it’s the whole Idea of having a date-night at the car wash. I feel the same way, just about anything works for me and my guy, just as long as we are together. Last year Rick and I bought two new cars, so we decided to purchase the monthly pass of unlimited car washes at the “mister carwash”. We thought it acceptable to keep our new cars in good shape. The lines are short, since it’s a conveyor belt type of wash, it puts lots of cars through at a time and we hardly ever have to wait more than a few minutes. In years past we have been known to sit in that kwik trip line and we concluded that on average each car took 6 -7 minutes… ugh. We are actually saving money with our pass, so that’s a good thing.

  5. A car wash date! Why not? Heh! Mick and I sometimes end up at the gym together on Friday night because that’s just what works some weeks. Now there’s a date night for you….sweating together in a nearly-empty gym. It’s actually not bad. You have more privacy in the car in the car wash though….you can steal kisses!

  6. treadlemusic Says:

    A car wash date wash DH and my first date!!! As we pulled in, I had informed him (already) that “I don’t do windows” but he handed me a cloth and window cleaner and asked that I do the insides of the front windows!!! Doh!!!! Well, as this unfolded, next door (at a fast food restaurant) there was a couple of policemen in their squad car eating and kinda watching this. As we backed out (yes, it was that kind!), I was miffed (remember….1st date!), DH came around to the door (after going into the trunk of the car!!!!!!) and was carrying 2 stemmed glasses and a bottle of champagne!!!!!!!! Yup, he knew how to impress a gal! The cops were howling cuz it was evident my disposition did a radical 180!!!!! Just thought I would share one of our many life moments!!!! LOL!!!!!!

  7. hotlyspiced Says:

    That’s so funny, Audrey – a car wash date! I too have been trapped in a queue waiting my turn. Once I was in the line I couldn’t get out of it and it was such a hot day I thought I would expire before it was my turn. Then once I was in the machine I had to switch off the engine so couldn’t get any air-conditioning. I was sweaty and puce after the ordeal. So now, I only go first thing in the morning before the heat and while everyone else is still in bed! xx

  8. I enjoy car wash dates myself ๐Ÿ™‚ The best is going to the grocery store like the other night and sipping while we shop – the tap house can give you a to go cup with your favorite drinkie poo to sip while shopping. I certainly do not have cart rage when I grocery shop there – ha! Happy Weekend!

  9. Eric and I have many date nights at local car washers.
    We live on gravel, need I say more.
    I always struggle with which wash to choose…the quick rinse or Deluxe.
    My frugal sense struggles every time I pay to rinse the road grime off my car.
    Eric always chooses the Deluxe, no matter what. I find that interesting.
    And, I like the cherry smell of the foam….you only get that with Deluxe!!!
    Tomorrow I am headed out for a long day of Christmas shopping, will hit the gas station and get a fresh car wash to start the day!
    Wish me luck!

    • A cherry scent sounds like a much more pleasant smell than whatever I smelled during the elite wash.

      Fun to hear that we’re not the only ones who have car wash dates.

      Happy shopping tomorrow. We’ve decided to forgo Christmas gifts this year.

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