Riding Dirty: What Your Car's Hygiene Says About You
A few months ago, I had to drive a dude back to his car after our dinner date. I’ll spare you the logistics of how this came about, but I was not prepared for it. I panicked as I realized that, on our first date, he was going to get a glimpse of “The Most Disgusting Car in Atlanta, Maybe the World,” as it is so fondly referred to by my friends. Luckily, most of the nastiness (largely attributed to my shedding maniac of a dog) is in the backseat and we were in the dark, so he didn’t get a full viewing of my 2003 Nissan Xterra’s true colors on the short ride to his car. Phew. That incident could have been much worse. I definitely needed to get my car in check before it occurred again in the daylight.
The state of someone’s auto interior is very important on the dating scene. A girl doesn’t want to get into a nasty car after spending an hour primping and perfuming for a night on the town with the object of her desire (that would be you, man). Likewise, a guy doesn’t want to get into a girl’s car that is covered in dog hair or some other disgusting-ness (especially if he’s wearing dark colors). Empty soda cans, old food, smelly gym clothes, or anything else that reeks or looks less than fresh is a dating no-no.
To some, your car gives an impression of who you are. Byron Turner, owner of The Cappuccino Connection & Atlanta Chocolate Fountains (and owner of a clean car) says, “It’s similar to if the guy dresses like a slob, he is probably a slob; if his car is sloppy he is probably a little sloppy himself.”
Yikes. I consider myself the exception to that rule.
Keeping your car pristine isn’t easy, especially if you spend a lot of time in it, but luckily, most guys and girls will forgive a little clutter. “Messy is different than nasty,” says Meredith Pruden of Mer-itocracy Creative. Byron says, “I don't know of any girl’s car that is "that" clean. It seems like there is always makeup, water bottles, et cetera. As long as it doesn't smell funny and I can fit in the car, I can deal with it for a while.”
Yet, some things can’t be ignored.
“A little bit of dust and clutter is easily overlooked but some ancient food and piles of actual trash are deal breakers,” Meredith says.
Girls are given a little more leeway when it comes to the clean car issue, maybe because stereotypically, males are car lovers and therefore take better care of their automobiles. But both sexes take note: once you’ve crossed over into nasty territory, it’s time to hit the car wash. My beloved Xterra wasn’t hiding any old sandwiches or fossilized French fries under the seats (that I knew of) and it definitely didn’t smell like a gym sock, but the amount of dog hair and dirt from dog paws after park outings combined with the amount of time that had passed since it’s last detail (four years) had officially put it in the danger zone. After numerous recommendations, I chose Avril’s Car Wash in Buckhead for a full detail.
I hung out on one of Avril’s comfy couches and took advantage of free Wi-Fi while the guys worked on my car. I wasn’t a bit surprised that it took them about four hours to complete the task. I almost cried tears of joy when I inspected my car. I could see the actual color of the backseat interior. The cup holders were shining. It had that new car smell. Those guys are officially magicians. The best part: they didn’t give me dirty looks for making them endure my car’s disgusting-ness for the last four hours of their work day. I was impressed, and ready to welcome even the neat-freakiest date into my new and improved ride.
I highly suggest a visit to Avril’s. Tell them I sent you. No, actually, don’t; I don’t want to remind them of the hours they spent immersed in the Xterra’s mess. And a suggestion: if you’re dating someone whose automobile is teetering on that line of nasty, buy him or her a gift certificate for a car detailing. Don’t worry about insulting them. It’s not like it’s a gym membership.
Avril’s Car Wash Buckhead (multiple locations)
200 West Wieuca Road
Interior detail (full detail inside, just a wash outside): $80 - $130 depending on car type
Deluxe Detail (full detail inside and outside): $125 - $210