I hate car washes.
There it is. Yup. Ridiculous. Irrational. Nuts. But still, I strongly dislike them. Why? I think it has something to do with being locked in my car with no discernible means of escape, while giant scrub brushes hold me hostage, pummeling the finish of my car, until the car finally succumbs and shines like it’s required to.
Yuck… even the thought of all this makes my skin crawl.
Yes, in case you haven’t guessed, I am a control freak. And yes, the idea of being “out of control” even in a car wash for four minutes, drives me batty. And yes, the idea of “demanding” something of something—even the finish on a car—gives me the heebie-jeebies.
So what does this mean to us? Well, I’ve been thinking. Even though I hate car washes, I go. Sure I make my husband go for me whenever possible, but if he’s unavailable, I have no choice. Succumbing to the mighty brush is something I have to do, or else, well…my car will be filthy.
So how do I prep for such an occasion? I convince myself of all the things much greater in scope that I’ve nailed. Things like driving solo for days, or being a speaker at a large convention; things that don’t bother me in the least, but can send a shiver of fear up the spine of another person. And then I take a deep breath and do it.
That made me think about our characters. Sometimes, as readers and writers, we get to that moment and say, “How is this person ever going to handle this situation? How can this man ever love? Or how will this girl ever be able to forgive?” How do we make the most pivotal moments believable? By calling on a character’s strength, or victory, from another action, we can free them to make that crucial change that is pertinent to their growth.
So yes, the most unlikely bad-boy can fall in love and change. Think of all those victories in his past, preparing him to squelch his ultimate fear.
And so, taming my trepidation toward car washes may not be anything that shows up in one of my novels any time soon (or will it? Hmmm…?), at least it shows me if I can have a shiny, sparkly car, well then, who knows what my characters will be capable of?