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Doris at the Carwash

Some days you just can’t go on.
Some days you have to give up and live to shop another day.

One hot summer Saturday we got in the car to drive to Dallas and go shopping at the fabulous Galleria Mall.
This was Dallas in the years of Dallas on TV.
Big hair and shoulder pads Dallas.
Neimen Marcus Dallas.

By a strange quirk of fate my Mom’s real first name is Doris.
She hates it and has always gone by Annette.

So Annette and I are in the car, but we need gas for the trip into the Big D.
She’s driving.
Like Ray in Rain Man she’s an excellent driver.
With a full tank you get a free carwash.
We get gas and she says let’s get the free car wash.

We are dressed to the nines.
Nylons, heels, and nice handbags.
We’d done our hair and makeup.
You wouldn’t think of shopping at Neimen Marcus or Bloomingdales otherwise.
We pull into the carwash and Annette enters the code from our receipt.
We pull forward and nothing happens.
We back up and she tries it again.
We pull forward and nothing happens.
We back up and she enters the code once more and a green light goes on above the carwash contraption.

We pull in again and still nothing happens.
Now she rolls down her window to call the attendant.
In life as in comedy, timing is everything.
Just then the jets come to life and she is caught in a stream of blue and pink soapy sudsy water.
She turns to look at me and gets the other side of her head doused too.
The look on her face still cracks me up, but in the moment it was her question,“What should I do?” that sent me into hysterics.

I told her she might want to roll up the window.
We made it through the carwash and she went to the Ladies to dry off as much as possible with the few paper towels that were in the dispenser.
Time was wasting and I wanted to get going.
I admit I had lied a little about the state of her hair and make-up.
Once she saw the truth in the crummy bathroom mirror there was no way she was going into Neimen Marcus looking like something the cat drug in.
If you don’t think the Universe sometimes conspires against us then you haven’t been paying attention.

When we got home my Dad was watching TV.
An old Doris Day movie was on.
While explaining our carwash episode to my Dad I couldn’t believe my eyes.
There on TV Doris Day, dressed for Neimen Marcus, was getting soaked in a carwash.

I originally told you this film was THE THRILL OF IT ALL, but that’s incorrect.

Thanks to Paul Brogan who pointed out the movie I referenced is actually called MOVE OVER DARLING. It’s good to know other bloggers have your back since I presume most of us don’t have an editorial staff supporting us!


Doris Day’s Carwash Scene


Couldn’t Find a photo of Monkey Riding a Dog

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  1. pebrogan says:

    Thanks Kelly…..I wish I could conjure up an appropriate sports response but…….. Love your writing and your personal enthusiasm and joie de vivre come across beautifully.

  2. Kelly Grace says:

    Thanks Paul. I made the correction. I’ve spent some time recently at the Baseball Park watching my grandson’s team play. When the batter is skilled enough to not swing at a ball several parents call out “Good Eye”. Today I’m giving you a shout out—Good Eye.

  3. Nice piece – highly entertaining. One correction, however, the car wash scene is from the 1963 comedy, “Move Over, Darling” with Doris and James Garner, not to be confused with the 1963 comedy, “The Thrill of it All” with Day and Garner. In “Thrill” Garner drives their convertible into a newly dug swimming pool in their backyard while in “Move Over…” Miss Day drives her husband’s convertible into a car wash on Pico Blvd. after having a fight with Garner at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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My passion is to help you discover how God’s word can reach down into your heart and produce amazing transformations in you, your relationships, and your influence in the world around you. 

Hi, I'm Kelly

Blogger, Jesus Girl, Grace-believing optimist


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