Thursday, June 6, 2013

if at first you don't succeed, try, try again

Well, I am coming to you fresh off a Very Embarrassing Moment.

It's car related and I've thought long and hard about a way to tell this story without providing extensive backgound and detail, but that appears to be an impossibility.  So buckle up.

(See what I did there?)

(Buckle up?)

I have to go to a work meeting tomorrow that's about two hours away.  In addition to a Dunkin' Donuts hot chocolate coolatta and the Kenny Chesney pandora station, the trip will require a full tank of gas.

Before I go any further, let me say that I enjoy driving, and consider myself to be confident behind the wheel.  But, I HATE gas stations.  

I also get anxious in crowded parking lots, and on four lane roads where fellow motorists have the habit of changing lanes without engaging a turn signal to notify others of their navigational intentions.  And I avoid making left turns at intersections without left turn arrows because the directive of LEFT TURN, YIELD ON GREEN is not my favorite.  I also hate ALERT: HEAVY MERGE AREA signs and intersections with only blinking yellow traffic lights.

 And now that I type that all out, it occurs to me that perhaps I should find a professional to speak to about my car related issues, because OH, THEY ARE APLENTY.

As my dad likes to say, "Freud would have a field day!"

Back to gas stations.  They are my kryptonite.  I don't care for all the cars driving in different directions, and to find a pump that meets the qualifications of being open, self-serve, and for non-cardmembers can sometimes be a little like seeing a mirage in the desert.

Or Brad Pitt with a decent haircut.

And so, due to my aforementioned high standards, I have identified ONE pump at one gas station that I approve of, and since I made the discovery it's the only pump I ever use.  It's easy to pull beside, no reversing is necessary, I can pay right at the pump, and drive straight out the driveway.  

If I arrive at the station and someone is at my pump, I assume that the sign reserving it for me has blown off and then drive around the block until they are gone.  

My gas station is a few blocks from my office, but unfortunately I couldn't go on my way home from work tonight because I had an appointment to pick up a bridesmaid dress at 4:30 just down the street from my apartment.  And now I'm just overexplaining.

After my appointment I knew it was time to face the music, or the ethanol, as it were, and I didn't want to drive all the way back to my station.  

Instead I drove to a nearby Sunoco which had OPEN PUMPS APLENTY, so I pulled right in, swiped my card, and got the gas pump situated.  

And then I decided that while I waited, I would wash my windows, because, go big or go home.

I had finished the front windshield and was walking around to the back when an older gentleman in a big Chevy Silverado pulled in behind me and began to WAIT for my spot.  The driver smiled at me and I smiled back and finished my windshield washing like the professional gas station patron that I am.  

I hadn't heard the pump click when I finished the windshield, so I figured I might as well start washing my headlights.

I began to sense my Silverado friend getting frustrated, mainly because I could see him looking around for other open spots, so I walked around to the pump to check things out.

Which is when I discovered that I HADN'T TURNED IT ON.


I was mortified.  And so I did when any sophisticated lady would do in that situation and put the pump away, hopped in my car, and peeled out of there on two wheels. 

And then I parked in the Macy's parking lot across the street until the coast was clear and I could try again.

I'm sure Mr. Silverado did a double take when he saw that the screen said GALLONS: 0 PRICE: $0.00 after I pulled away.  

The good news is that my second try was a success and I am all set for my trip tomorrow.

And my headlights are even sparkling clean.



Emily said...

HA, this is great. It happens to the best of 'em.

Rachel said...

Oh man!! I sare your lack of love for gas stations. I avoid them with diligence--it's so sad that after all that trouble you didn't even get your tank of gas!

Karla said...

Oh my gosh. This might be the BEST blog post that I have EVER. We might as well be best friends because you are officially the first person that I've met that does the SAME thing that I do when it comes to pumping gas. Like... seriously... the anxiety of cars moving around in different directions and the "choosing the right pump" thing. Everything you mentioned, I do the exact same thing. Wow. I feel like, I can't believe that this same thing hasn't happened to me because I put so much thought into things before I even get to the pump that by the time I put the nozzle in, you'd think I'd also forget to press the lever to put gas in. Wow. I loved this. Thank you!!

Robin said...

I would have done exactly the same thing - made the mistake and driven away! One time, after I had recently gotten my car, I pulled the wrong side of my car up to the gas pump...twice. I drove away and went somewhere else so I wouldn't have to go into the store and hear about it when I paid.

Robin said...

I would have done exactly the same thing - made the mistake and driven away! One time, after I had recently gotten my car, I pulled the wrong side of my car up to the gas pump...twice. I drove away and went somewhere else so I wouldn't have to go into the store and hear about it when I paid. said...

hahaha!! Aw :( this is funny, but i feel you on the anxiety in gas stations..I won't go after 8pm and that's pushing it!! Too many creepers around!!

Hilary said...

Hahahaha, that is totally something I would do. I even get embarrassed when I get out and walk around only to realize I didn't open my gas tank door. The car I drove for 8 years after high school didn't have a lever on the inside, you just opened it when you were ready to put the pump in. Now I feel like an idiot every time I have to walk around.

Amanda Wissmann said...

Don't be too embarrased! Sounds like something I would do ;) and even if we are the only two in the WHOLE world, at least you aren't alone!

Enjoy your Friday AND ENJOY YOUR TRIP! YAY!

happy weekend!

Sarah and Stewart said...

Gas stations are so stressful!! I totally feel your pain. I almost always make sure that if the tank is getting low I find a reason for my husband to drive my car, so he'll fill it up for me. I would have done the exact same thing! LOL

Sarah @ Life As Always

Stephanie said...

Hahaha!! Embarrassing but hilarious!

Katie said...

haha oh man. that is hilarious. and totally sounds like something that i would do!

Michelle said...

I'm so glad I found someone as high maintenance as I am when it comes to gas stations. This is hilarious. I love it.

Baby Sister said...

Lol! That totally sounds like something I would do. :) But at least your car got slightly clean. :)

Mackenzie said...

This is hilarious! I have a fear of gas stations as well. Something about being out in the open like that makes me feel like I'm going to be sniper'ed! Gas station fear-ers unite!

Susannah said...

Hahaha! That's too funny! Here in Oregon there are attendants who pump our gas. Maybe you should move here. ;-)

Katie said...

that is too funny that you didn't even end up filling up with gas the first time!!

Erin @ Sassin Southern Style said...

I feel your pain. It's as if the only two scenarios in this life which embarrass me are 1) anything associated with vehicles (see: changing clothes at a stoplight with a classmate in a very tall truck in the lane next to me; use your imagination); and 2) sending a text message to the wrong person. Every. time.

Margaret said...

Girl- I swear we could be twins! Gas stations don't bother me THAT much...but pretty much all other car related things do. Heavy merge areas, semis on the highway, people changing lanes without a turn signal- all freak me out!!