(My first car. *sniff* I know, you're full of envy.)
I had one of those memories that slam into your thoughts out of nowhere and suddenly, you’re crying tears because you’re laughing so hard.
So this memory is one of my “embarrassing moments” memories.
I actually love to share my embarrassing moments because I love to laugh at myself. I’m a true blue dork. And proud of it!
I was 16 and I had a car—and it my very first time filling it with gas. It was a Friday night and my girl friends and I made plans to go up the canyon and have a BBQ and play Volleyball. I was the designated driver since I had the car that could hold all of us. (7—to be exact)
Everyone met at my house and soon we headed up the canyon. But first, I needed to gas up the car. Extremely nervous about doing it for the first time without my dad, I constantly looked at my gas gauge, knowing I had to get it soon, or all of us would be stranded on the side of the road.
No one wants a BBQ, stranded on the side of State Street.
My dad was very strict about letting me know that my car could only be filled up with unleaded gas.
So I pulled into the gas station and drove around the gas pumps looking for “unleaded” gas. All I saw was “supreme”, “regular”, and “plus”. Frustrated, I pulled up to a pump and looked around, searching for “unleaded” gas. My friends said to go ahead and fill it up anyway, but I told them it had to be “unleaded” gas—that my car only took a certain kind of gas. My dad was specific about that. Looking at my gas gauge, I didn’t think I had enough to go somewhere else and fill up without getting stranded.
A man pulled up on the opposite side of our pump and as he filled up I gathered my courage and asked him, “Excuse me, Sir? Yes, do you have unleaded gas on your side of the pump?”
The piece of straw he was chewing on, fell from his mouth and fluttered off his lips like a dirty pigeon feather as he looked at me with that expression that says ‘Wow, are you stupid’.
I was able at that point to fill in the blanks of what he didn’t say, but was obviously thinking: “And this girl didn't get a full ride into Harvard? Where's the justice!?”
Yep. Something like that....
He glanced over and saw my car packed with all girls and he rolled his eyes.
I could have said at that point; ‘Yep, that’s right Mr. straw-chewing-man-who-looks-like-a-cow-in-the-pasture, this is a practical joke where we all entertain ourselves with my lameness while searching the city for UNLEADED gas! The joke is on you!’
While the man finished filling up his car with unleaded gas, I kept busy reading the beautiful colorful pictures they had printed on the gas pump that talked about static electricity and how you can light yourself on fire, complete with stick drawings. You know, children’s bedtime story stuff.
So after the man paid for his gas (back in the day when you actually had to walk in and pay) I waited until he drove off before slipping back into my car and driving around to HIS side of the pump. He said he had the right gas and I needed some. (Wait…that sounded gross….but you know what I mean!)
WHAT I MEANT WAS: He had unleaded gas on his side of the pump—and my car was desperately low on gas.
There was only Supreme and Regular! HE LIED TO ME!
So after wasting a half hour at the gas station, I got back into my car and pulled out on the busy canyon road—going 15 MPH to conserve gas while I drove to the next gas station—where I was certain they would have unleaded gas. Sure, many people flipped me a kind bird here and there. I may have had a beer can chucked my way. I may even have heard a colorful swear word or two eloquently combined in a beautiful arrangement of hatred, BUT-- victory was mine as I FINALLY pulled into the gas station and saw the ray of light shinning down on the pump that read UNLEADED. Granted I nearly caused several traffic accidents by driving so slowly—and the ray of light shinning down was nothing more than the lone light flickering up above the roof of the gas station ready to die, but I had managed to find my beautiful unleaded gas that my car so desperately needed.
Moral of the story: Let your dang father fill up your big car before your outings — and never tell him all the details of what happened when he asks how your night was….unless you want to see him completely overcome with a fit of hysterical laughter that causes him to take off his glasses and wipe away tears. And then recite the story to his friends and family for the next decade.