Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out

13 Mar

Some mornings there is a lot to do and you end up running late. Other mornings, things flow and you end up a few minutes early. On a day like that last week, feeling a bit ahead of the game, I decided to get gas.

I meandered through the neighborhood streets and pulled up to the pump at my local gas station. This is Oregon, one of the last places on the planet where people are not allowed to pump their own gas, so I sat on my car, looking through my rearview mirror,  as the attendant recycled some cardboard before walking towards my car.

“It’s on the other side,” he called to me as he neared the car.

I blushed, though no one could see me, and apologized. “There’s an arrow telling me which side and I just totally forgot!”

“It’s early,” he said, reassuringly.

The funny thing is, just a few days earlier, walking to my car, I had marveled at how much I had learned about my year-and-a-half old new car. I can open doors and start the car without a key. I can use seat warmers and X-mode for icy days. And yet, here I was failing at this most basic task: knowing which side of the car the gas cap hatch was on.

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6 Responses to “Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out”

  1. jumpofffindwings March 13, 2020 at 6:22 am #

    Congratulations on a new-to-you, seat-warmed car! Because my husband and I use our vehicles interchangeably, I often do exactly as you did…Subaru and Mazda fill from two different sides.

  2. arjeha March 13, 2020 at 8:56 am #

    Luckily all of the cars we owned were filled from the same side. If we ever get one that is reversed I am sure there will be a learning curve for me.

  3. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write March 13, 2020 at 3:43 pm #

    I’ve done this a few times, and my car is NOT new. I’m always so embarrassed. A few times I’ve joked and said, “Oh, I just stole this car, so I have no idea what side the tank is on,” I know, they didn’t think it was funny either.

  4. Brian Rozinsky March 13, 2020 at 4:01 pm #

    Funny. I spent some formative years in NJ where full service gas was the only service. Your slice brought back memories from that time.

  5. Suzanne March 13, 2020 at 6:20 pm #

    Sometimes, I walk in my classroom and reach for the wrong side to turn on the lights. How does that even happen? And why, I ask, do they have to switch sides for the gas? And I don’t want to here any design stories. Just pick a side and stay there! Great post, I could see (because I have been there) the entire interaction!

  6. Lisa Corbett March 13, 2020 at 6:34 pm #

    I miss full service gas from my days in New Jersey!! I can get it here if I drive out to the reserve to fill up. Very worth it in the winter!

    I make mistakes like this if I go to a new gas station.

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