Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Full Service

Another day in a life of an introvert...

This morning I was driving to work when I realized there was a big smear mark in my windshield. Like some crazy blonde tried wiping the window off with her hand.

The sun is usually rising when I leave the house so it's impossible for me to see through this smudge. It looks like I'll have to stop at the gas station to clean the inside of my window.

Pulling into Wawa, the only pump available is the one that has both diesel and unleaded fuel. I don't like this one because I know it's the only one that diesel drivers can use. But I'm only planning on topping off my tank since I hate using the window cleaner without getting gas and I still have a half a tank.

I pull up thinking I will get this done quickly and as soon as I get out of my car, a big diesel pickup pulls up behind, waiting for the pump.

Suddenly it's like I'm on some gas pumping stage where everyone is watching me. I'm also pissed because there is an empty diesel pump on the other side that he is too cool to use. I guess he had to be on the outside pump! More room to thrust his manly muscles around.

(I'm also assuming he's a man since I never really looked directly at the driver. I apologize for the stereotype. But in my town, mostly men drive the big honking diesel trucks).

So there I am suddenly harassed while the truck sits there, its engine chugging away. When I go to put gas in my car, I realize I'm way too close to the pump. That means I'm forced to sidle to and from the pump to my gas tank. Also, the window wiper fluid/trash can thingie the gas station provides is too far away. Almost at the truck, which is still waiting. At this point, I'm so flustered I don't want them to see me clean my car windshield, lest they think I'm taking my time while they wait. So I sidle back to my car and into the driver's seat, pouting the whole way. Like all of this pressure isn't ALL IN MY HEAD.

I end up pulling away without cleaning my windshield. I even forget to tell the pump whether I want a receipt or not! A voice inside of me--I'm pretty sure it was coming from the smear mark--is like, "What is wrong with you? Don't be such a wuss. You NEED to clean your windshield."

I end up pulling into the last pump on the other side of the gas station. (Do you think I'm crazy yet?) But the squeegee is not in the fluid. It's been taken by the lady on the other side, who is apparently detailing her car at the gas pump. She even has her windshield wipers up while she meticulously wipes every mark off. Annoyed, I pull out a paper towel from the dispenser and dip it into the fluid. It will have to do!

Of course the whole time I'm paranoid someone will come out and be like, "You didn't buy gas here! Give back that teaspoon of window cleaner!"

And I will be like, "I did buy gas! I have a receipt--oh...wait...yeah... Those guys might have my receipt!"

All of this probably happened within a space of 10 minutes, but it was very stressful. What is it about me that makes me so freaking anxious to do the simple things? Why couldn't I be like, "I was here first and I have a right to use this pump AND clean my windows. Maybe even meticulously like the woman way over there."

But no, I'm scurrying around like some mouse scared they were going to be like, "HEY LADY! We have get on the job some time today! You are too much of a wimp to handle the diesel pump!"

The wet paper towel does work and I get work smudge free. But sometimes I wonder how I've managed to make it these 42 years with this kind of crazy inside me. It really is a miracle.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


I have ugly feet. Ugly. I'm not exaggerating at all. Think Fred Flintstone. I used to want to hide them, but the older I get the less I care. I throw on some nail polish to hide the toes, but I still wear flip flops as long as I can. Socks are a pain that you only wear in winter to avoid frost bite.

I used to avoid looking at them at all. But then one day I glanced down and a memory flashed through my mind. I remembered the day before we lost my dad how we were at the hospital visiting him and I wasn't sure where to look. I wasn't comfortable with my dad being so vulnerable. His blanket didn't cover him all the way and my gaze lingered on his feet. Like mine, they were calloused and rough looking. The toes were kind of ugly. I didn't realize then that I was looking into a mirror.

Not only do I have my dad's eyes, I have his feet. Two very important things. Sometimes living without my dad feels like a test. A bad joke. A reality I will never get used to. But finding parts of him in unexpected places. That helps.

He is me. He's in my eyes. In my sense of humor... My smile. Now he's part of the path I walk every day. He guides me with his feet. And if we were Flintstones, he could even drive my car.