Tag Archives: random

The gas station

Occasionally life has moments that I swear belong in a movie or sitcom. Maybe you have them too. And, if you’re like me, when those moments happen, your first thought is “What just happened?” followed closely by”Who NEEDS to hear about this first?”

I had one of those moments the other day. I was almost running late to run an errand before work, when my gas light determined my absolute first errand of the day. So I headed to the bank, picked up cash (which I rarely carry) and then the gas station, knowing that my “first” errand had moved to sometime the next day.

The closest gas station is one I’ve used forever and now all the time because of my commute. And of course this day it was full, because that is how it would be in a movie. I drove around the station once, and found a lone pump recently vacated.

The broken pinpad discouraged anyone else from braving it and forced me inside. I generally dislike going inside because it requires me to actually talk to people I don’t already know – one of my least favorite things to do. But I had to get gas before I could do anything else, so I headed inside.

Everything seemed normal about this pit stop, with the exception of paying cash inside. Until I headed back to my car with my change, ready to leave. That’s when a nicely dressed guy in a decent car slowed down between the little building with the register and the first row of pumps to get my attention.

Because I was at a gas station, I stopped to talk to him, because generally lost people ask for directions at gas stations. And, despite disliking meeting people I don’t already know, I like to be helpful.

Except he wasn’t lost. He leaned toward the passenger side, where I was standing, and told me that I was quite attractive and wanted to know my name and if he could have my number to call me and maybe have coffee.

And I kind of panicked. The number of times I’ve been hit on in my life is negligible to the point of being never. It simply doesn’t happen. I don’t know why (though I suspect the not liking to meet new people has something to do with it), but I also don’t really care that I never get hit on as I dislike meeting people I don’t already know. So I started thinking of ways to get out of the situation because I was not giving my phone number or having coffee with a random guy who stopped at the gas station to talk to me across his car.

I gave him my first name, because that’s pretty much public knowledge. I told him that I was sorta seeing someone and that I was running late for work (which were true enough that I didn’t feel like a complete liar). And when he asked again if he could have my number, I shook my head no. I thanked him for the compliment, and told him again that I was running late for work and headed to my car. He drove out of the gas station as I jumped in my car and locked my door.

And then I sent my text messages and twitter post. Because these types of moments have to be shared. I mean, who hits on someone when they are driving out of a gas station? And where were the movie cameras? Because how does something like that happen in real life? And how could I not share this with the world?

As much as the moment itself was awkward, I’m not sad it happened. It’s on my shortlist for Most Bizarre Moment of My Life, and Most Random Moment of My Life. And it’s a funny story I get to share with people. And that’s what I like about life – the funny moments you can share with people. Especially when you meet someone for the first time.

picture of Ban Ban Springs, QLD borrowed from Wikipedia, because I couldn’t find mine.

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It Is What It Is, or How to Annoy My Friend

The other night, I was chatting with my friend, and for reasons that must have made sense at the time, I said “it is what it is.”

I learned very quickly the ire this phrase brings forth in my friend when he adamantly scolded “Never use that phrase again!”

I don’t know about you, but one of the many reasons I could never be in an organized hierarchy, like the military, is because my first response to orders is to ask why while plotting how to repeat my offense. Or at the very least irk whoever is attempting to command me.

But since this was my friend, I decided to simply ask why before I began plotting.

His argument is that the phrase’s redundancy renders it meaningless. “Of course it is what it is,’ my friend said. ‘You don’t say the car is a car because what else would it be?”

And I can see his point. The phrase is tossed around to appear intelligent or deep (another of his points). But that isn’t how I use that phrase most often.

One of the ways I use the phrase is in affirmation of the trueness of something. I’ve found that often people and things do not always act in the way they are designed or intended to. People can be unspeakably horrible to one another and we call them inhuman. This would be un-true in my head.

More frequently I use the phrase as a sign of my resignation to events beyond my control. It’s a kind of reminder to myself that there are moments in life that I cannot control, so I need to not worry or stress out over them.

And maybe my use of the phrase is laziness or lack of creativity with spoken English (I am a writer and reader and not a speaker). But I find it meaningful, and really, that’s all that I care about. What else is language for but communication, and who else do I have to communicate with more often than myself?

So I’ll continue to use the phrase for myself, and I’ll smirk at the way it would annoy my friend. But I will probably be more hesitant when I utter it, because my friend’s point holds true – it is redundantly meaningless. Whether I use it intentionally around him will depend greatly on how mischievous I’m feeling in that moment.

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