Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maybe people thought I was the clerk's little knocked up girlfriend

Last night, my mother gave me and Chuck a special treat: She babysat so we could have some alone time. Chuck and I planned to split up for a few hours so we could shop for each other, then rendez-vous for dinner and light petting.

I drove to a lovely town in Connecticut, Old Saybrook (incidentally, it's where my brother's ex fiancee and I had our first date one year ago. Sigh).

By 6 p.m. I was done shopping. I pulled into a gas station. I filled up the tank. I got back in the car and put the key into the ignition.


Not even a whir, whir.

I turned the key again. Pumped the gas pedal.

Still nothing.

I called Chuck.

"Can you come get me in Old Saybrook? The car's dead."

"Um. It might take me a while."

"Where are you?"

"Vermont*. You're really hard to buy for."


"Call roadside assistance."

"^%#&*. &**(*#&#. Fine."

I called roadside assistance. They told me it would be about an hour. By that point my toes had gone numb, so I decided to wait inside the station.

I didn't know if the station had a policy about loitering, so I told the chunky 20-something clerk that I was waiting for a jumpstart. He could have cared less. His sidekick, on the other hand—an older woman with a bouffant hairdo—was a lot more attentive.

"Oh, hon! Grab some magazines and a candy bar. Sit down and relax!" She kicked the male clerk's chair out from under him and swung it under my ass, then she parked me in front of the dairy case.

So began my Night at the Gas Station.

It was actually (bizarrely) kind of fun. I got caught up on the latest gossip. Amber Portwood pregnant again? Kelly Osbourne modeling a bikini?

I ate a Twix bar and drank a smoothie. I got to observe a typical evening at a gas station. Did you know that more people bought winter hats than cigarettes? That lots of people bought mega-sized bags of potato chips on their way to parties? That no one cared that a pregnant woman was blocking the dairy case? They'd just wheel me to the side? Oh, and Essence of Beauty is buy two, get one free at CVS. Don't let the clerk stiff you on the coupon!

After an hour, I felt a fond kinship for the gas station clerks and patrons. Like maybe I could have been their pregnant mascot (come on, Nathalie Portman lived at WalMart in Where the Heart Is).

But life had other plans for me. Chuck and the tow truck showed up. The dude got the car started. Chuck and I picked up take-out and drove home.

I'm sure my gas station jubilation is concrete evidence that my life is pathetically boring, but as I head into week 38 of my pregnancy, I'd rather see it as a reminder to take time for myself and to enjoy that time. I mean really, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a smoothie and uninterrupted reading.

What about you? Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle, have you had an annoying diversion turn surprisingly pleasant?

*Chuck better not have gotten me cheese! He of all people should understand.


judemiller1 said...

Just like you to turn a stressful situation into a good time. Way to Go!

Pricilla said...

I am going to butt everyone out of my goathouse and just relax.
Maybe find some time to cuddle up with Luke the goat and erm.
Bye now

Twisted Cinderella said...

I am glad that it turned out well and that you were treated so nicely.

Frogs in my formula said...

Yes, I highly recommend Saturday night gas station loitering...

VandyJ said...

People watching is so fun sometimes. I took some time last night and just walked around Kmart and looked at things. No kids, no hubby, just me. It was sort of nice.

The Mother said...

I'm glad you handled being stuck better than I do. But twinkies and smoothies? Really?

Small Town Mommy said...

You have to take personal time where you can find it. I just want to know what type of present requires a trip to Vermont. Do they have anything there besides cheese and maple syrup?

SmartBear said...

That is hilarious! I think it's a mom thing. Once you become a mom, the smallest little moments become pure gold. Best part of my week? Going to the grocery store on Sunday. Who needs a pedicure when I can sip a Starbucks, nibble on free food samples that someone else had to cook and shop for everything under the sun?
38 weeks? Getting close....

Mrs. Tuna said...

Nothing like living life in the fast lane for you.

Otter Thomas said...

Great perspective on what sounds like an awful night to me. Best of luck with the baby and Merry Christmas!

FoN said...

I once spent a lovely day on a bus. Not paying attention, I got on the the 'Argyle Park' bus instead of the 'Albert Park' bus and ended up on the other side of town. I stayed on that bad boy for about two hours and it was wonderful. Chatting and/or observing random strangers all day is actually pretty entertaining. I'll tell you about my day at the laundry mat another time.

Keely said...

Wait, are you supposed to have Twix bars??

Actually, just recently a friend of mine moved into a new house, and she desperately needed the internet people to show up & hook up her lifeline, but she had to work on the only night they had available. So I offered to 'housesit', and let the internet dude in. He was really late and took a long time and she was SO apologetic, but I had an awesome time. It was just me, in an empty house, with a magazine. And silence.

Frogs in my formula said...

Theoretically I am not supposed to have candy bars because of the gestational diabetes. However, my dr. assured me it is 100% ok to have an occasional sweet treat, especially at this stage of the pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you're getting your good humor back! :)

And I'm also glad the woman who worked there was so nice. Being alone is great, but nice strangers is even greater. (Please don't tell any of my former English teachers that I wrote that last sentence.)

Magpie said...

how to make the best of a bad situation... :)

Jen said...

I haven't yet but I think I might head out to rural WI and hope I run out of gas near a gas station, wait, that won't work. It sounds like a fun and what great blog fodder too. Only two weeks to go, you must be so ready to get that thing out and start staying up all night again.

Man! There are a lot of holes in my neighborhood

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