I have officially entered “Old Ladyhood.”
A few days back when I pulled into a 76 gas station with a Del Taco inside, I said to Ray, “You start pumping the gas and then go inside to order. I’ll finish up right after I wrap up this text I’m writing.”
Ray nodded, and headed over to start the gas.
I worked on my text and finally finished and sent it.
Then – this is where the Old Lady part comes in – I noted through the open window that the gas pump didn’t sound as if it was still running. With this bit of information, I concluded Ray had finished up the job while I was texting. “I better move out of the pump area,” I muttered to myself as I put the car in gear and headed over to a nearby parking space.
That’s when I heard the noise. A metallic scraping sound and then a bump. “Hmmm,” I said to Cordelia and Frankie who were lying on the back seat, “did I just run over something?” I jumped out to see.
I noted all the people at the other pumps were staring at me.
I looked around and then saw it: the gas nozzle still in my gas tank and the hose completely detached from the pump and lying about ten feet away.
A man scooped up the hose and put it over near the pump.
A woman in a red tee-shirt with 76 emblazoned on the front, rushed out the door of the station and headed in my direction.
My first words, “I can’t believe I just did that.”
Her response, “You’d be surprised at how often it happens.”
I had to go find Ray inside and admit I’d driven away with the gas nozzle still attached. I also had to tell him I now owed the 76 station $250.
He was remarkably calm. “I guess you better pay that,” was all he said as he picked up his order of two chicken soft tacos and a bean burrito.
“I guess so,” I said.
He did give me a lecture once we were heading on to LA about multi-tasking. “If you hadn’t been texting while waiting for the gas to fill up, you wouldn’t have forgotten what was going on.”
I admit that I didn’t note how long he stood by the pump before going into Del Taco. That’s where the distraction came in.
I felt dumb. What an old lady thing to do.
A man inside came up and tried to make me feel better. “I’ve almost done that at least a dozen times.”
Yes, well, I didn’t almost do it….
I promised Ray to hold off from answering texts immediately when I receive them.
“People can wait,” he said.
I can see how that might be true.
Besides, reducing my distractions might also save me from doing some real damage to my pocketbook, $250 dollars at a time.