Yesterday Mom and I are out running errands like mad women who had just gotten out of chemo—which is exactly what we were—and I stop for gas. Here in Oregon we can’t pump our own gas, so I stay in my seat and pull the thingie to open my gas tank cover. And, because I’m an awesome multi-tasker, I also open the passenger side window to give the attendant my debit card so he won’t have to walk all the way around the car because I’m not just an awesome multi-tasker, but also kind of a nice person sometimes.
Unfortunately, I don’t pull the thingie to open my gas tank cover. I pull the thingie that pops my trunk open. Apparently I suck at multi-tasking.
So I say to my mom, forgetting that her window is wide open, “OH GEEZ, I just popped my trunk. I’m such an idiot. Everyone here just saw the dumb girl do it. I’m so embarrassed!” She starts giggling as the attendant, who undoubtedly heard what I just said (along with everyone else there), walks toward the car.
I say, “Nope, I’m not gonna look like a dummy. Be right back.”
So I hop out of my car. In Oregon, if you get out of your car at a gas station, the attendants sometimes freak out a little because they think you might be trying to pump your own gas and that means they’ll have to call 911 or yell at you. As soon as I get out of the car, I see the attendant look my direction (he’d been interrupted on his way to my car).
Knowing he’s watching me, I go to the trunk and rearrange stuff, totally looking like I popped it open for good reason. And Mom even tries to help. She yells out to me, “Jen, did you find my iPhone back there?”
“No, it’s not in here!”
I think her “OK” sounds like she doesn’t really care that her iPhone isn’t back there or possibly missing, or that she might, in fact, not even own an iPhone. So I yell back, “Did you check under the seat?”
And she giggles, “Oh, it’s probably in my purse.”
I slam the trunk closed and get back in the car.
“Thanks, Mom. That totally fooled ‘em.” We chuckle conspiratorially.
Just then the attendant appears at her window. I hand him my card and say, “Fill it up with regular unleaded, please.”
Mom starts giggling again. “It’s all unleaded now, Jen.”
“I know, but there are different kinds. There’s regular, and plus…” And then I realize that she’s talking about the type of gas, not the quality.
“Oh. Geez, first I pop my trunk and then I ask the guy for unleaded gas as though he’s going to put something else in there. Could I be any dumber?” I start to bang my forehead against the steering wheel.
Mom just sits and giggles. She’s too nice to agree with me. Also, when she gets the giggles she can’t do much else.
So I’m sitting there, feeling like the biggest idiot in the world and glad this is not a gas station I go to very often, especially when the attendant leans back in Mom’s window and says to me, “Ma’am, I can’t pump the gas until you turn off your engine.”