Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pumping Gas

For a few days, I’d lost my will to blog. Why? Well, because I realized… sadly… that blogs are like opinions and buttholes: everybody has one. (Paraphrasing a saying that my father used to use.) Seriously, though, I have recognized that just about everyone I know has a blog, or is planning to start a blog in the near future. And, I fully encourage everyone to blog! Really, I do. Blogging is truly a therapeutic experience… to see your thoughts and opinions – uncensored – in print and to know that the world could be (but probably isn’t) reading your most personal and astounding admissions. Well, I think it’s great. Obviously, I find some joy in it because – as a very smart man recently reminded me – I continue to do it. For free. And with little assurance that anyone even cares or enjoys what I am writing. I guess that has to mean something, right?

And when my friend pointed out that clearly there is something about my personality that drives me to even WANT to share the most intimate details of my life, I felt the need to search my soul to figure out just what motivates me to continue to do this. There are days when I don’t want to post and mostly on those days, I just don’t (in the last few years I’ve had more of those days than I would have liked). And then there are days that I don’t want to post, but I do it anyway because I am committed to keeping this blog afloat.

But why? Who knows. I drive myself crazy with this back-and-forth about why I blog, what it all means, what it tells me (and others) about myself, etc. So, I'm gonna stop asking... for now. Anyway, since I'm questioning my desire to continue to chronicle my life online, I had a really hard time coming up with a post. I went back and read a few old posts that I had saved on my laptop... and I realized that this one below was never posted. And it's over a year old. I remember the day to which I refer in the post like it was yesterday, which is sort of funny. Oh well.

The post:

So today, the most annoying thing happened. Not that it hasn’t happened before, it’s just that today I found it particularly disturbing.

I was driving and realized that I only had a quarter tank of gas. I never let my car get down to less than a quarter tank per instructions from my late uncle – my mom’s baby brother – who had to come and pick me up and take me to the gas station when my car ran out of gas on Sixteenth Street when I was in high school. He told me to never let my tank get to less than half a tank and then I wouldn’t ever have this problem again. And, so far, I’ve taken heed. There is nothing worse than the feeling I felt as an extremely young looking 16 year old, dressed in a Catholic school uniform, sitting inside of an SUV that is blocking rush hour traffic on a major thoroughfare waiting for her uncle to come and rescue her. This is why I swung my new car into the first gas station that I saw.

I hop out and begin to fiddle with my car. Truthfully, my car is so good on gas that I’ve only had to fill-up once since I’ve had it, so I had forgotten which side the tank was on AND how to open the damn thing. So, I’m standing out there fiddling with stuff and I notice a guy about my age pull up to the pump on my left. I continue to fiddle and look for things and I could tell he was checking me out. In my heart there is a glimmer of hope that, perhaps, he might say something to me. And, in that moment, I realize that my loneliness has finally gotten to me and I am now officially desperate, which is scary. A few seconds later, I realize that it’s not so much that I am lonely OR desperate, it’s that my friend Kyra and I keep saying that maybe we’ll run into our next (in)significant other at the grocery store or the gas station, so it’s best to keep one eye open and to always be looking your best.

Anyway, said guy gets out of his car (a Dodge Magnum – for the record I was not impressed with it) and looks over at me.

“Hello,” he says.

“Hello,” I say curtly, still fidgeting with the pump.

He walked right past me into the 7-11 where the gas station attendant was located (this was a gas station/7-11 convenience store combo). I guess he was only exchanging pleasantries, and not trying to spark a conversation after all. Well, I’m ok with that. I’m only here to get gas and I’m trying to convince myself that I am not desperate for thinking that just because I see a man my age without a wedding ring that it means he may be my future husband, so I went about my business and finished pumping gas. I wanted a receipt, but the printer in the pump wasn’t working, so I had to go inside the 7-11 to get a copy.

As I was crossing the parking lot to get into the 7-11, I noticed a man get out of a BMW station wagon, open the passenger door and help a young, pregnant woman out, kiss her on the mouth, and watch her walk toward the 7-11.

I get near the Beamer and the man says, “Did you drop that?”

I didn’t answer because I was certain that I didn’t drop anything, and so I figured he must’ve been speaking to someone else.

“Hey,” he said.

I turn around, thoroughly confused. “Yes,” I answer.

“I think you dropped something,” he says slyly, and a slow grin spreads across his face.

Just in case I’m wrong, I check the ground behind me and around me and don’t see anything at all on the ground.

“I think you’re mistaken,” I say, continuing my trek to the 7-11.

“I think you dropped my number,” he chuckles. “Come on, talk to me for a minute,” he pleads.

I stop for a second because I’m sure that this is not happening. Not only was the young lady he kissed on the mouth currently knocked up, but there is also a baby seat in the back of the station wagon, which means that they’ve already popped out one kid. He can’t be serious. But… I think he is. I checked his left ring finger and there, in all its glory, was a very conspicuous gold wedding band.

“I think you need to be concerned about your wife and kids,” I say, and continue walking. When I reach the door of the 7-11, I turn and look over my shoulder and dude is standing next to the Beamer, watching me. I am heated. I roll my eyes and walk to the cashier. The man’s preggy wife walks past me and brushes me with her belly.

“Excuse me,” she says, and smiles sweetly.

I feel terrible. And I didn’t even DO anything. But her man… her man! How could he be so obvious about his trifling ways? Now, suppose I had stopped to talk to him as he requested. His wife was just a few feet away inside the 7-11 and could’ve walked out and caught us talking at any moment. I wonder how he would’ve played it off. I’m positive he would’ve found a way to talk himself out of hot water. I know I’m not the first woman he tried this with, so I’m sure he has worked out all manner of alibis.

As I was driving home, I began thinking of that conversation that I had with Agent all those years ago. Maybe Agent did the right thing by walking away from “the one” because he wasn’t ready. I mean, after all, if he had stuck around and wifed her, it’s possible that he could’ve been the man with the Beamer in the gas station parking lot. And that would’ve just been sad.

Just yesterday, the very married Governor of New York admitted that he had been involved in a sex scandal involving high priced prostitutes. His wife sucked it up, and stood by her man during the press conference where the governor made his announcement. It was really quite sad and I’m sure she had to swallow a LARGE amount of her pride and I’m certain that it left a bad taste in her mouth. In the wake of this scandal, people everywhere are discussing why politicians always fall prey to this demon of infidelity. According to statistics given on the TODAY Show this morning (during a segment that sought to answer why men cheat – a topic that was derived from the governor’s announcement) approximately 33 percent of married men cheat. In other words, one-third of married men cheat, which means that 1 in 3 married men cheat. So, the next time you are in the grocery store or the gas station or coffee shop, count the first man you see, then the second, and then the third. And then think that if all three of those men were married, at least one of them will eventually cheat (or already has).

Sobering thought, isn’t it?

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