Tuesday nights I meet with a group of ladies at a local Starbucks and we read our Word, journal and share our journals with each other. As I was pulling into the parking lot, my gas light came on. I had heard other people talking about having trouble finding gas but had not experienced it for myself. I left Starbucks and took a longer way home so that I would drive past the most gas stations. Every place I drove past had plastic bags over the pump nozzles or had no prices up on their signs. As I drive toward the last station before home, I can see people at the pumps. I pull in behind a car where a man is topping off his tank, closing his fuel door and getting into his car. In the time it took for him to pullout and me to roll forward, an attendant came and put a bag over the pump nozzle. I calmly roll down my window but before I can speak, he barks, "We're outta gas!"
So I look at the man and ask the obvious question: "How can you be out of gas? I just saw that man fill his car with gas."
He spits on the ground and barks back, "We're outta gas!"
Now the New Yorker is rising up in me. I say, "I am on E. I only want to put $20 worth in. May I please use the pump before you close it off."
He looks at me with an annoyed look on his face and says what I am being to wonder is the only thing he knows how to say, "We're outta gas!" Then he starts to walk away from me. He was so rude and uncaring. So now New York girl is furious at the sloppy man that is putting bags over pump nozzles. She was about to lose her Christian witness but I reigned her in and reminded her that it was no use and Southern Hospitality and friendliness is a myth. She, however, is far stronger than the girl who wants to be treated nicely here in the south instead of being called a Yankee as they spit brown juice from between their teeth. So she squealed the tires as she buzzed past said sloppy, rude attendant.
Hey, I never said I was perfect. I have my flaws. But don't treat me that way, don't call me a Yankee and say it like it is a bad thing. First of all, the war is over. It has been over for more than 140 years. Second, my dad's family was in Texas at the time of the Civil War and my mom's family was in Italy, so I had nothing to do with taking your slaves away. Get over it! Treat people the way you want to be treated. OK , so I should not have sped out of the gas station but sometimes I get so tired of people hearing my accent and then changing how they treat me or asking me where I am from and then asking me when I am going back. This doesn't happen as often as it used to and we have met some lifelong friends whom we love dearly but every now and then, it happens.
I digress . . . Back to the story. But I believe in customer service so when I got home, I called the gas station and told the manager what happened. He informed me that they were getting a shipment of gas in around 1 AM. He was only slightly less rude but I am sure that he has had to deal with lots of phone calls and angry people who can't find gas.
So Yesterday, I knew I had to get the boys to the Y for their PE class for 1 PM. I didn't know if there would be a line to get gas so we left the house at 10:30 and headed to the gas station. On the way, we picked up a guy who was trudging down the country road with a gas can. I know, its not safe but I felt like it was safe to pick him up and I would want help if I were trudging up the road with a gas can. He was very grateful and friendly and we are all still alive.
(SIDE NOTE: Sometimes we are called to do things that conventional wisdom would say is dangerous and crazy. How many times have I been helped by someone who was willing to go against conventional wisdom . . . NOT HERE IN THE SOUTH MIND YOU BUT UP NORTH IN NY AND MICHIGAN AND OHIO AND INDIANA AND PENNSYLVANIA, ETC. I am not saying that you should pick up hitch hikers on a regular basis but I would like to call every one's attention to Matthew 25:31-46. Pray and use discernment.)
Anyway, back to the story. We reached the gas station, said goodbye to our hitch hiker and pulled right up to the pump. I put $20 worth in and decided to take the kids to lunch before their class. We went to Long John Silver's. They had never been and I hadn't been to one since high school. Jeremy was very excited for shrimp and hush puppies. Caleb stuck with the old faithful . . . chicken. They loved it and had a great time. They decided that they were going to make faces at each other. They were trying desperately to cross their eyes but were having very little success. However, what I did happen to capture with my camera made me smile.