Isn’t it nice when you find out a friend shares a crazy quirk you have? Somehow relating to someone else makes it feel a bit less crazy, right?
I just learned that one of my closest friends hates to pump gas as much as I do. I love her even more for this!
I can’t really explain why I hate pumping gas. It’s not like it’s a difficult or challenging task. Not even really particularly time-consuming. It just annoys me. The whole process of having to stop whatever I’m doing or wherever I’m going, get out of the car, go inside to pay, pump the gas, smell like gas, blah, blah, blah.
Of course, pay-at-the-pump makes it easier. Easier for me to pay and be done quickly. And easier for crooks to steal my credit card or debit card information. Aargh.
As a result of my aversion to pumping gas, I never stand there long enough to fill it up. Which is completely stupid, since filling half the tank only leads to making even more pump stops.
I have the indicator light down to a science. As soon as the “empty” light comes on, I reset the trip odometer to zero. Then I know I have about 46 miles to go. And I push it right to the limit every single time.
I’ve only run out once (thank you MJ for coming to my rescue!). Although, I think I was traveling on fumes and angel wings one morning when I was still teaching. I stopped to get gas on the way to school, about 40 miles into my red light. I went inside for a Diet Coke morning caffeine fix, paid for my gas, and left. About halfway to school, I noticed the blazing red light and wondered how on earth the red light was on when I had just pumped…ooooohhhhhhh….that was when I realized I paid for the gas but didn’t actually pump it. (Something I am embarrassed to admit has happened probably five times in my driving life!)
I called the store number on the receipt, and luckily, the cashier had seen me leave and shut off my pump so no one else got my gas. However, I was now closer to 50 miles into the red light. I knew I couldn’t make it to school and then back to the station after school, so I called the school secretary to say I needed someone to cover my homeroom and coasted back to the gas station on a wing and a prayer.
One would think I would be intelligent enough to realize that all this causes way more stress than just filling up the car with gas to start with. I never said it was an intelligent or rational quirk, though! In fact, I think most quirks are by definition irrational.
I have a friend who hated to check the mail. Absolutely abhorred it. Dreaded it so much she planned other things to do in order to avoid it. Her mail would pile up in the mailbox and the mail lady would end up bringing things to the door. I asked if she was worried about bills or hated dealing with junk mail. But no. She just hated going to the box and going through the mail.
A fellow teacher extremely disliked putting away laundry. She would wash it, fold it, and stack it. All over the house. And then she would find what she needed to wear in the stacks of clothes. She said she tried stacking them on the bed once to encourage actually putting them away, but she slept on the couch for three nights in a row before she finally just moved the stacks.
Another friend cannot stand going grocery shopping. She puts it off to the last day possible, and even wakes up that morning in a bad mood knowing she has to go to the store. That one I don’t relate to….I actually LOVE going to the grocery store. It’s like shopping with permission to buy without guilt! In fact, I did all the grocery shopping for my mom when I was in high school, and we both loved it.
I also was in charge of unloading the dishwasher since my mom hated doing that. She didn’t mind loading it, but didn’t want to unload it. She jokes that me unloading the dishwasher was what she missed the most when I left for college. (At least I think she was joking! Ha!)
What is it that makes a seemingly mundane, easy-to-accomplish task become so loathsome and repulsive? Why do we hate something and build it up to add more stress to our lives than if we just went ahead and did it?
I’m curious to know if anyone shares my issue with pumping gas. If not, what is your quirk? What is it that you absolutely hate to do and will put off doing way beyond the point of reason? What chore or task drives you mad? Maybe you have something your partner, roommate, or spouse does for you just because you can’t stand to do it?
Years ago, I took my great-aunt shopping for the day. On our way home, I pulled into the gas station and asked which side of the car her tank was on. She looked at me, dumbfounded, and admitted she had no idea. SHE HAD NEVER PUMPED GAS A SINGLE TIME IN HER LIFE. N-E-V-E-R. E-V-E-R. My uncle took her car each week and filled it for her, and had for nearly half a century. I was green with envy. (Are you reading this, My Knight? Hint, hint.)
So come on, people. Confess. What’s your quirk?