I run out of gas…a lot. I’m not sure why I don’t look at the gas gauge. Ok, I do look at the gas gauge, and I usually think to myself – I should get gas…but that somehow gets trumped by the false confidence that I can TOTALLY make it where I’m headed. And then I forget about it. Until I see the dreaded (and often surprising) — — — — where it should say how many miles I have left.
In my defense, my car is a little sketch in the sense that it will frequently go from 23 miles to — — — — in an instant AND while we were driving to San Francisco it stated we had 218 miles left of gas for an entire hour of driving, so I’m dealing with somewhat faulty equipment here. I know I should take it to the shop to have it looked at, but that would require making an appointment and actually taking it to the shop…soooo that’s probably not going to happen any time soon. Until then, I’ll take my chances. And if I’m totally honest – faulty gas gauge or not…I would still run out of gas (considering I use my AAA so much for gas tank refills I’m pretty much on a first name basis with the tow truck guys). Hey, we all have our faults.
Today, I almost got to call up my favorite tow truck driver for a tank refill, but I managed to make it to a gas station by the turn of my tire. My husband even texted me first thing this morning when he moved the car to remind me that I needed gas and I should plan accordingly…obviously I paid attention to that text…when my tank was on empty and I was stuck in traffic half way over ‘the hill’. (The hill is what Los Angelenos refer to the mountainous split between “the valley” and the rest of LA as…aka the invisible line no one ever wants to cross). Luckily I coasted down and made it to a (very overpriced) gas station before I had to take an adventurous afternoon power walk to get a gas can. Some people never learn…(I’m referring to myself here.)
As I sat on the hill waiting for my car to coast to a gas-less halt, annoying all the other drivers on the one lane, windy mountain road…I had a flashback to one of my shining new mom moments. Avery was about 6 months old and I was driving over the hill to coach a dance rehearsal that I was obviously running late for. I didn’t have time to get gas and figured…I can make it. Until I was stuck in dead stop traffic half-way up the hill on a 95 degree day. (Sound familiar? I said some people never learn!)
Now, once you leave the westside and head over the hill, there is NOTHING along the way until you get to the other side. Nothing except Tree People, a park/nature conservatory and a lonely little fire station. So, being a new mom, afraid that if I ran out of gas on a hot day my child would perish in the overheated car or that we would be hit and killed if we tried to walk to get help, I aborted ship and pulled into the fire station.
I will never forget the look on the firemens’ faces when I walked into the station. First of all, the fire station looked NOTHING like fire stations look on Chicago Fire. Second of all, the firemen on duty that day looked nothing like the fireman that grace the annual shirtless calendars (super disappointing). Instead of oiled up six packs and chiseled features, it was all beer guts and facial hair (not the good kind), and I’m pretty sure they were awoken from a mid-day nap. The best part was the firemen were all swarming to the door with a look of fear and concern on their faces that I couldn’t quite place…until I realized that the fire station was a “safe surrender” point and they saw me walking up with my son in my arms and thought I was surrendering my baby. I nearly died laughing when I figured out that’s what they thought was happening. And then I had to explain, no…I’m not surrendering my baby, I’m just a moron.
So, yeah. I spent an afternoon chilling at the fire station (with middle-aged unattractive firemen and ZERO cell service) on top of the hill with my 6 month old baby waiting for a tow truck to come fill my gas tank. Because stopping for gas CLEARLY would have taken more time than this debacle. Yup. Instead of missing 5 minutes of my girls’ rehearsal I pretty much missed the whole damn thing. #memories #oneforthebabybook
I’d say lesson learned…but clearly today’s actions reflect otherwise. Third times’ a charm?! Someday I’ll fill my gas tank before the car halts to a stop. Until then, I’ll try and run out of gas without the child in the car…there’s far less judgement that way.