Category Archives: Humor

Repost from October 19, 2011: In Which Siouxsie Almost Throws a Hissy Fit at the Gas Station

Oh, excuse me, the ”fuel center.”

The problem with blogging about having a hissy fit is often said h.f. occurs a few hours before the blog can actually be created. In that time, a cooler head and a rational mind can often prevail. And/or, a cool quote from Seth Godin can show up in my inbox. From Seth’s post today, “We repeatedly underestimate how important a story is to help us make sense of the world.” Which then caused me to consider the story behind the hissy fit, aka “conniption” fit.

Yes, I am elderly enough to remember the good old days when one rolled into the gas station and heard the pleasant ding-ding as one drove across the ding-ding hose. Decisions at the gas station in those days amounted to “cash or charge,” “leaded or unleaded” and whether or not you wanted your oil checked. Ah, those were the days, weren’t they. Simplicity. And how things have changed.

Now I shall commence to make a list of all the choices we “get” to make at the gas station these days.

1. Will I be paying credit or debit or gift card?
2. Paying at the pump or at the window?
3. Am I a Kroger plus customer? yes or no.
4. If yes, scan card OR enter alternate i.d. number.
5. Do I want a car wash? Yes or no.
6. Now choose one of the three options of gas grade.
7. Do I want to use my gas discount of x cents? yes or no

Only seven short hoops and I am permitted to pump the fuel into my car!

Besides the above, there are many passive questions facing me.

1. Do I want to apply for another credit card that will save me more cents per gallon?
2. Do I want a snack? “Visit the kiosk!”
3. Am I going to believe the warning about my cell phone being able to cause an explosion?
4. Do I care how recently this pump was inspected?

And don’t forget all the questions zinging through my head about my day.

1. Is that man looking at my hair because I am really having a bad hair day?
2. Will I have time to put everything in the car before I have to leave?
3. Which way should I go home?
4. Will they reverse that fine?
5. What kind of snacks are in the kiosk?
6. And so on and so on.

Here’s what got me today.

See #7 above? It’s always a little surprise to find out whether I have any discount at all, or maybe 10 cents per gallon. Today, surprise! I had a 40 cent per gallon discount available. However, I also had NEW CHOICES.

1. Use my discount as is.
2. Use part of my discount.
3. Don’t use my discount.

I mean, really.

And Seth’s comment reminded me that it is my story about this that dictates my response. My story this morning was that these were unnecessary choices, just one more wildly unnecessary choice in a world filled with way too many choices — my grocery store has, what, 300 different amalgamations of pasta, and by pasta, I am only referring to dry pasta in a box, not all the mixes, prepared foods, and deli offerings. My story is that these are unnecessary choices and unwelcome. But would I really be happy if I went into a story and there were 4 different types of pasta. I would say honestly, at this point, no. I’m used to having boocoo choices about all kinds of minor things. Maybe there are a lot of people who complained to Kroger and said they didn’t want to use the entire discount at one time. I wish I could understand under what conditions that might occur. But, it is what it is and now I get to also decide whether to use my discount as is, a portion thereof, or save it for a rainy day.

So, I’m changing my story just a bit. I feel blessed that I have the freedom to make so many choices in my life. I also recognize that there are very important areas where the choices are limited and sometimes one is as bad as the others (see: politics). But in the hope that this new option at the Kroger Fuel Center makes someone else’s life easier, I accept it with grace and will continue to wait for the fun surprise of finding out how many cents per gallon I might get as a discount today.

(But sometimes I still think it’s fun to throw a hissy fit now and again, as long as it doesn’t spill over onto innocent bystanders.)

Addendum, October 27, 2015: I enjoyed writing this post, and it was fun to discover it again today, four years later. I still think we have an awful lot of choices these days, even more than we had in 2011, but the gas station doesn’t stress me out anymore. It is what it is, and I really am grateful that I have easy access to fuel, food, medical care, cash, and a library, among others.

The Universe has Spoken

Three times I attempted to edit a post I had started a few weeks ago. Three times this evening. After I couldn’t actually update the post the third time, I took that to mean I was to write a different post tonight.

Today we got our carpets cleaned by a relative of mine who does this on the side and has for 35 years. My mom had mentioned that he had done her carpets and the price had been dirt cheap. 

From that sentence, I created an entire reality about what the price was, what I would most likely pay, what carpets in her house were cleaned by him, and the approximate time to the past in which this had occurred.

I guess I do this pretty often, construct a reality of my own creation without the actual facts. 

As it happened, the price he charged me was certainly fair, but much more than I was expecting. As it happened, he only cleaned one room in her house. As it happened, this took place many years ago. 

I see this often in myself, where I think I understand something immediately when actually I’m jumping to all kinds of conclusions. Before I was aware of this, I wonder if it was an obnoxious trait, or if people just let me go on with my little fiction story, figuring I’d realize sooner or later that what I was saying was so not based in fact. 

I am learning to listen better but it is definitely a challenge to really give the speaker my attention and remember to ask questions! I love asking questions! Making assumptions is an area where I see much room for growth and improvement! 

Because you know they say when you assume, it makes an ass out of u and me, but I think mostly it makes an ass out of the one who does the assuming, which in this case, is me. Note to self: work on seeking first to understand before thinking you understand. 

When the Garbo Looks at Your Trashcans and Says Uh, No.

Isn’t that nice? My fire was much more messy and much less separated from the grass around it.

Yesterday, I flexed my biceps and actually sweated while cutting down an overgrown forsythia bush in our sideyard. There are actually two bushes over there and I had intended to cut them both down, but reality.

So, I cut and cut and cut and cut. Gathered. Put some in a trashcan, so clever. It was “IN” the trashcan, except that you apparently don’t count the airspace above the can as “IN.” But at that point, I was optimistic and hopeful that the middle-of-the-night pickup would be staffed by a waste collector who would chuckle lightly and cluck his tongue, “Oh, that Susan . . .” and then would take away the giant mess I had left at the street.

Imagine my response this morning when I looked out my window and discovered that my garbage cans/trees were still right where I left them. I peered up and down the street, trying to determine if maybe for some reason he hadn’t been by yet. Couldn’t tell. Usually, they empty the cans and sling them back to the edge, leaving quite a wake of chaos behind them. I kinda knew when I saw them that I had pushed the limits a little too hard.

So, from the frying pan to the fire. LOL. I dragged all that brush to the back 40 where I tried about 17 times to start a fire, and FINALLY got it to start. Then I burned everything up, worrying the entire time that the fire department was going to see the smoke (they are right over THERE) and come and give me what for. When not worrying about the fire department, I worried about my neighbor’s pool getting lots of ashes floating down into it, but not as much as I would have if she would ever let us swim in it. (Haha.)

In my usual methodical way, I circled the fire, making sure it didn’t jump its borders. Nice thing to have a phone, so I could instruct my daughter to bring me the second trashcan of tree, as I didn’t want to leave the fire unattended. Burning up the brush is probably illegal. I’ll have Tomorrow Susan look that up since I still have another entire forsythia to remove.

The only excitement was when a piece of ash landed on my head, but I didn’t know it until my scalp starting feeling super hot. Got that all tended to by smacking my hair multiple times with my hands, and then without further ado, continued burning up the brush.

Remembering my wilderness tripping days, I made sure to put plenty of water on the ashes and make sure the fire was completely out. Another eyesore in the yard has been cleaned up. Making progress back there indeed.