Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dear guy who washed my windshield at the gas station even though I did not ask or want you to do so:

Yesterday was a sorta bad day. Not a horrible day, just one where I was out of sorts. The night before I cut my bangs really short. I had already cut them pretty short on a whim (all bang-cutting for me is done on a whim) last Friday in preparation for my concert-going shenanigans on Saturday--this despite the fact that a birth defect (cowlick + widow's peak) suggests I have no business wearing bangs. Oh well, I decided that I could defeat the cowlick by brushing them forward, as is the look these days, rather than sweeping them to the side, as has been the look the past little while. For the most part, this assumption proved true and gave me such bang-wearing confidence that, when I was at the concert and noticed most of San Francisco's hipster girls were wearing even shorter bangs, I decided to try my luck again on Tuesday night. This time, I watched a couple of Youtube videos on how to cut them like I want. (I think hair and makeup instruction from real people is the number one public service provided by Youtube. No seriously, you should try it.)

When I woke up Wednesday morning, I didn't recognize myself. Who knew that a half inch of fringe could make such a difference? I haven't decided one way or another whether I actually like the short bangs, and I'm not particularly worried as my hair grows super fast. However, it was disconcerting to catch reflections of myself here and there and not realize who I was looking at. Hence, the out-of-sortness.

On the way to work my gas light went on. This was unexpected as I have a childhood paranoia of running out of gas and I almost always refill before the light goes on. I also have a deep hatred of the skanky gas station downtown that charges 30 cents more per gallon for the opportunity to wait in line 20 minutes and associate with a variety of surly characters while the bicycle cops totally ignore you. It's also one of those gas stations that plays loud cable news programs while you're pumping. You can never tell if a crazy derelict has just snuck up behind you and started yelling or if the news program just got louder. I have had it play out both ways. Anyhow, I noted the night before that I needed to get gas at my local station before getting on the freeway the next morning, but for the first time ever, I completely forgot.

So I made it to work and there were several annoying but not critical incidents at the pesky day job which I won't go into here as I don't blog about work, but suffice it to say I got asked on more than one occasion if I was "feeling okay." I suppose I was feeling okay. Was I feeling snazzy? No. Was I feeling banged-up, so to speak? Bad pun, but yes.

After work I had no choice but to head to my least favorite gas station for a refill. I started the pump and then hopped back in my car, locked the doors for safety and pretended to read the internet on my iPhone. By the way, pretending to read email is so much easier than pretending to have a fake cell phone conversation. Have I mentioned how much I love my iPhone?

Squeak. Squeak. Squeak.

Ugh. I knew it before I looked up. You were there, and you had started to clean my windshield. You were even doing a half-decent job at it.

I looked into my purse. I had a $1 bill and a $20 bill. Sorry, but I never even considered giving you the $20. Squeak. Squeak. Squeak. You were making sure that windshield was VERY clean. I scooped my hand into the bottom of my purse and came up with a load of change. I didn't even look through it to take the quarters out and save them for laundry. I thought I heard the pump click, so I got out of my car.

"How are you doing today, ma'am?" you asked, calling me ma'am even though you had about 30 years on me. I noticed for the first time that, although not nicely dressed, you certainly weren't homeless and you didn't smell like anything (a real compliment downtown).

"Fine sir, but you must stop doing that," I said as you went around and started cleaning the rear window. I dumped the single bill and change into your hand. "This is all the cash I have," I lied.

"That's okay," you said, pocketing the pittance. "I would have done it even if you had no money." Looking at my filthy car, you commented in a low voice, "Looks like you need the all-around."

At that point, I pulled the pump out of the car. The only problem was, it was still going and in the locked position. In the ensuing melee, I got gasoline all over my car, myself and even on you. Now both of us smelt horribly of something, not to mention the fact that we were highly flammable. I apologized profusely, swearing up and down that I had never done that before, but you just smiled and went to the center console and got me some of those rough brown paper towels. I wiped myself off, wiped the car off, went to throw the paper towels away, and the whole time left you standing right next to the unlocked front door where my open purse was sitting in full view on the seat, but of course you did nothing. Then you finished the back window and wished me well on my way.

Anyhow, I suppose you are having a string of out-of-sorts days as well due to things far more complicated than really short bangs, but you hid it better than me. I should have given you the $20 or more. Sorry that I didn't.

P.S. I got my car washed today.


  1. I'm sorry you had a bad day, but it was worth it to inform me of Youtube tutorials. No clue. I'm sure I'll be sporting bangs shortly. (Pun not entirely intended.)

    By the way, every time my gas light clicks on, I think of you.

  2. Okay ... so I'm very concerned about the fact that you are highly flammable. Anything you can say to assuage that??

  3. First, I just got my bangs cut, but I want them shorter, and I've been thinking of searching on YouTube as to how to cut them myself... You've proven my method right - woohoo!

    Second, I am quite skilled at making fake phone conversations while walking solo so that creepy men don't talk to me. The fake email doesn't work as well for me, as the men know that I can still hear because while emailing, I'm not listening to anyone else.

    Third, I rarely fill up my gas tank before the light comes on... This always leaves me to panic while searching for a nearby gas station.

  4. All I can say after reading this post is that I feel for you. Sounds like something I would have done. Sending smiles and good karma...