TJ had his first ride in the back of a police car tonight. It was my second.
And that’s only part of the story.
Picture this: It’s time to drive TJ to his grandma’s house, which is about 2 miles away. I decide that I don’t need to change out of my ugliest pair of Walmart sweatpants because I’m not getting out of the vehicle. And I just washed my hair, so I leave it in the hair towel so that it can continue to dry and I don’t have to feel cold in the chilly breeze outside. At least I didn’t forget to change out of my slippers.
So we’re driving along, and we’re almost to the entrance of where his grandma lives. And I start losing speed. All the lights on the dashboard light up. I am completely out of gas. I panic and think to myself that maybe I can get to the gas station if I just keep hoping hard enough that we’ll keep moving forward. So I don’t turn onto the road leading to where grandma lives. We run out of gas about a half a mile away from the gas station and a little less from the entrance to where his grandma lives. Oh yes, and we’re blocking someone’s driveway. On a busy road near a stop light where there are many, many, many vehicles whooshing by and don’t want to stop so I can open my door safely.
Oh, and I forgot my phone at home. Super.
And I forgot my cane. Well, I didn’t so much forget my cane as I did leave my cane at home because I hadn’t intended on getting out of the vehicle until I returned home again. But now, I have to walk to get some gas. Or else we’re not getting anywhere.
A sheriff’s car happens to pass by, and he asks what’s wrong. I explained that my car ran out of gas, and he asks if he can give me a ride to the gas station. I accept graciously. He drives us to the gas station that is further away than the one I had been intending to go to, but it’s easier to get in and out of during rush hour traffic.
So I try to call my mom from the pay phone at the gas station, but she doesn’t pick up. She doesn’t recognize the phone number, so I can’t blame her. But then the sheriff offers to let me use his phone, so I try again, this time without hanging up before her answering machine picks up. I start leaving a voicemail, and she picks up the phone. She agrees to come and get me, but she doesn’t have a gas can, so I have to take care of that myself. Thankfully, they have a gas can that I can purchase. And double thanks, my credit card works again. We were over the limit before, so my card was getting declined yesterday. We paid a large amount of money to get back down to where we could use the credit card again. So thankfully, I was able to use my card to purchase the gas can and a gallon and a half of gas to put inside it.
Oh, about the hair towel. I took that out of my hair before we got out of the van and started walking, because I figured it was better to have unbrushed hair hanging loose then to look like crazy lady wearing her hair in a Turbo Twisty towel.
So I bring the gas can to the gas pump and fill it with a gallon and a half of gas. It’s a 2-gallon container, but I don’t want to risk overfilling it, because I know that comes with its own problems. Then, TJ and I sit out on the bench and wait for my mom to arrive. Due to traffic, this takes a little longer than I had expected, but at least she got there.
We decided to drop TJ off with his other grandmother first. Then my mom drove me back to my van, which was still sitting there with its hazard lights blinking. Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out how to make the freaking gas can work. We tried everything. I peeled back the label to read the instructions, which were difficult to read because the paper had ripped a little bit, not that what I could read was useful anyways. Because it wasn’t specific enough.
So my mom drives us a little bit down the road to the car dealership, which is closer than either of the gas stations nearby, and where I would have walked to first if the sherriff hadn’t stopped and offered us a ride. She goes inside and asks a nice young man if he can help explain to her how to make the freaking gas can work. He explains it, it makes a lot of sense, and I wonder why the instructions on the gas can didn’t explain it the way he did.
Back at my vehicle with the flashing hazard lights, we take our lives into our hands again, hoping that rush hour traffic will not run us over while we attempt to put the gas in the gas tank that is on the driver side of my vehicle. Amazingly, it works this time. That’s all we needed. Clear instructions. So there is gas in my gas tank, and I was able to start the van.
My mom followed me to the gas station. I filled my tank all the way up to the tippy-top. I drove my van home. I am exhausted. My right hand hurts from pumping gas, and my left index finger hurts from trying to make the gas can work.
I don’t want to have to do anything else for the rest of the evening. I’m hungry, but there’s no way I’m making dinner. I’m too tired to even walk around to the other side of the bed where the bowl of candy is so that I can snack on some candy while I wait for Tom to get home from work and fix me something to eat.
It’s just been a bad day.