GAS STATION ETIQUETTE

Have you ever been to a gas station? There’s probably a very high chance your answer is yes. Unless you grew up in a big city, or are a trust fund baby and have been chauffeured everywhere for all of time. I would like to assume that, regardless of how you live your life, you are all at least familiar with what a gas station is and what it does for consumers. If not, it’s in the name. A station for drivers to refuel both their tanks and themselves. Quality in service, cleanliness, and options range greatly depending on the company and location, but that’s not where the pump we’re stopping at today.

Stops to fill up on gas is a necessary evil if you’re going to be operating a vehicle. On long trips it’s about as rewarding and productive as pulling into a rest area. You don’t want to stop, but you know that if you don’t you’re going to have a major problem on your hands. There’s always that fun game of which stall will be clean enough to use, if the vending machine will be operational, or if you’re at risk of seeing a deadly snake (shoutout to Florida). I, for one, hope to never see a deadly snake at a public rest area. Maybe if you didn’t put a massive pond right next to the building it wouldn’t attract the deadly snakes. Also, for the record, I find it hard to believe that a standard chainmail fence is going to prevent the deadly snakes from escaping their … what is it? Cage attempt? Habitat? Doesn’t matter. This is why I only ever fly to Florida.

So that’s the rest area side of driving. No wonder people miss their own bathrooms when they’re gone. On the other side of the forced activities when driving coin, you have gas stations. In theory, this should be a painless experience. Pull in, fill up, park, get some snacks, maybe use the bathroom, and leave. It should take about as long as it took to read that sentence. Easy peasy. I think what wasn’t accounted for in the flow, though, was people. Are we just hard programmed to try and do things against the grain? Or do we just like to piss other people off?

Being blessed to work in a job where I literally have to try and predict all the ways people can use something and prevent unwanted actions, I am constantly amazed. If I give you a bowl of cereal and a spoon, why would you try to eat it with your hand? What was the thought process here? If I give you an input that says ‘Quantity’, why would you try to enter non numeric characters? What is your end goal with that? To not get any of what you want? We live in a world where the SMH feeling is the expectation and gas stations are not resilient.

Gas stations have 3 main components: the pump, the parking lot, and the convenience store. Each serving a specific purpose. When people use one for the purpose of another, it ruins everything. Let’s start with the pump. The pump is for pumping gasoline into your car. It is not a parking space. It is not a cell phone lot. It is not a waiting area. It expires when your pump stops filling your car. It still implicitly follows the rules of traffic flow. In other words if I have the pump on my left, but you’re the oddball with a passenger side tank, don’t pull in facing me. Then both of us are stuck until the other finishes if there’s a line. And there is almost always a line. 

To be fair, I blame car companies for this. A passenger side tank makes zero sense. You have to walk all the way around the car. You’re always messing up station traffic flows. Why is this not a standard driver side placement? Anyways … if you have to go into the convenience store, that’s what the parking spaces are for. They aren’t employee only spots. They’re publicly available for you to not block others from getting gas. Don’t be that person. If you aren’t ready to fill up, or if you just finished filling up, get your little behind off the pump so someone else can refuel. If you can drive to a gas station, you can drive into a parking space.

Finally, we have the convenience store! Snacks, drinks, restrooms, a road trippers paradise. I’m not sure at what point in history it was decided that gas stations would carry ALL of the candy, gum, and individually wrapped snack options, but I’m here for it. It’s fun to browse the aisles and get a little pick me up. What’s not so fun is the restrooms. I’m not sure how they get to the point that they do, but I rarely go into an even somewhat clean gas station bathroom. It is a crisis. Especially the ones where you need a key and are on the side of the building. What happens in those? You have to have a key to get in. Why does it look like a family of raccoons have been chilling for years. Maybe because the pump parkers don’t know how to use a public restroom either. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THINGS MY DOG DOES THAT ARE SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE FOR HUMANS TO DO

I’d like to start this post off by saying that I love my dog very much. Just in case she somehow learns how to read. Then just in case she figures out how to use a computer, and the Internet, and learns how to read my mind to figure out which blog I write. And then just in case she actually accesses this site only to discover my thoughts about her often curious behavior. Am I judging some of the things that she does? A thousand percent! Dogs are weird. And we love them anyways. Which is a good lesson for how we should treat ALL PEOPLE, really. 

Now that I’ve reiterated for the thousandth time how much I love my dog to all of the Internet, we can move on. Dogs, as a species, are shameless. Full of love and loyal to a t, but absolutely shameless – in the best possible way. They’re also an animal. So that combination of zero cares and having the mind, instincts, and habits of a creature is entertaining, to say the least. What exactly am I getting at? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Let’s talk about all the things our pets do that make us do the confused head tilt:

  • Lick Their Butts
    • For cleaning purposes most of the time, at least I’m assuming. As humans, though, we have that next level invention: toilet paper. We also have thumbs so I guess there’s that
  • Sniff Other Dogs’ Butts
    • Is this like the “perfume” that dogs wear? Only it’s all natural? Why is that your choice in introduction? Best not to think too much about this one
  • Lick People
    • It is technically a sign of affection. But read bullet point number one again and all of sudden this isn’t as cute
  • Sniff Other Dogs’, and Their Own, Poop
    • Because I guess if you can’t be with your friends the next best thing is to remember what their butt smells like? Texting works as well, but again, no thumbs so I’m not sure how successful that would be
  • Lick Other Dogs
    • My only belief here is a sign of affection for their “friends” … know what I’m saying? I’m not sure if dogs do monogamy, but if they do and my belief is right, my dog is a straight up HO!
  • Chase Squirrels, and Frankly Most Other Animals
    • As one does, but at least it’s good exercise
  • Lick Themselves
    • Again, probably for cleaning purposes, but maybe when they’re bored too because my dog can’t possible be as dirty for as often as she “grooms” herself
  • Put Anything, and Everything, in Their Mouths
    • I don’t understand this at all! Why the mouth? What if it’s sharp? What if it tastes bad? What if it’s poisonous? One way to find out, I guess
  • Lick Toys
    • To soften them before mauling them? To apologize for mauling them? To show their love before and after mauling them? Also not sure here
  • Lose Their Minds Over a Squeaky Toy
    • Ah, the predatory instinct coming in strong. The catnip for dogs
  • Lick a Blanket
    • Is it not soft enough? Next time you use a blanket, try licking it and see how weird you feel after
  • Perform a Pre-Nap Circling Ritual
    • You have a space and you want to … what? Make sure that the circumference of your body will fit there? If I ever just walked in circles I’d be given a breathalyzer
  • Lick The Couch
    • Do we spill that much food during our TV dinner nights, daily snack shows, and morning pick-me-ups? Maybe. Or maybe the dog is just weird
  • Nap Anywhere
    • Literally anywhere! But I don’t mean anywhere as in a car, or a plane, or normal human places. I mean the middle of the floor. Middle of the kitchen. On the stairs. Who cares! If it fits, it can nap
  • Lick the Carpet
    • Again with the licking! Probably hunting for leftover crumbs somewhere because they … 
  • Shamelessly Beg For Food
    • All the time. We feed our dog. A normal amount of food. And yet one would think we starve her to death based on how she acts around human food
  • Lick the Floor
    • At this point, we get it – they lick everything for fun
  • Pick Up Sticks with Their Mouths
    • Imagine if you went to a park, saw a random stick on the ground, it doesn’t even have to be a good one, and you just bent down and put it in your mouth. Then carried it with you for a while until you got bored. What a weird thing to do!
  • Lick the Ground
    • Because dirt is secretly delicious and all us humans have been missing out for years, I guess
  • Roll Around in the Mud
    • Never in my life have I seen a bunch of mud and thought, I’d love to be covered with that. And yet, my dog believes she is bathing in all the beautiful glory that is the outdoors. Shamelessly

That pretty much sums up all of the things my dog does. She is a licker if it was unclear from the list. I do understand that not all dogs lick all things like my lovable rescue, and yet, all dogs, at some point, lick things on this list. Are there weird things your dog does that didn’t make this list? Nothing would bring me more joy than to know about that so please reach out! I mean that 100% unsarcastically, too, dogs are my life.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THE SUBTLE ART OF CHOOSING NOT TO REMEMBER

The dictionary defines forgetting as a failure to remember. An innocent act where a task, thought, sentiment, etc. flies away from our easily distracted minds on accident – never to return. Well, that’s not entirely true. It returns in full force when someone gets mad that you forgot their birthday, or to get cheese at the store, or that you were supposed to pick up their kid from swim practice, or that you love them, or any number of things. In other words, forgetting is bliss. Until it becomes an intense panic.

While there are certain times when forgetting is a valid excuse, I find that a lot of people simply choose not to remember. Failure, after all, is merely a lack of being prepared. So if you aren’t prepared to remember, or don’t care enough to remember, then that’s on you. It’s not an acceptable reason to pick up a pack of store brand graham crackers at the grocery store on your way home because you didn’t realize it was Tuesday and I expect my weekly present. I mean, if you’re going to get me anything from the grocery store as an afterthought, it would be Chewy Chips Ahoy obviously. Or did you also forget how much I like those? Don’t be cheap and don’t be a liar.

Don’t believe me? Ok, I’ll prove it to you in a series of highly relatable examples. It’s fine if you start to blush, or get a little embarrassed reading through these, nobody’s perfect. I, for one, often choose not to remember when my daily morning meeting starts in an effort to send the subtle hint to my boss that they are not my favorite (like a real adult). I have also been known to actively choose non-remembrance when my doctor asks how my diet has improved since the last visit. Hard to say how much was sugar versus healthy … it was definitely a pyramid though so I should get points for staying within the geometric shape.

  • Tests – you “forget” to study for the Monday morning test because there was Friday Funday, Self-Love Saturday, and, of course, Spirit Sunday. There was simply no time and you know that you sit next to the soon-to-be Valedictorian who is extremely book-smart, but tends to write in size 50 font
    • In other words, you could have studied, but you chose to forget
  • Grocery Shopping – you know that you should buy fruits, vegetables, non-microwaveable meals, vitamins, etc. However, fresh produce doesn’t last as long, real cooking is a major commitment, vitamins cost about as much as a vital organ on the black market and you’re mildly healthy (you sit in front of a sunny window most of the day), someone asked you to pick up more milk, but you’re lactose intolerant, etc.
    • In other words, you could have purchased healthy food and been a nice human being, but you chose to forget
  • Chores – as a child, someone is forcing you to remember these. As an adult, not so much. It’s easy to “forget” that the baseboards haven’t been dusted, the refrigerator drawers haven’t been sanitized, the curtains haven’t been cleaned, etc. 
    • In other words, you could have done those, but honestly life is too short to be dusting some baseboards behind furniture. You can pay someone to do that if it bothers you
  • Work – I’m going to let you self-reflect here, but everyone (and I do mean everyone) has at one point been given a task, or responsibility, that isn’t necessarily ideal nor interesting. What did you do? Do you remember? If you say no, that’s because you’re choosing not to – just like you did in the office. ‘Oh dear, I was supposed to go to the basement and replace the lightbulbs in the unused conference room. What a shame. Welp, tomorrow is Bill’s turn, tell him I’m simply ill that I forgot.’ Liar.

So the next time someone tells you they forgot, smile and know that they are probably lying. If they’re at all important in your life, forgive them because we all know you’ve done it to them at some point so have a little moment of karma. If, however, you don’t know them, question their choices in life, but then forget and move on because life is too short to hold grudges. Especially against someone you don’t even know. Sorry, don’t forget, then you would be on their level – choose not to remember.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you didn’t like this post, then choose not to remember you read it. If you did like it, and know someone who tends to forget things (like start times) share this so they can realize they are lying to everyone, including themselves. But do it gently, in a caring, forgiving kind of way. Thanks for reading!


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