The other day I was talking to a friend who was worried she didn’t have enough gas to get home from a meeting. No problem, I said, you have enough to get to the gas station two blocks from here. Her response?
“Oh, I don’t know how to pump gas. My husband always does that.”
Guys, my jaw dropped. After I picked it up, I started laughing. I’m sure I acted like a jerk, but I was seriously floored that anyone could live to be over twenty (or over forty) and not have any clue how to pump her own gas. As a single girl, I would be screwed if I waited for some man to pump gas for me.
I pump my own gas, check my own oil, add windshield fluid and engine coolant when needed. I take my car for oil changes and tire rotations. I even know how to change a tire myself, for those times I don’t feel like waiting on AAA.
This woman has a good career that involves regional travel all the time, most of it via automobile. How does she manage? Are there any full-service gas stations left in the Midwest? I know a couple of states in the Union actually require full-service (Oregon comes to mind) but here in Middle America, we pump our own gas. And maybe if we lived in New York City or Chicago she could do all her travel by public transport, but that isn’t the case. So how does she get by?
It’s one thing if her husband pumps the gas out of consideration. But if he only does it because she doesn’t know how? I know not every married woman as as helpless when it comes to car-related things, but I think it’s pretty pathetic if a woman can’t manage in life by herself. What is she going to do if something happens and she is suddenly a widow or divorcee? And if she can’t do something as simple as pumping gas, what other vital life skills is she missing?
I made her follow me to the gas station, where I taught her how to pump gas and pay for it with her check card. I told her, “You don’t have to tell your hubby you know how to do this, but by gosh, you’re going to learn.”
But I confess, weeks later, I wonder if she remembers how.