I wonder if there are AA meetings and support groups for people like me: the “fuelfobic”.Basically those people suffering of a deep resistance to stop for petrol.
This condition of mine is something that I developed over time.There was a time in my life when there was happy fuel days.Days when afraid of running out of petrol I was filling the car as soon the tank was half empty.That attitude was inherited from car obsessed parents.Their cars are always pristine,(inside out),they always have a full tank ,their services are rigorously up to date and, in case of the catastrophic happening of a little scratch, the car is immediately fixed.Once I grew out of my shell of perfect daughter perfectly respectfully of her parents car’s rules of life,things changed :I eventually relaxed.I was still regularly filling my car with fuel but,little by little,I started to leave it up to when the tank was more and more close to be empty rather then full.
The truth is that I just hate stopping at the petrol station and make petrol.It is a waste of my time and it seems always to happen in the most inconvenient day or time of the day.Basically I always need fuel when I have no time to stop.Also,I really hate spending money in petrol.I know it sounds absurd, considering that it is coming from someone who spend half of her day in the car but,this is what I feel.
This attitude got worst over the years.Sure the travelling husband played a role in all this.He is not free from blame.He, in fact,is very relaxed when it comes to petrol,always been:no need to worry until the fuel indicator is red!I suppose that 20 years together left some mark on my thinking. I started not to worry about petrol until the fuel indicator was red too.The problem is that I tend to forget it and keep driving for days.I suppose this is the difference between a relaxed practical man of numbers and his wife.
A couple of time I really got a fright as the car kept warning about the low petrol level and I was nowhere to know where a garage was,if there was any around.God bless google map that,can really assist you in these situations.Of course my reaction was to say to myself:”never again”,”this is lesson”,”that red light is not an ornament “.Well, that reaction was just an initial reaction.Everything went back as it was,possibly even worst.That vicious symbol looking like a snake infested ATM,have no power over me anymore. Its turning red and flashing doesn’t scare me any longer.I became bolder and lousier and, since the start of the year, I run out of petrol twice already.
Fortunately it always happened in the village.Unfortunately it always happened when I have no money with me.I never have money with me unless I have to specifically buy something or go for coffee with my friends. For my daily quick runs and drops and picks up I never have my purse with me,except when I forget it in the car since the previous time I needed my wallet.
The first time I run out of petrol was a lovely sunny morning of early January.My darling car was so gracious to stop at the garage.The garage is slightly downhill and so I managed to reach the pump and make petrol,thanks to the 20 euros my dear friend P lent me on the beach while out with the dogs.
Second time that happened was last past Sunday,in other words yesterday. It has been a busy day:we had guests over for lunch,the eldest daughter to be dropped and then collected from a hockey match and still a heavy head from the previous night.The car was also just back from her surgery and if she was in need of petrol or not was really the last of my concerns. It turned out she was!Superfluous to say that I realized how much in need of petrol she was only when already to next village collecting A.The good thing,was that the hockey pitch is conveniently located close to the petrol station. The bad thing,was that I totally rushed out of the house not even taking with me my coat,never mind my purse.”Shoot”,but I had my phone,it worth it a try to see if I could pay with apple pay.No I couldn’t .The usual garage girl was not there.There was a one hundred years old man who looked at me like I was talking in some extraterrestrial language. I decided not to try to explain to him that if he can accept contactless payment he can accept apple pay too.I know I should have felt desperate but, frankly, the whole situation stroked me as hilarious and made me chuckle.
While going back to my car, laughing on my own open mouth like a weirdo,I noticed one of the parent from the school .He politely waved and seemed curious for my laughing.From the distance,I politely and briefly explaining the situation and got into my car where,waiting for me,there was an annoyed daughter.She hates this particularly petrol station after that time we stopped for petrol and I was wearing my bathrobe. Obviously there is a perfectly logical explanation:It was the most beautiful and warm day of late September I have ever seen in Ireland.I couldn’t resist to go with the girls for last swim of the season.I packed the towels,the robes,the jellyfish shoes and everything we needed.I even remember my purse for some ice cream after it.Only thing I forgot was a change of underwear and because I couldn’t wear my dress over my wet swimming suit I had to go home wearing my robe and,totally unexpectedly,to stop for petrol.A never got over the embarrassment while, her sister,was instead laughing her head off and the following day,told her entire class about our little adventure.
Back to yesterday,still unsure if it was out of kindness,or compassion for my child in the car and my husband who would have come and rescued,the dad from the school knocked at the window of my car and handed me 20 euros for the petrol.I was extremely embarrassed and refused to take them.I would have tried to get home.I might had enough to make it.He insisted for me to take them and so I did at the end. Guess what?judging by how little the petrol level went up I am now pretty sure I would have never made it home.
Once I told the travelling husband what happened, he had a big laugh and presented me an early S.Valentine present:a key ring with a little purse attached to fit some notes for fuel emergency .