Saturday, July 21, 2007

Borderline OCD (self-diagnosed), Part 1

Warning: another frightening look inside my head.

I say borderline OCD, because at heart, I'm a slob. Some areas of life and my living spaces are a nightmare mess of stacked books and papers, and other areas I want clean and orderly.

Yet another dichotomy that is part of being me.

Like everyone else, I hate the high prices of gasoline.

Yes, I hate that it simply takes more money to drive a vehicle now, but that's not the only thing that bothers me about the high price of gas.

Example. Last week, I'm driving the van, Dodge Grand Caravan, 1998 vintage.

I happen to look down, and have one of my patented mini heart attacks. The fuel gauge is BELOW "E". As in, no part of the needle is even touching the thicker red line that indicates "E"; it's below that.

I pull into a Shell station, the first gas station after my miraculous recovery from the mini heart attack.

I get out, do the debit card thingy at the machine, because I'm a dedicated pay-at-the-pump kind of guy, and start gassing the van up.

Well, the van has a pretty huge tank, and after a while I tell myself, "if it hasn't filled up by $40, then I'll stop it there."

It hadn't filled all the way as I approached $40, so I slow down and... "Aargh!" I overshoot to $40.03.

That, dear reader, is just absolutely intolerable.

So I continue and try for $41. Whoops.

Try for $42. "Dangit!"

Here comes $43.

I'm focused like a laser beam. Total master of my eye hand coordination.

I'm praying.

Man, I'm using the force, just like ol' Obi Wan taught Luke...


Yes! $43.00 exactly!

(If at all possible, it's crucial that the amount be exactly on the dollar. The order of preference is thus: exact dollar, then half dollar, then quarter dollar, and finally tenth of a dollar.)

I carefully flip the handle down to ensure the pump doesn't jump forward a penny or two and throw me off my game again.

I breathe a sigh of relief, press the YES button for a receipt, and I'm back on the road.

And thus is the experience of buying a tank of gasoline with borderline OCD (self-diagnosed).

Related, But Different Gasoline Buying Stressor In My Life

We have one car out of three that has the gas fill door on the passenger side. Since we bought that car, no matter which car I'm in now, I cannot remember if IT is the one with the fuel door on the passenger side.

So as I pull any vehicle into a gas station, I have a minor panic attack while trying to quickly remember 1.) which side is the fuel door on in this car? 2.) scan the instrumentaion panel in whichever vehicle I'm in, because sometimes car manufacturers anticipate idiots like me getting into just such a panic and have a helpful "<-FUEL DOOR" or "FUEL DOOR->" written there to help us out of our jam by flat-out telling us where the dang fuel door is, and 3.) try to figure out the exact path I need to drive, turn, back up if necessary, to put the fuel door I've finally found nice and close to the gas pump without having a war / road rage with someone else trying to do the same thing.

Come to think of it, getting your car in the proper place for pumping gas at a station is JUST LIKE musical chairs when you were a kid.

And I'm not a very competitive person at heart, so I'm the one usually left waiting.

Note To Self: Ensure that all future automobile purchases also consider which side the fuel door is on. Or, write my Congressman to demand legislative action to have all fuel doors on all cars made on the entire planet be placed on the driver's side of the car.

Just for me.

Hey everybody. I've had a rather tough week, and haven't been making the rounds of everyone's blog to read and comment. I'm sorry about that, I'm hoping to catch up on my reading and commenting on your blogs this weekend.


Qtpies7 said...

Oh my gosh, you are some kind of a freak! Seriously!

Just kidding, we do the same thing! We even try to get the kids to get it on the dollar when we let them fill it. (shhh, its illegal in MN to let someone under 16 fill gas) And then if they go over we make them pay the penny or two over, lol. Its just for fun, we aren't mean. Well, yes, we are mean, but thats for fun. And if we are filling it we try for right on the dollar, and then for half dollar, and at the very least it has to be a nickle, never ever a penny or two.
I can't fill my gas tank with one swipe of my card, though, because even the best gas stations have a $75 limit on gas with the card so we have to swipe it again to finish filling it. Or fill up sooner.

photowannabe said...

Well John you gave me a laugh today. I can never remember which side the gas cap is on either. The whole OCD situation is just too muh....take it slow and easy. Comment when you can. No need to stress.

Julie said...

Ahh the gas tank fill game. Sometimes I get lucky and sometimes not but it doesn't bother me too much. I have another gas tank long can I drive after the little light has come on! And then when I USED to be able to tank up I would check the owners manual and see how close I came to the full tank! Less then half a gallon a couple time!

Hammer said...

That's why I hate rentals, it's always on the opposite side and I drive around the pumps looking like an idiot.

Travis said...

The exact amount thing used to bug me back when I was paying cash at the pump. I'm still paying cash because I pay off my gas purchases, but not until I get my credit statement. So I don't worry about that anymore.

Dude! Post it note on the dash in each vehicle!! Cut them into small squares that fit in the instrument panel - there's lots of wasted space.

Angela Marie said...

This was funny!

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