Home > Parenting > When Patience is Not a Virtue

When Patience is Not a Virtue

I’m generally not a very patient person but in some cases, I can be foolishly patient. For example, getting gas. Maybe it’s the fact that I used to pay for gas with whatever I had in my ashtray when I was a poor teenager and then college student, but I can’t bring myself to fill up on gas until I absolutely need to. Contrast this with my mom who gets uncomfortable when her gas tank gets below the halfway mark. In fact, I’ve often viewed the gas light as a challenge. Generally, the gas light coming on means you have about 20 miles until your tank is empty. ORLY?!?! In the past, I’ve proudly proclaimed that I once drove 40 miles after the check engine light came on, to which my friend(s) say, “you’re an idiot.” What I fail to mention is that one time my wife ran out of gas because of my “patience.”

One of the potential venues my fiancee and I looked into for our wedding was the Glenview Mansion in Rockville, MD. My fiancee was driving my old Corolla at the time, and when we were leaving, she said she should probably get gas. “Did the check engine light come on,” I asked her. “No,” she replied, “But it’s awfully low…” “Don’t worry,” I assured her, “I know that car and I can get gas for it later.” This statement turned out to be very, very true. So we made plans to meet back at her house and then head somewhere for dinner.

It was rush hour on Viers Mill Rd, and for those that are familiar with the Rockville area, rush hour gets pretty intense on Rockville Pike, Viers Mill Rd, and Norbeck Rd, etc…my fiancee was following me but we eventually got separated. As I was driving along, I get a phone call. “I’M OUT OF GAS!!!”

I generally try not to curse; this was not one of those situations. Well, I didn’t curse out loud because that wouldn’t have helped anything. But my brain was stringing profane words together together like some super hit combos in a fighting game.

Me: “WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Her (clearly upset): “At the intersection of Viers Mill and Norbeck Rd…”
Me: “I’LL BE RIGHT THERE!!!”

I get to the nearest gas station. There’s only one gas tank in the shop and there’s no price tag on it. “HOW MUCH IS THIS,” I ask. “$10,” the clerk replied. I’m sure seeing me in a state of panic added several dollars to the cost. I paid the cost and filled it up and rushed back to my fiancee.

There’s nowhere to park in that area and it would’ve taken forever to make my way around to get my car behind hers. As I pull up, I utter more profanities as I see the traffic jam being caused by her broken down car. I end up parking illegally at someone’s home and having to run across this big field, which is no longer there (they built up several homes). I think the field was maybe 100 ft long; it felt like a mile. Several irritated drivers looked over and saw me running with a gas can and shouted pleasantries at me. Many made note of my race and the fact that I like to do things to other men’s butts or mentioned the things they’d love to do to my butt, particularly inserting objects into it. How pleasant.

I finally get to the car and more pleasantries are being uttered by passersby. Turns out my fiancee ran out of gas a little further up the road but I nice gentleman pushed the car to this spot, which eased the backup slightly. The worst part of this whole thing? The gas can I just paid $10 for is broken. I’m getting more gas onto the side of the car and onto Viers Mill Rd than I am into the gas tank. My guess is that $10 gas can transferred 10% of the gas I bought into the car.

So as I walk back across the field to my car, I’m praying probably harder than I’ve ever prayed before that my fiancee would be able to make it home. (she did).

Fast forward to roughly 2 weeks ago. My wife and my mom mention that we are running low on diapers. “I’ll order them from Amazon soon,” I maintained. Ever since Amazon Mom started, whenever I’ve ordered diapers, they’ve arrived at our house no more than 3 days from the day I ordered them – sometimes, the next day. They remind me again that we’re low on diapers last week and I went ahead and ordered them. The next day, the diapers still haven’t shipped and now I’m starting to get nervous. Then my mom calls me and says, “Hey, I thought there were some extra diapers downstairs but we actually don’t have any left.”

I generally try not to curse; this was not one of those situations.

Mercifully, the diapers shipped via UPS later that afternoon, but they wouldn’t arrive until Monday. Thankfully, we had some emergency diapers we keep stored in our cars – we wised up after forgetting our diaper bag on several crucial occasions. “Maybe we should just go buy a pack of diapers,” my wife asked me. Again, I’m foolishly patient with some things, especially when buying a pack of diapers in the stores is crazy expensive.

The diapers are out for delivery this morning. So my mom is at home, left with one diaper. UPS is delivering a package, which I hope gets there before D2 delivers her daily brown package. Gives new meaning to the slogan, “What can brown do for you?”

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  1. TK
    March 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I don’t think it’s patience. I think you’ve a got a streak of daredevil in you. And you’ve only gotten worse with age. First it’s gas tanks and now it’s diapers? Crazy!!

    My husband also likes to leave filling up the gas tank until the very last possible second.

  2. March 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Not to sound like the know-it-all mommy, but diapers.com always has them here the next day. Don’t know if Amazon is cheaper though….
    My gas light makes me panic.

  3. March 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I don’t even know where to insert a smart ass joke here because I’m still laughing.

  4. March 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

    For diapers, I’ve always used Diapers.com, because they promise next-day-delivery if you order before noon. And that’s huge . . . although I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve had to either put smaller diapers on CJ or larger diapers on Leila because we ran out of one size.

    For gas, I’m much like you — it’s a stupid personal challenge, but I feel the need to do it. At least, I used to — until I had to drive to NJ, in a snow storm, and places all along the turnpike were losing power left & right. That really wasn’t cool . . . I managed 35 miles until I stalled, coasting into a gas station. I had to push my truck just a little way, in a blinding downfall. As I filled up, the gas station lost power, getting it back in a few minutes later. I managed to fill up fully. Thankfully.

    Now, though, I start to panic if I approach the last quarter hash.

  5. March 7, 2012 at 6:51 am

    You sound EXACTLY like my husband!!!

    Especially the gas thing. Which is why I don’t rely on him to fill up my car anymore!

  6. March 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I once ran out of gas twice in one day. NO LIE.

    The first time was in the morning taking the kids to school. The car stalled across the street from campus and (like any good grown-up woman would do) I called my Daddy to come bring me gas.

    He did. With a smile. And a few gallons in one of those red plastic containers. He also said this: “You need to go fill up now because this won’t get you far.”

    So what I did I do? I drove to work. And home from work. And I picked the kids up from school again. And on the way to taking them to a friend’s house for a big old play date (telling myself I’d get gas right afterward for sure this time because how long can a car run on denial?) I ran out of gas AGAIN.

    Duh. This time I called Triple A.
    And I think my husband suggested therapy…

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