I get a lot of “Shelley, I just don’t know how you do it.” Here’s my secret – I don’t. I fail miserably in lots of ways. Don’t get me wrong, I do my job well, I function as a mom, and I don’t drop too many balls overall. I don’t drink excessively, explore dangerous drugs or even eat too poorly. What I do is run out of gas. Yep, over the last year, I have run out of gas at least six times. Once I did it while lecturing to my oldest child about taking responsibility for herself. I also get speeding tickets – three in the last 4 months. Here’s what’s good about that, though, and why I’m writing about it – people are awesome.
I’ve said many, many times that it takes a village to raise my kids. Today, it took Reggie, a total stranger, who decided to bring me gas after I stalled in the left turn lane at a very busy intersection during rush hour. This is Reggie.
Reggie saw me in the median, directing traffic away from the left turn lane (I really didn’t want to see anyone run into my car or each other), and asked if I needed help. I told him help was on the way and thanked him. What I didn’t know was that he told himself that if when he drove back by if I was still there directing traffic, he was going to get some gas and bring it to me, which he did. This is Reggie’s car.
Reggie works for Pop-A-Lock. He was doing a job for them when he saw me. When he delivered my gas it was as a good samaritan. He didn’t charge me. He called me ma’am. He stepped into traffic to put the gas in the car. He was just a ridiculously nice guy doing something good. He doesn’t own the company. He didn’t know I have 1,000 Facebook friends and a decently successful blog. If you care to, you might let Pop-A-Lock know that it was cool what Reggie did.
And, can I mention Reggie is black? Considering my last blog post, I think that’s an important thing to mention. Unlike the mature white woman in a Mercedes who wouldn’t look at me while I was trying to tell her that my car was blocking the lane and that she’d have to move (because I was so clearly dressed for car jacking, in my black crepe suit and heels in 103 degree Oklahoma heat) Reggie was awesome. As were the 20 other black men who stopped to ask if I was OK, and did I need help. Honestly, with the current state of affairs, I don’t know that I’d be as nice if I were them, and I think it’s important to acknowledge them.
I’d also like to give a shout out to all the other men and women who pulled over to ask if I needed help. And, to the awesome guy who stuck his arm out his window, handed me a cold bottle of water and said “I know you’re hot, honey.” And, to the people who gave me the thumbs up and a wave when they realized why I was standing in the road waving them away.
So, I’ve solved my speeding problem by using cruise control in town on my way to work. I’m not sure how to solve my running out of gas problem. The obvious answer is to watch my gas tank, but I think my problem is a bit bigger than that. My stress is clearly manifesting itself in my lack of attention to my gas tank. And, when it gets right down to it, I appreciate the opportunity to gain some perspective about the nature of people. I love Oklahomans. People are awesome.