Lately I've had some rather heated interactions with strangers... I know I'm frustrated and stressed out, but I wondered what I'm putting out into the universe to deserve the kind of reactions I've been getting.
I was at a quick stop type gas station recently, and when I went to pay at the pump, I was asked to swallow a 45 cent "convenience" fee on top of paying for the liquid gold I was about to pump. I was not impressed, but decided to authorize the charge anyway. I chose my grade, pulled the trigger and nothing came out. Was I supposed to lift a handle, push another button, do the hokey-pokey?...I could not find anything I'd missed, but still, no gas.
I walked across the parking lot and inside. I complained to one of the clerks behind the counter that the gas wouldn't pump, and I felt I should be reimbursed my "convenience" fee, since coming inside to pay, was what I'd paid to avoid having to do!
He was very condescending, and said he'd come out to see what was wrong, so I don't need to get all upset over nothing. He repressed the button, inserted the pump, squeezed the trigger and the gas started to flow. "See, nothing wrong. You were all upset over nothing. You need to calm down." Telling me to calm down, has the same effect as setting my hair on fire. He started to walk away and I pulled the trigger...nothing.
"So, what's wrong now?" I said, "Did I hurt it's feelings?"
He came back tried again, and this time it didn't work for him either. "Nothing...right? Can you at least admit that there is something wrong with this pump, and that charging me for a convenience I did not get is wrong?" I chided.
"You can't go around getting ALL upset at people just because you're having a bad day!" he sneered as he fiddled frantically with the trigger. The gas started to flow once again. "There!" his snotty tone rang out, "I'm not here to pump your gas!" He began to storm away again.
Once again, I attempted to resume pumping gas, and once again the pump did not work. "Clearly it's broken" I shouted after him, he was a good 30 feet away from me now. "I'd like my convenience fee back!"
He wheeled around just outside the door of the store, and began to yell at me from across the parking lot about how I'm a bitch and should take my business elsewhere etc. etc. Everyone at all three islands had now stopped what they were doing, and were looking and listening to him, and me. I hung up the pump, started the bike, and rode off, all while he was still yelling.
Then, about a week later: I had been parking my truck a few streets away for about a week, until I had the money to make a payment, and call the bank to set it up. It was "Out for repossession" and losing it would completely hobble any ability I have to make money. I found a place that was discrete and not in front of anyone's house. It was beside a fence, and I was still using it, but I had to make a short bike ride to and from the truck when I did. It's not an old broken down clunker, it's in very good condition, but it is large. One day, I went to go get it, I was putting my bike in the back, when the woman who lives across the street from where I was parking it, drove up unrolled her window and said, "You've been dumping your truck here in front of my house, and you have Massachusetts plates, and they're expired, so I called the police, and they're going to come give you a ticket."
I didn't realize the tags has expired, but I replied, "Where do you live? Over there?" I pointed to where I knew she lived. "Yes" she snapped back.
"And you own this property over here too?" I inquired.
"No, but you've been dumping your truck here, and I reported you!" She said so snottily, I almost offered her a tissue.
"Well, that was nice of you." I replied. "You have a great day!" I said with more sarcasm than is allowed by law.
"I reported you!" she regurgitated. She pulled away, and I, hoping she was looking in the rear view, flipped her off.
I left upset and feeling like if this is how my day was going to be, I might as well just go back to bed. I began to think about what would have happened if the police had gotten to the truck before I did. They would have impounded it. I would not have been able to afford getting it out of impound, as I'd just given all the money I had to the bank the day before, so they would stop wanting to take it back from me. I would have been out the payment, and still not had a vehicle. I would not have been able to deliver the furniture I'd been working on for weeks, and would have had no way to get materials for another project. All I could think about was what a fecking busy-body ball-busting bitch she was! How was my truck parked across the street hurting her? How great must her life be, that that is all she has to worry about? But then I thought, how empty and crappy her life must be that she has to create drama, and try to hurt others to make herself feel better, and I decided that feeling sorry for her was more appropriate.
Anyway, after having some rough interactions and losing a measure of fondness and respect for my fellow humans, troubled by what an ugly place the world has become, I created a website to shamelessly beg for help in my quest to get to the one human I hope to grow old with, and much my surprise and delight, people have regained my faith. People I have never met in person, and a few that I have, have seen fit to contribute to the noble cause of helping two people who love one another overcome financial obstacles, and start their lives together. We have had the website up for less than 48 hours, and have already made $128.00, 9% of our goal! I am so glad that I decided to give people the opportunity to shine. What has really been surprising is that the people who have the least, are the ones who've been giving the most! It's an amazing phenomenon! I'm not one for asking for help, and it does not come naturally, or comfortably to me, but for some things, it's worth going outside your comfort zone.
If you would like to track our progress, or make a donation, I have put a link up in the sidebar! If you'd like to check out the website, go to ( http://gettracytocaroline.weebly.com ) I ask you to give if you can, and only what is comfortable for you. At this point we've had 21o unique visitors to the website, and if everyone who visited had given just $1.00, we'd be almost double where we are. We appreciate any gift, and will undoubtedly send wedding invitations to all donors! If we hit the lotto, we'll send plane tickets too!