I had to get gas in my car this morning. I will admit that I absolutely despise getting gas on chilly mornings. I will also admit that the only reason I had to go this morning, was because I didn’t want to get out of my car and pump the gas last night after getting Ben from basketball practice because it was too chilly - clearly, I don't like being chilly. It's okay tho' because had I gotten it last night, I would have missed one of the most interesting things anyone has ever said to me.
I drove to the station and realized that it was not yet opened. Apparently it opens at 6:30 a.m. and it was only 6:20 a.m. Why was I out at 6:20 a.m. getting gas you may wonder? Well, because this morning was one of the mornings I was meeting my BFF because we haven’t been able to find evenings that work for us to chat and I needed to see her face. So that’s what we do – we meet for breakfast. I then drove another ½ mile to go to a station that was open and proceeded to pump the gas. A woman, clearly dressed for work and chewing gum at a speed that must have hurt her jaw, was staring at me. I’m not saying she was looking at me because we were the only two women pumping gas at 6:20 a.m., I’m saying she was full blown, made me wonder if I had something smudged on my face kind of staring at me. When it finally became clear that she was freaking me out a bit, she looked at me with the most matter-of-fact face and said, “You know, I’ve often thought of just throwing my messy hair up on the top of my head ... I may just do that one day.”
Seriously, I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or flattered. Was that an insult or a compliment? I still haven’t quite figured it out. What I do know is that my friend told me my hair looked far from messy, (another reason I love her), and I’ve been able to chuckle a few times today because of those words said at the pump.
I couldn’t help but think that I could have been offended; and yet, what good would that have done? This early morning encounter reminded me that we all have the choice to use our words to build each other up or destroy, to bless or curse, and to spread hope or hate. It might also be a good idea to make sure that what you’re saying to a complete stranger comes out the way you want it to be received.
So, Miss cream-colored SUV who pumped gas on Route 248 this morning at 6:20 a.m., I hope someday you DO decide to just throw your messy hair on the top of your head and go meet one of your girlfriends for breakfast; and I also hope she stares at you for just a few moments before she tells you your hair doesn’t look messy at all.