The gas station which charges a dime less a gallon than any of the surrounding stations was full again today, as it often is, so I pulled in enough so it was clear that I was waiting for a stall but not so far that I wouldn’t have flexibility to move to the next open stall.
Another car pulled in, went around me, and then parked as if they were next in line for one of the two sets of pumps that were in the correct direction for me to use. Their gas tank door was on the same side as mine.
I instantly started feeling annoyed and preparing for a self-righteous fight, even though it looked like the car immediately next to me was likely to pull out before that one. This was, after all, a serious breach of etiquette.
The next car to leave was the one in the middle of the two I’d been waiting for, pointing the wrong direction. I contemplated how I could pull over, around, and back in. Very inconvenient. I’d rather just wait for one of the two in the correct direction.
The car that had pulled around me waved me in. I ignored them. They pulled through, used the other part of the station’s parking to do a 180, and then pulled back in. I could have done that, but I hadn’t thought to, and besides, it was work.
They were barely out of their car when the one I’d been waiting for finished up and started their engine. As soon as they left, the car that had been behind them also left, leaving me with a nice clear space to pull in (to the second pump) and get my gas.
As I pumped my gas, I reflected: I’d been preparing a self-righteous anger, and it had felt good. There are times, many times, when I’d rather be a victim and stew in my outrage. It justifies my RSD. It justifies my worldview that, yes, other people are heartless and I’m a hapless victim.
Even though the person had offered to let me in first. That would have been work. Easier to just stew in my own juices.
The United States Prime Time Victim Show: Timothy Leary has a point.