Today I finally got around to getting my oil changed and my tires rotated and balanced. I’d been putting it off for roughly, oh, 2,000 miles and promised myself that this Saturday would be the day. Last night I’d been talked into some late night bowling and ended up crawling into bed at an absolutely ridiculous 3 AM. I’m not in the habit of staying up into the wee hours of the morning, so becoming a functional human being this morning was rough. Still, I’d made a to-do list and I needed to do it. I rolled out of bed and looked at my fluffy hair in the mirror through bleary eyes. I considered the work involved in making myself presentable and then opted against all of it. Brushed my teeth. Pulled my hair into a ponytail. Switched out pj pants for jeans, but stayed in the wrinkled shirt I had slept in. Voila. Ready for a morning of errands.
I felt perfectly fine with this crumpled version with myself while I was running around town until I pulled into the Express Oil lot. As I rolled down the window, a man in a dingy jumpsuit walked up to me.
“Good morning, sir. How can I help you?”
I gave him a grim smile.
“Oh…. I’m sorry, ma’am, er…”
“It’s fine,” I said with a wave. I’ve slipped up and interchanged my sirs and ma’ams before. I wasn’t going to take it personally. But then he said:
“Yeah, I’m sure you’ve been called much worse.”
WELL OKAY THEN.
In the moment, all I could do was blink and tell him to change my oil.
Twelve hours later I’m still trying to figure that statement out. Or the rationale behind saying it to a complete stranger.
I’ve got nothin’.