Two humiliating tales from Joel and Becky that are connected to gas stations

Becky’s Tale

This story begins with my short foray into acupuncture in June and July. As I’m sure I have mentioned, I bruise like a peach, and I just couldn’t handle all of the noticeable bruises and stares at work. However, I did learn a lot from my acupuncturist about food addiction, diet and health. It took me awhile before I believed her and studied about food addiction. Joel and I started on our life’s journey to make a change for our health. It has been a struggle, but I am learning to think about food and health in a different way. Some days are easier than others. And, no, we haven’t been perfect. But, we have made clear changes in our lives. One of these changes is that I just picked up the scale and threw it away. I couldn’t handle the temptation to hop on the scale every hour I was home, so I threw it away.

The book by a professor at the University of Minnesota, Traci Mann, Ph.D.,: Secrets From the Food Lab: the science of weight loss, the myth of willpower, and why you should never diet again has a down to earth approach to changing your lifestyle and habits. One thing she suggests is “Encounter less temptation by creating obstacles…No obstacle is too small: people are lazy. We are constantly assessing situations for the path of least resistance.”

I have found that I am incredibly lazy, especially when it comes to a Holiday Station Store. The way I put an obstacle in my way is to send Joel inside after filling our car because he is not tempted by the sales they have there. Holiday is notorious for Buy One, Get One Free, or buy two, it’s cheaper. Between the breakfast pizza, cookies, doughnuts, soda and bags and bags of chocolate, I’m done for when I’m alone. November 12 wasn’t any different. Even though, Joel had packed a healthy lunch and breakfast, I still left Holiday with a piece of breakfast pizza, 2 for one Energy Drinks and a can of Santa Coke. This added an extra bag and some extra weight to carry in to work that morning.

Because of these slip-ups, lack of scale, increase in my depression and lack of hope that anything good could happen, I assumed I haven’t lost any weight. But yesterday, a woman commented at work about how much I have lost. I pushed it off because I figured my clothes were just baggy or something.

But then, today happened. As I’m carrying everything (purse, lunch bag, Holiday bag) into the building, I’m struggling because as I am walking I can feel my panties are not in the right place. But I thought, I’ll be at my desk soon, no big deal.

But as I walked the panties had fallen low enough under my jeans to expose my bare ass. But I think, these jeans are the tight ones, they’ll catch the panties. But, my pants start slipping off. I have 1 pair of jeans that has to have a belt. All of the other jeans have been just fine without one. So, I just don’t wear a belt everyday like Joel (who has now outgrown his belt due to his weight loss). I can’t hitch my pants up because my hands are so full and I think, “You’re wearing a long coat no one can see that your pants are falling down over your bare ass.”

I scanned my security card to get into the marketing department, took 5 steps and my pants were around my ankles and my bare ass was available to the world. The first thing I did was to look around and make sure that nobody but the security cameras saw this. Why is this the first thing I do? Fortunately no one is here in this area as early as myself, so I hobbled into the bathroom and hitched up my giddy up. When I arrived at my desk, I told Joel the story. Joel asked the question, “Why didn’t you just put your stuff down and hitch up your pants?” My response was because I wanted to clock in at my computer as soon as possible. Joel pointed out how this was not the wisest plan because it took me more time to hitch up my giddy up than it would had I taken care of it like a normal person.

Joel’s beautiful response, “So, yeah, I’d say you are losing weight.” My reply, “Not if I keep going to Holiday.”

colb hands

Joel’s Tale

My tale is older than Becky’s. It happened in Fargo in 2011, and I wrote about it elsewhere under a pseudonym. I’m repurposing it here. Although it does have a lot in common with a recent twitter thread started by the Bloggess.

I’ve been known to say “You, too” to a gas station attendant in response to “Here’s your change” in anticipation of a “Have a good day.” It’s awkward, but nowhere near what I’m sharing here.

On an ordinary day, I would wake up, have 20 minutes of tv time, eating cereal, vegging, and generally trying to enjoy a little bit of the day before work. This was important at the time as we were up late applying to jobs.

On this particular day, we were trying to sell the house, so I needed to spend most of the morning putting away dishes, wiping off counters, sweeping, and other chores while still in my morning stupor. I spent 5 minutes watching the TV trying to load and getting stuck.

I woke up Becky so she could start getting ready for work at her temp job. I was crabby, sweating, and I was short with her. I said I was having a bad morning and I was leaving the rest of the cleaning in her care and that I felt abandoned by cleaning for 40 minutes while she slept. We talked, she worried, we hugged, but it was still not a good way to start the day.

The car beeped at me on the way to work and I decided to fill it up. I had to use the credit card because we were pretty much broke as shit and slowly going crazy trying to get something to work for us.

I went in and swiped my card. I started thinking about Becky and replaying our conversation in my head. I thought about how short I was with her on that terrible Monday and how nothing was going right and how she didn’t deserve me starting her week off on the same foot. The station attendant handed me the receipt to sign and said Thank you.

I said “I love you.”

It was loud enough and clear enough not to be mistaken for anything else. I never looked up during or after saying it. I realized as I was saying it that it was completely wrong, but my mouth wouldn’t stop, like watching a car crash you can do nothing about, or knowing your keys are still in the car as you swing the locked door shut.

I flushed four shades of red, grabbed my stuff and ran out like I just confessed a secret crush in high school.

I’m sure he is a very pleasant man. In the years before this moment, he was always so pleasant and chipper in the morning, I didn’t know how he did it. Although I admired his ability to be cheerful in the morning, every morning, I did not love him.

I never went to that gas station again.

back away now

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