Gas stations and I have a love / hate relationship. I love using my Kroger points to instantly knock off ten cents of the much too expensive gas price, but I hate the amount of times I’ve been approached or hit on by random men. There are too many horror stories of young women being harassed or abducted for me to be Friendly McFrienderson while at the pump. Therefore, aside from a few emergency occasions, I always get my gas during the day.
On Tuesday, I was on the last few gallons of filling my car when I (the hawk eye that I am, always aware of my surroundings) noticed a man pull off to the side away from the pumps, get out of his van, and start looking around. I made brief eye contact a few times to see that he was often looking in my vicinity. When I noticed that he was walking in my direction, I immediately hopped into my car. I figure, I can talk and hear you just fine through a crack in my window, but, really, what is there to talk about Mr. Stranger Danger? Anyway, he relayed to me that he was trying to find $4.00 so that he could get a gallon of gas and get home to his wife. The man, who was Caucasian, told me where he worked, that he wasn’t a weirdo, and that his wife was African American – twice.
I had some money on me and I gave it to him through the crack in my window though I did not appreciate him choosing to approach me, a young woman on her own. In addition, I wondered if there was something about me that made him think that I would only be willing to help him if I knew that factoid about his wife, or if he thought that he presented less of a threat to me having chosen to marry a woman who, for all intents and purposes, “looked” like me. No matter the answers, I think that act of kindness at the gas station will most likely be my first…and last. Safety first my friends.