Thursday, August 16: On our way home from Fallingwater this afternoon, the boys, who came to visit me in Oman in January, remind me jokingly that here in America, we don’t have attendants to fill up our gas tanks like I do in Oman. They comment that I’m quite spoiled by this, and I agree, I am!
When they say this, I remember something that happened when I went to visit my daughter in Richmond. I tell them this story, laughing at how ridiculous it is. And at how ridiculous I can be sometimes….
I went to the gas station in my 1997 Toyota Camry, a car I have been driving for well over 10 years, and I got out of the car to fill up the tank. I started turning the gas cap to the right and it wouldn’t come off!! It just kept making this clickety-grating sound as I turned it round and round, but it was stuck firmly in place. I started to panic. We were practically driving on fumes as it was, and I was afraid it was permanently stuck and we wouldn’t be able to get gas!!
Sarah was sitting in the passenger seat and she yelled out, “What’s going on, Mom?”
I said, “I can’t get the gas cap off! It’s stuck! I don’t know what’s wrong!!”
Maybe she heard the panic in my voice. Maybe she thought I had become somewhat daft in my years living abroad. Either way, she hopped out of the car and promptly grabbed the gas cap and turned it to the left, the opposite direction from which I was turning it, and it came right off!
Miracle of miracles! I am so out of practice with filling up my own gas tank, I didn’t even know the right direction to twist off the cap.
I tell my boys & Mike this story as we are driving home this afternoon, and Adam pipes up: “Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey! Don’t you know that?”
I look like a deer in headlights. I’m searching the deep (and very dark) recesses of my brain, but honestly, I have never heard this before. The boys are shocked. “How could you have never heard this?” they ask. I ask Mike if he has heard it, thinking maybe this is a generational thing, some secret to the universe to which only the younger generation has access. Mike says, yes, he’s heard it before, somewhere along the way.
I wonder how on earth I have managed to survive all these years without being armed with this simple bit of folk wisdom!!