In college, I used to work all night twice a week as well as keep up with a full school and social calendar. I didn't sleep as much as I should have, but was still able to function pretty well (kept my grades up, kept my bosses happy and found and dated my wonderful Crystal).
Things have changed, though, in the past couple years -- whether it is from getting up earlier than I used to, having a kid, or just getting more set in my ways (yeah, I sound old, huh?) I can't function as well on less sleep than I am used to getting.
This little introduction will help you understand where I am coming from when I share my (as of now**) embarrasing moment of the week.
We are in California this week for me to interview at a couple law firms in Fresno. On Monday, though, I didn't have any interviews so we drove south about 5 hours to Irvine to see Crystal's good friend from high school, Kelsey, and our friends from BYU, Jeff and Ali.
The drive down was fine and we had a blast hanging out with our California friends (we like them so much we decided to forego Disneyland this trip to see them instead). After dinner with Jeff and Ali, during which Ali commented on how tired I looked (my mind was still on Ohio time - three hours later than it was in Irvine), we took off.
I drove about two hours and then pulled over for gas at the Flying J near Lebec, California (which is on I-15 in the mountains between LA and Bakersfield). It was about midnight (so 3 a.m. in my mind) and Crystal was going to take over for me at the wheel, so she went in to buy a drink while I parked at the pump. Clara had been sleeping and I tried to keep it dark for her despite the bright station lights, but she woke up anway. I jumped out of the car (which had maintained its nice SoCal-70-degrees feeling the whole trip) and started shivering at the 41-degree air and the added wind in the canyon. I swiped the credit card and started the pump then jumped back in the car. I saw that Clara was still awake, so I thought to myself that I would just pull the car up near the station in order to get us out of the lights and wait for Crystal. I started the engine and began pulling away from the pump when I heard a thunk and realized what I'd done. I stopped the car and got out and, sure enough, there was the nozzle and hose laying on the concrete after I had ripped it off as I drove away. There is a break-away valve on the hose, so no gas was spilling, but the meter was still running. I tried to stop the meter by hitting cancel and then tried to reconnect the hose (just ended up squirting gas all over my arms). Then, I sprinted into the station and told the girl at the counter and she called maintenance. I then went back out and waited for a couple minutes waiting, shivering and watching the dollars add up on the moving gas meter.
The maintenance guy finally showed up and I told him about the meter running but no gas was coming out, and he said he couldn't stop it. Crystal, not flustered or as tired as I, then came out and wisely stuck her finger in the hole on the pump where the nozzle goes, tripped the lever and made the meter stop - right at $99.72. The maintenance guy then scooped up the nozzle and the section of hose that was still attached to it and then he and Crystal went inside to figure out the whole mess I had made. I slinked back to the car and sheepishly pulled up to another pump to actually fill the tank this time - checking three times that the nozzle was finished and put away before I pulled out.
Crystal came out and was very nice about it, because I felt pretty stupid, although I also thought it was pretty funny. She said the station had refunded all but four gallons of the $99 charge and that since I didn't damage the nozzle (which is about $500 to replace) like most people do when they drive off and drag it down the freeway, all we would have to pay for was to have the hose reconnected and tested (which should be pretty cheap comparatively).
We then took off, with Crystal driving, and about 20 minutes later, I just started laughing. I turned to Crystal and said, "Remember that time I forgot I was pumping gas and tried to drive away?" She laughed, then told me, with a smile but quite seriously, that if I ever do that again, I won't be allowed to get back in the car while I'm pumping gas no matter how cold or wet the weather is.
We made it back to Fresno about 2 a.m., falling into bed quickly because I had an interview in 8 hours. That interview went well (I stayed awake!) and the one with another firm also went well the next day.
** This embarrasing moment is followed closely, I think, by another embarrasing moment that happened earlier on Monday. As we drove, Crystal and I were listening to the Sunday Afternoon session of General Conference, and we listened to the talk by Elder Dale Renlund, who is a cardiologist who used to work with my dad. Elder Renlund's talk used the example of heart donation recipients who have to take anti-rejection meds every day to keep their hearts healthy. He said that spiritually we are the same way, we need to keep our spiritual hearts healthy by repenting and living righteously. Anyway, as we drove past a sign for the "Famoso" exit, I said "Famoso... (which means "famous" in Spanish) ... just like you, Crystal!" I said this because I like to tell her how she is "famous" when she wears cool sunglasses or just does something cool, in general. Crystal looked at me with a weird expression and said, "What?" I told her about the sign and she said that I obviously wasn't listening to the talk at that moment, because Elder Renlund had just said "... people whose hearts are hardened by sin..." and I had chimed in immediately with "just like you, Crystal!" Oops, again.