This morning, as I was waking up and ruminating about the future, I saw a post on Facebook that made me raise my eyebrows. A friend of mine shared a post by Chris Robinson, who appears to be some sort of celebrity living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I mean, he has 5000 friends and is followed by more than 4000 people... he must be some kind of star, right?
Anyway, Mr. Robinson wrote this...
Included with this status was a picture of a woman in tight booty shorts pumping gas while a man sat in the passenger seat. It's attracted over 40,000 comments at this writing.
I'll be honest. It's been a very long time since I last pumped gas. I don't drive very often because I don't need to, and when I do go out, Bill is usually with me. He pumps the gas 99 percent of the time while I park my ass in the front seat. I guess I've never really given a lot of thought to this arrangement. Bill is a gentleman and is happy to pump gas. I'm happy to sit on my ass.
When I was growing up, my mom used to use full service gas stations because she didn't like pumping gas. We'd pull up to the Exxon station in our hometown and she'd tell the guy to fill it up. She'd pay and that would be the end of it. Now, unless you're in Oregon or New Jersey, you probably won't find too many full service stations. I guess my mom is pumping her own gas now.
Despite the fact that I almost never pump gas, though, it never occurred to me that I should expect a man to do it for me. Yeah, gas is stinky and dirty, but women are perfectly able to pump gas and pay for it. I don't need a knight in shining armor to pump my gas. In fact, it would probably do me some good to pump gas for myself... and to drive more often. I think that would do a lot for my mental health. Maybe I wouldn't feel so anxious and panicky when Bill's company loses a contract.
When I first read Mr. Robinson's post, I wondered if maybe he was kidding. But looking further on his Facebook page, I see that he's added more comments.
This is kind of taking the whole "southern gentleman" thing a bit far... I think I'd be creeped out if some guy approached me, wanting to pump my gas, even if Bill was with me.
Actually, Bill kind of does do this. He tends to be protective when we're walking around town. I remember when the Beltway Sniper was on the loose. Bill insisted on walking behind me in case one of them shot at us. He figured he'd be more likely to take the bullet.
You'd think that would be the end of it, but apparently Mr. Robinson's post inflamed a lot of people. He posted this yesterday.
I'm not really sure what the big deal is...
Nice of him, but I wonder why he's doing it...
The comments on Mr. Robinson's post range from people thinking he's a great guy to people accusing him of sexism. One guy wrote that Robinson should just admit he wants some pussy and be done with it. I'm not so sure a guy who offers to pump gas simply wants sex. It could be he was raised to be a gentleman. But then again, true gentlemen seem to be in short supply these days. If Chris Robinson is really doing this solely because he's trying to be a gentleman, I applaud him. But I think a lot of people are skeptical of his motives and some are offended by the idea that a woman needs a man's help. Quite a few people commented that they didn't like that he took a picture of strangers and put it on Facebook, especially since he didn't know what was really going on, other than what he observed.
I guess, personally, I think it's not really anyone else's business who pumps the gas. I will go on record, however, as saying that I'm glad Bill is willing and able to do it for me. If I were a woman alone, trying to pump gas, and some random guy offered to do it for me, I'd probably be a bit freaked out.