Thursday, August 10, 2006

Further tales of the selfless in-laws

When I first started my current job, I moved back to Massachusetts for two months while The Husband stayed at his old job. During that time, I stayed with my in-laws because they live only five miles from my current place of employment. On the weekends, The Husband and I took turns driving back and forth the five hours to see each other. Because he and I shared one car, I had to borrow my mother-in-law’s car when I went to visit him.

Upon returning from one of these visits, I stopped for gas right before getting back to the house because I wanted to make sure the tank was as full as possible when I returned the car. I did this because I know that it is very bad form to borrow someone’s car for a 400-mile round trip and bring it back empty. Then, when I pulled into the garage at the in-laws’, Father-in-law came rushing out to the car and asked for the keys.

“Why, where are you going?” I asked him.

“I want to fill it up at the nearby gas station while it’s still Sunday; the gas is five cents off on Sundays,” he replied.

“Oh, I already filled it,” I told him.

Well, he was just flabbergasted. “You filled it?” he asked, completely surprised.

I was disconcerted as to why he was so shocked. “Of course I filled it,” I said. “I’m not going to return a car with an empty tank!” But just as in the case of the ride home, he and Mother-in-law would have thought absolutely none the worse of me had I coasted into the driveway on vapors. I’m starting to think that I could have returned a car covered in dents and mud from my off-road drag-racing adventures, and they would have thought that was fine too.

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