I’ll do it myself

New Jersey is one of the TWO states where you are truly not allowed to pump your own gas. (Oregon being the other.) This is something I did NOT know when I first pulled up to a gas pump in New Jersey.

As I was gathering up my trash to throw away – an attendant surprised me at my window & took my credit card & filled my tank. I still had my trash though… What am I supposed to do with my trash?!

Sure having someone fill your tank might seem like a good service in theory, but I have three good (good to me, at least) reasons why I’d rather just do it myself, thank you.


As previously alluded to – gas station trash cans are a key component of my trash strategy. Especially since living in a van, but while on a roadtrip too I rely on them to dispose of my banana peels, Bold Party Blend Chex Mix bags, etc.

But gosh if someone is out there pumping my gas for me – I don’t want to get out of the car to throw my trash away. Plus – what if they see my package of Scandinavian Swimmers & judge me for it…? No thank you.

I realize the trick here might be park near the gas station after getting gas & utilize the trash can on my way to use the gas station bathrooms. But gosh old habits die hard & I’m very used to using the trash cans by the pump, thank you very much.

Gas tank levels

Ideally I’d always keep my gas tank half full. There is (almost) nothing worse than getting in your car to go somewhere & realizing you have to get gas BEFORE embarking.

I’ve since accepted that keeping my tank full isn’t always feasible, but I do still fill up basically whenever it’s convenient for me. Sometimes if I have the time, or need to use the gas station bathroom – I’ll fill up only like 5 gallons of gas… If there’s a gas station attendant though – I’d absolutely be embarrassed to do this. There’s no way I’d subject an attendant to do that work for me all for a measly 5 gallons of gas! Nope – I’d live with the stress of running out of gas instead.

Being served

A fun thing about me is that I tend to be aggressively independent. (This probably stems from a fear of vulnerability – what if I ask for help & someone says “no” …??? (I’ll unpack that at a later date…)) That said – if I can do something myself, I usually do indeed want to do it myself. I can absolutely bus my own table, scan my own groceries, and of course: pump my own gas.

Even if I enjoyed being served, the idea of having to sit right next to this attendant that’s pumping my gas still doesn’t sit well with me. That’d be like going to the kitchen in a restaurant & watching the cooks prepare my food…??

So. Given these 3 reasons, and also my ability to complain about anything: I would rather pump my own gas.

And FYI I filled up my tank exactly once while in the state of New Jersey, waiting until I got to New York to fill up again (without the help of an attendant!!!)

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