You know that I’m pretty sold on Boston already. Between the good grocery store, the terrific job, and the not-heinous drivers’ license, I don’t have a lot to complain about.

Except one thing: full-service gas stations.

Every single gas station I’ve been to here has an attendant who runs up to fill up your tank when you pull in. And I hate it.

I want to pump my own gas. I don’t want to have to tell the guy a dollar amount of gas I want; I just want to fill my own tank up until it’s completely full and the nozzle shuts off. I want to just push the lowest grade of gasoline button in peace, rather than having to admit out loud that I never ever ever buy a better grade of gas.

Just like it did when I was sixteen, pumping my own gas makes me feel like an adult (it doesn’t take a lot for me, does it?).

I know by looking online that there are a few gas stations around here that are not full-service but are indeed self-serve, so I know it’s not a law here like it is in other states.

And you can bet the second I finish this post, I’m going to find out where they are and only go there from now on.

Until it’s winter, of course, at which point I’ll probably be praising this full-service system like there’s no tomorrow.

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  • Reply Jeff, Vicky and Kira September 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I grew up in NJ where full service was a law – when I moved to NY, I had to learn how to pump my own gas. What shocked(s) me even more is that gas in NY is more expensive than in NJ – I assumed because you had to pump it yourself it would be cheaper. I LOVE FULL SERVICE GAS 🙂
    Oh and I'm sure it's silly but you can just tell them to fill it up and not have to figure out a dollar amount.

  • Reply Jenny September 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    You will praise it on c-c-c-old days, because not having to stand outside in the frosty cold to pump gas is a beautiful thing.

  • Reply lacie tidwell September 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    haha- the title of the post is hilarious- and when it's cold and snowy outside you'll probably love the 'gas man':) it'd be nice to occasionally have a 'gas man' here in Vegas when it's a million degrees and I have the baby in the car- especially if their little outside card swiper isn't working properly

  • Reply Kristi September 18, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Oh my dear dear Janssen. Yes, you will praise it on cold days, which are coming soon. Snowy days, rainy days, lightning storm days,eight months pregnant days, broken leg days. They were all full service in Oregon too and it took a bit to get used to but there have been many times since then that I wished all I had to do was pull up!

    Though I have to admit, as a parent, it is a simple joy to be able to step out of a car full of screaming children and shut the doors and have a few rare moments of peace while I pump the gas : )

  • Reply ellen September 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Are you kidding?! Full-service gas stations are one of my favorite things about Boston. And, yes, wait until winter. You'll be digging them!!

  • Reply Heather September 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Glad you love the city you're in. I'd adore having full service here w/all the kiddos in the van. And yes, come winter, you probably will as well.

  • Reply Trish September 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    First of all–what a way to title a post! My first thought was Boston Beans. Haha! But ya, I'd find full service a little aggrevating, too. Plus I kind of like those quiet moments at the gas pump.

  • Reply Gretchen September 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    OOH yah, I remember HATING that when I lived in Oregon. But it was a law there. Good luck in your quest!!!

    And I'm with Kristi, I like the few minutes of peace when I shut the van door and pump my gas 🙂

  • Reply Braden September 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    rather than having to admit out loud that I never ever ever buy a better grade of gas

    No point, unless your manual tells you your car needs it.

  • Reply Packrat September 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    At first I thought of a gas leak. As with others, learn to love not having your hands or clothes smell like gasoline. Don't be bashful about using the lowest grade gas, either.

    Oregon – yes, it is the law that gas is pumped for you. The only time I didn't like it was when there weren't enough attendants, and I'd have to wait forever.

  • Reply Jess September 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    It must be a Boston thing because I never encountered full-service when I lived in western Mass. But everyone else is right that in the winter you will be quite thankful for this.

  • Reply Lonica September 18, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Even before I read you're last line I was thinking, "Yeah, but you'll love the full service in the winter!" I hate nothing more than having to fill up my tank and stand in the freezing windy weather while I wait for it to shut off.

  • Reply Janelle September 18, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I'm totally with you. When I'd go on road trips and pass through Oregon, I would always fill up right before we crossed the boarder and try to make it all the way through without having to stop for gas at a full-service station!

  • Reply megan September 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I'm with you on this one. Oregon is stupid for that one reason. I think, wow, I would like to move to Oregon. Then I remember, and I think, no, I want to pump my own gas, thank you. Plus, thanks for saying gas instead of fuel. I am tired of people saying fuel. What is wrong with gas?

  • Reply Tara September 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    What!!? I love going to full service gas stations. Maybe it is the lazy streak in me. But when I have both boys in the car with me and I want to pay with cash it is very convenient. But it is weird when visiting other states where it is the law and having that freedom taken away from me. I like have the choice.

  • Reply Melanie September 18, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Is the gas cheaper in MA like it is in NJ?

    I avoided getting gas in NJ for the longest time because I was unsure as to whether or not I needed to tip the attendant (you do). At first I was annoyed at the "service" because I had to pay an extra couple of dollars to tip, but then I realized that the gas there is significantly cheaper, so it all evens out. But then there are the lines . . .

    Yeah, I don't mind pumping my own gas.

  • Reply fluentbrittish September 19, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Oh my gosh! I would HATE that. Pumping gas shouldn't have to be social.

  • Reply Operation Pink Herring September 19, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I grew up in NJ (and I have never tipped a gas attendant, nor do I know anyone who has) and I really didn't know there was another way, even after I moved away to college because my car stayed in NJ with my parents. When I finally bought a car here in MD, pumping my own gas freaked me out so badly. I just didn't know how! And everyone else had been doing it their whole lives, so I felt like a total idiot reading the instructions and trying to figure out how to open my gas tank and fearing every time that I'd spew gas everyone and blow the whole place up.

    Now I usually like pumping my own gas, and I especially miss it when I'm driving through NJ and there's a huge line at the gas stations on the Turnpike. But I have to admit, on really cold, miserable days, I do long to just be able to stay in my car and hand over my credit card.

  • Reply Angela Noelle September 20, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I'm fine with someone else pumping my gas. So long as they shake the nozzle at the end, so I get every last drop. So long as they wash my windows. So long as they accept payment at the pump. Is it too much to ask? What are all these halves?

    It's the payment at the pump I like. I'll pump my gas. I'll wash my windows…but please, do I have to go inside and queue to pay and leave my baby in the car? I've seen those freaky clips from police reality TV where cars have been stolen with little ones inside…AT GAS STATIONS. Do I just lock the car? Do I carry her in for that 65 seconds? But she's asleep!!! AH!!!

  • Reply Kath September 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    That's funny, they do the same thing in Oregan. I love Boston though, such a fantastic place! Go Sox!

    I have an award for you! I haven't figured out how to do proper links in comments, so the link is below.

  • Reply Carly Jane September 22, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Hmmm. I don't think I would like that either. This is why drive through ATMs are a beautiful thing (you don't have to go in and do social chit chat)… but at the same time, I love having Jeremy get the gas (as he is usually the one driving and we only have one car). So I'm guessing it would grow on me. I always do feel awkward in those unexpected not-sure-how-to-handle-this situations. Good luck!

  • Reply Kelly September 23, 2009 at 7:11 am


    We're visiting the MIL in Oregon right now, and I'm so annoyed at this.

  • Reply Jennie September 30, 2009 at 2:58 am

    Oh remember that last sentence lady, 'cause come january, you will be wondering why ANYBODY would want to pump their own gas!

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