Continuing Education

When I went to bed last night, I went with blog post ideas swirling about in my drowsy head.  I had several ideas, and parts for each were writing themselves in my brain.  I couldn’t wait for today’s work day to end so I could get home and begin to type furiously about… aha!  Thought you had me there, didn’t you?  You really thought I was going to give information away.  Sorry.  Not today.  No spoilers here.

Anyway, since last Monday was a whine fest (not to be confused with a WINE fest!) about how I despise this particular day of the week, I was not going there again.  Once was all I needed.  One time to get it all off my chest, and I was ready to move on.  And then today happened.  So this time, I’m taking a different approach.  No whining here- only wining.  And self-deprecation.  Lots and lots of self-deprecation.  Laugh with me, friends.  Heck, laugh AT me!  I’ve earned it.  And I can handle it.  Really.

The rear passenger tire on my car has been having issues with retaining air.  Ryan has been puzzling and puzzling over this tire for weeks.  And he just replaced my rear tires in the fall.  They’re brand new tires, and they didn’t want to hold air.  I’m no car expert here, but I’m pretty sure that to get from point A to point B, I need air.  And though I’m full of it (hot air, to be exact), donating said air to my tires while I’m driving could pose a potential challenge.  Anyway, the last time we had a problem with this tire was several weeks ago when we drove my car to go skiing; Ryan and his dad took the car the following morning to have the tire fixed, and I haven’t had a problem since.  Until this morning.  Funny, as I was getting ready to leave, Ryan questioned me on how the tires were, after the last repair he had done.  Since the car was fine on Friday, I told him that it was Perfect!  No problems!  That car has never run better!  Then, just as I was pulling into my parking space at work, my “1 Tire Low Pressure” indicator on the dashboard came on.  I went into the office, making a mental note to run to the gas station across the street at lunch and air it up, before driving it home to have Ryan check it out.

At lunchtime, I headed out to the gas station to fill my tire, when I happened to think to walk around the car to see how low it really was.  Good thing, because the tire was literally flat.  Nearly resting on the rim, FLAT.  Flat, flat, flat.  Of course, “flat” was not the only four letter word beginning with “F” that I could think of, but this is a family show.

Ryan works 50 miles away from my office.  And I am nothing if I’m not an independent, self-sufficient sort of woman.  Superwoman.  I really am.  And I’ve been asking Ryan to teach me to change a tire since we bought this car, you know, just in case.  But my husband is the chivalrous, gentlemanly type who believes that a woman should never need to know how to change a tire because that’s what a man is for, so he told me stuff I already knew, but withheld the Real Secrets of Tire Changing, hoping that the omission of information would stymie my curiosity.  It didn’t.  I decided that I’ve seen enough tires changed that I could figure this one out for myself.  There was a book of directions in my glove box, for goodness sake!  That’s what it’s there for, right?  To teach women like me who were raised on farms who know the basics but have never been cut loose on their own!  So in my best wool tweed trousers and my high-heeled power boots, with my knee-length camel dress coat screaming in protest, I dragged Clohe’s “no fur in Mom’s car” blanket onto the ice of the parking lot and managed to wiggle the jack out of its hiding space at the back of my car (AND, I also found where the DVD for my navigation system goes!  Bonus!)  Once I found the jack, I realized that this project was not one to be taken on without directions, so I opened it to the page I needed and tried to juggle the directions in one hand and the jack in the other.  It was a fruitless effort, because I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to use that darn jack!  Fortunately, I discovered that I needed the lever end of the jack anyway, to crank down the winch that holds my spare tire in place under the car.  So I managed to lower the spare to the ground, and was thisclose to disengaging it from the car, but the end of the winch would just not go through the center of the tire.  Cold and frustrated, I went inside for a bit, but could not concentrate for long because I was worried about the rim of the tire bending from the weight of the car.  So I went back out.  Why, you ask, did I not call my husband for advice on the best way to handle the situation?  Educational purposes.  That’s the best answer I can provide here.  Because the alternatives are pride and stubbornness, and I’m not ready to own up to either of those traits just yet.  I need to learn; I decided to see how I did by myself for educational reasons.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Finally, after struggling for far longer than any sane human being would have, I admitted to my husband that I had a problem.  I hadn’t neglected to tell him because I thought he’d be mad.  I knew he wouldn’t be.  I just didn’t want him to drive out of his way for something silly and little like a tire if I could change the tire that was flat with my spare, and then drive carefully home with the flat in the back so we could get it repaired.  I was trying to help out.  I’m not the kind of woman to call him to my rescue for silly little things I can take care of myself.  Finally, common sense  (and a few broken nails) kicked in and I called Ryan.  Within literally 30 seconds, and after assessing the situation from the distance that separates us during our normal workdays,  he was on his way; my knight in shining Honda.  He galloped into the parking lot, the only hint of agitation coming from the fact that I tried to fix it myself without calling him as soon as I discovered it was flat.

That show-off had the tire off before I could even get off the phone for long enough to ask if he needed my help, and within and hour, he was back at my office with the tire repaired and back on the car.  I think he moved so quickly because he’s afraid I might really learn how to change a tire.  That’s ok; I might learn to accept that tire-changing is a man’s work.  IF someone will just teach me how to weld…



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