This is based on a true story.
I woke up today, not wanting to get out of bed. It was nothing big. I just did not want to go to work. I wanted the weekend to come a day early.
I did wake up and I did get out of bed. I got ready and decided to take part in my work’s fancy Friday. You see when you work in a company of hackers, who also have nerd tendencies, casual dress is more common than not. Most days people dress in jeans and t-shirts, but not on Friday. Friday people dress up. There is one person who appreciates fancy Fridays the most and who I believe started the tradition. It was this person’s birthday, so I thought it would be nice and cool if I dressed up. I found my dress pants and my favorite button up shirt. I did my makeup and hair. I then put my heels on and went out the door.
I got a late from my favorite cafe. My day had a later than normal start, but it was going fine. It wasn’t until I got on the highway that everything stopped being fine. I heard a load noise as if my car was drive on something. I asked myself if something could be stuck under my car. I almost didn’t pull over, but decided it would be best. I got off the highway and the sound changed a bit to more of a thud-thud sound as if my tire was flat. I thought it strange since when I was on the highway it was just really loud. I pulled into a grocery stores parking lot and got out of my car. My tire was completely blown, with holes all of it.
It was still okay. I was going to change a tire. How hard could it be? I thought I had it all under control. I started with taking the spare tire out. This should be the easiest part right? I just needed to undo the bolt and slide it out from under my car. It sounds simple, but when you are dressed up, determined to stay clean and need to pull something out from under your car things get difficult. On top of staying clean I did not want to get my clothes wet, because it had rained the night before and as soon as I started to try to get the spare tire out it started to sprinkle. I wound up doing yoga positions and weird poses just to figure out what I could do to get the tire out from under my car. Finally after a fight and a struggle I freed the dirty rescue tire from its cage.
Now, it was time to get the jack in place. Again, this should be easy, right? Don’t you just put it under you car and crank it up? Apparently the answer to both those questions was ‘no.’ After the wheel did not move, but the car frame moved I decided to look at my manual. It was inside in my glove compartment.
I went the front of my car and saw my delicious latte sitting abandoned. I thought it best to show it some love by taking a sip. It thought it best to spill all over my car. Thankfully I did not get burned, because it was lukewarm by now. Yes, I got to enjoy one, maybe two sips of hot coffee before my tire blew and now the fight over the spare tire caused my coffee to be lukewarm.
I sighed a heavy sigh and started to flip through the manual to figure out what to do with the jack. It had now started to full-out rain. Once I thought I had everything in control people started to ask my if I needed help. I was too proud and too confident to let them. I was going to finish this task. I could do it. I know I am a woman who is looking fancy, but I can do it. I can change a tire. I didn’t need any help.
I did get the jack in place and the tire ready to be taken off. I now just needed to get the nuts off. In the movies they make it seem pretty easy. Plus, this is harder than it should have been already, so now the easy part should happen. I am almost done. I just need to get the tire off.
Well, after a few minutes of trying to getting them off with increasing force a nice older man came over to should me a trick. He got on the wrench thing and jumped. Yes, I called it a wrench thing. I do not know the right name for the tool that came in the back with the jack. Also, yes, he did stand, full weight on the thing and jumped. I thought awesome I know how to do it now. I thanked him thinking that was all I needed. I just needed a tip from a stranger. He accepted the gratitude and went on his way. So, in my heels I started to hop with both feet on the wrench thing. Nothing happened. I had a thought of, “hey, I’m light.” This thought was followed by, “Oh my goodness, I am so weak I can’t even get this nut to loosen.” Thankfully after a minute of hopping on the wrench thing another man came and helped me. He told me to lower the jack and loosened the nuts for me.
After I finished taking the nuts off the wheel was easy to get off. I was almost done. I just needed to get the spare tire on and then drive less than a mile to the tire store. By now though I knew that stupid tire wasn’t going to be easy. I just picked it up and waited until find the issue. It was aligning the holes with the bolts. I felt like I was trying to line up an ancient key with its keyhole. It took longer than it should have. Of course, the entire process took longer than it should have. Finally, after one more person asked to help me, which I refused on the fact that it was only the spare tire now, I was able to get it on.
I got up with my outfit still clean and was meant with one more nice person. It was really surprising to me how many people actually wanted to help me. I told the guy I was done, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt for him to check to make sure they were tight enough. He did and was able to tighten them a bit more.
I was now off to the tire store, where I was told that all four actually needed to be replaced. While they were pricing the tires I cleaned my hands and arms, which were the only things to get dirty. I then went and decided that I never wanted to change a tire again, so got all four new tires in hopes that it would at least postpone the tire changing nightmare.
I waited an hour in the waiting room before I was able to go to work. I got to work and after an hour I went to get a snack. I made myself peanut butter on toast. I was still proud of myself and happy that I did not get any dirt on my clothes. I tell you this because after I finished with my snack I looked down and saw that some peanut butter had dropped on my shirt along with my pants. I just had to laugh that I can change a tire while staying clean, but can not eat and stay clean.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my morning. I know I will one day when I am not frustrated with how long it took.