I walked outside this afternoon, planning on running to the store to buy some goodies for one of Lexi’s friends who is in the hospital with congestive heart failure (prayers for Kristin are appreciated). I would’ve normally gotten into the car and driven away without a second thought. But because I had cleaned out the garage this week and had a mountain of garbage on my driveway, I walked around my van in order to drag everything down to the curb and that’s when I noticed that one of my tires was flat. I mean, FLAT.
My first instinct was to pretend I hadn’t seen the tire and go ahead with my plan to run to the store, but I was pretty sure that would be a bad idea and people would yell at me for being stupid when I finally took it to a car shop. My second thought was: Whew, at least it wasn’t on the driver’s side or I’d worry that the tire went flat because of excess weight on the driver’s side. That thought was immediately replaced with: Uh oh, I’ve been sitting on the passenger side pretty often while the kids drive! That thought was instantly replaced with this: Is it even possible to flatten a tire because you’re too fat? Then I thought: I’m hungry; I think there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts next to a tire shop. Finally, that thought was replaced with: I need therapy.
I took a picture of the tire and put it on Facebook along with a caption that read something like: Help! How does one go about fixing this?! Among the many suggestions, was one that said I should call AAA. AAA! Yes! I JUST joined AAA about a month ago! How fortuitous! I called and they asked me a bunch of questions.
“I have a flat tire.”
“Which tire is it?”
“It’s in the back and it’s on the left. Or the right. Hmmm, well if you’re looking at the front of the car, it’s on the left. At the back. It’s the tire closest to Lexi’s seat. Or is that where Jackson usually sits?”
“Do you have a spare tire?”
“I have no idea. Where would it be? I don’t think I have a spare. Maybe I do. Is there a hidden spare compartment in a van? I think I would’ve noticed that by now if there was. Then again, this isn’t really my department. Um no. No, I’m pretty sure I don’t have a spare. No.”
“What’s the make, model, and year of the vehicle, ma’am?”
“Um, it’s a Chevy Express, and it’s, well, I don’t know the year. 2000? I don’t know. It’s burgundy.”
The representative said, “Okay ma’am,” which I’m pretty sure meant: “You’re an idiot and shouldn’t be allowed to drive. You give women and all of humankind a bad name.” She continued with, “Do you know where you want it towed?”
“I don’t know. I’m kinda new here. Don’t you have a list of places?”
“I have the names of some places near you, but I don’t know if any of them are open today.”
“Oh, that’s right. It’s Sunday.” I hung up so I could make some calls and find a place that was open.
Down here, a lot of places are closed on Sunday (I’m looking at you 4 Rivers and Chick-fil-A) so it took a while to find one that was open and was within the five-mile free-towing radius. Walmart it was. I called back AAA and they dispatched a tow truck.
I had a nice conversation with the driver who was from New York. Ninety-five percent of the people I’ve met in Florida are from New York. I’m going to start a petition to have Florida renamed South New York. When I told him I have six kids, he looked taken aback and swore I didn’t look old enough to have six kids. He’s my new best friend.
While the mechanics fixed my tire, they traded comments about the disgusting state of my van. In the back, I have sand toys complete with sand, a couple boogie boards, a couple dozen reusable Aldi bags, and 3 boxes of toys, games, and books to be donated to Goodwill. There are towels, shoes, clothes, and garbage aplenty strewn throughout the rest of my car. I was just too
lazy busy to clean it this week. They probably commented on my lovely duct-tape job as well. While they were doing that, I was wasting time in Walmart.
I’ve always hated Walmart and I do anything I can to get out of shopping there, but I have to say this about the store — it does an amazing job at making me feel better about myself. By the time I leave Walmart, I feel like a well-adjusted, exceedingly smart, super-model-looking, well-dressed, awesome parent.
Anyway, I left with one new tire and the strongly worded suggestion that I get two more new tires and an alignment soon. Maybe I should’ve picked up a lottery ticket while I was there …
To read more from Dawn, check out her hilarious books Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) and You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth) here!
If you liked this, here are some more favorites from Dawn.