Thursday, June 14, 2012

I think I've been played

"I pulled your car into the driveway to clean it out and noticed the front passenger side tire is flat. I can't get the doughnut tire out of the trunk because the bolt or something is stripped." read the text message. Immediately my daughter left her desk to let me know about the major drama occurring in her life.

"Just so you know, my car is stuck in front of the garage and there's a flat." she informed me. "Okay, so why are you telling me?" I asked, already a bit irritated that I was being torn away from the newest and most God awful report I'd ever picked over. "Well, it's in your driveway, so I thought you should know." she replied and shrugged her shoulders as she spun and walked away.

Sure enough, when we returned home, the car (formerly mine) sat directly in front of my garage with the front passenger side tire pancaked on the cement. As per usual, my initial response was to ignore the problem, as it was not really MY problem, and head inside shaking my head. Kids these days. What can you do? They seem to know everything except what they should know.

My daughter, taking after me as she tends to do, also ignored the problem. She has a man. He noticed the flat tire, and therefore he must be the one to fix it. She had plans to pick out suitable business casual attire with her girlfriend and couldn't be bothered with the pesky task of fixing something mechanical. She will be a perfect candidate for an MRS. degree. She went, she shopped, she kicked the store's ass, and returned home shopping bags in tow.

"I bet Julianne can get the tire out of the trunk!" I heard my daughter say. I listened as the garage door went up, the girls chattered, came inside, and began to discuss where my tools might be. Part of me wanted to just sit and let them figure things out for themselves, but the more I listened the harder it became. "What are you looking for?" I asked as I lifted the trunk lid. "I just need a tool to get that spinning ring off the bolt holding the spare in." she replied. I spun the ring and lifted it off and pulled the tire free.

I'm certain the new neighbors enjoyed our show of girl power in the driveway. I mistakenly jacked the car up too high to get the tire to grip the pavement at all so Julianne attempted to help me by grabbing the tire as I used the crappy multi-tool to remove the lug nuts. It only took one slip of the whatchamacallit tool to whack myself in the shin and I let out a howl of pain and some serious obscenities.

My daughter and her friend Caroline sat crossed legged on the pavement watching and "learning". To be honest, I don't think either of them could repeat the process if paid for it, but they made a hell of a cheering section. As each lug nut finally gave way to my superhero-like strength they gave a shout and clapped happily.

As I lowered the full weight of the car on to the doughnut tire I realized that after 12 years of life in the trunk, it too was a bit on the flat side. I packed up the tools and brushed the dirt off my dress pants with my equally dirty hands and advised the girls to go air up the tire. I swear they actually looked proud of themselves as I walked into the house. I finally understand what men must feel like when they some pretty girl suckers them into changing their tire, oil, brakes, or whatever the hell needed fixing. I think I've been played.

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