Sunday, April 5, 2009

More than a flat tire

My right rear tire on the van was flat when I left the house late Friday afternoon to pick up a pizza for the boys. A flat tire may not be a major catastrophe in the grand scheme of life but I think for those of us on our own that it is not a minor inconvenience either. This flat tire resulted in:

1. Not being able to get the Friday night cheap pizza special for dinner.
2. I had to come up with an alternate dinner plan.
3. Worry on Fri. night about how I'd get the tire repaired.
4. Time spent Fri. afternoon talking to the tire store about towing, new tire cost, etc.
5. Money and time spent picking up fix-a-flat.
6. More money spent than planned for the boys' alternate dinner.
7. Worry Sat. a.m. about using fix-a-flat (which I've never used) and concern about driving the van to the tire store.
8. Two hours of time spent at tire store.
9. Was not able to pick-up the college kids that were supposed to come over at 8:00 a.m. to rake the yard so lost out on a low cost option to have the yard spruced up and will now need to do it on my own. (The local college comes out in Spring and Fall for community work day so this was it for this season!)
10. The extra cost of having to replace the tire.
11. My discomfort in having to handle a "guy job" which I do not find fun and really have no interest in doing.

I think that what I was feeling during this situation that again, it just demonstrates how certain events become bigger than they really are when living and handling them on your own. If my husband were alive, we'd have been able to still get the pizza and to have the college kids come over because there would be an extra car to rely on. Granted, it would have still been an annoyance, but a far lesser one than when handled alone.

To be fair, I will try and list the positives of this situation as well:

1. Learned about fix-a-flat which I had not known about.
2. Successfully used fix-a-flat and saved on the towing expense.
3. Handled the situation and got it done without tears, anger or too much self-pity.
4. Cut a deal with the tire store (since I'd just gotten two tires replaced in January) to add replacement insurance coverage on all four tires for a nominal cost.

Today I am grateful:

1. For my ultimate favorite comfort food - donuts. And I have indulged in some this weekend in part because of feeling down about the tire.
2. That the tire became flat in the driveway instead of on the road someplace far away from home.
3. That it was just a flat tire.


  1. Just a gentle reminder that you are not alone, without male help. You have two sons who you should be looking to for help in situations such as this. I know you want to continue to be the mother, but it will do them a world of good to step up and take care of some of the manly chores around the house and with the car. They will never learn it any younger! They may resist at first, but they may also really appreciate the chance to help out. They are old enough to shoulder their share.

  2. Thank you for your "gentle" reminder. You are not the first to do. But part of the problem is that I don't know how to do some of these things (like change a flat tire, etc.). The boys have not had a steady male influence in their lives to show them these things. So now that is just another project to add to the list - find helpful male with extra time willing to show two teens how to do male stuff around the house. One of my friends told me I should just have the boys try to figure this stuff out on their own but I drew the limit at that - it isn't fair to add that kind of frustration to already frustrated lives. Some women may have been luckier than I, with family close by to help out. But my boys haven't had an uncle or grandfather to take them under their wing. You do the best you can with the resources you have. Sometimes when there are emergencies like flat tires, time is of the essence to get it fixed. I'll think about your comment and see what I can do to increase the boys' responsibilities around the house.