Thursday, February 4, 2010

Notes on a Tire Trauma

I’ve had some bad luck with the tires on my car. It started in July, droned on into the fall and twanged my very last trying-to-care-and-can’t nerve when I struck a pothole the size of Montana driving the mean streets of Tulsa. (The absurdity of a Montana sized pothole in a city the size of Tulsa is not lost on me. Just go with it.) Today, I replaced this tired to the tune of $177. Yeah.

When I struck the pothole, I knew it was bad. I saw it, I could not get around it. I slowed down before impact. I knew immediately that this would cost me. There may have been some terse words, maybe some “cussing.”

I came home and vented on Twitter. I tweeted:
Dear City of Tulsa: Any way you can throw some money at our potholes? Or maybe just at the tire on my car that was just killed.
Pothole that killed my tire was as big as the entire lane of traffic. I slowed down but there was no way around the crater. So steamed.

Two people who do not follow my updates replied to my tweets. One guy told me too bad, I bought cheap tires and to buy better ones next time. Another guy tried to get me to link to Lord-knows-what. If I was mad about the tires, these tweets sent me caroming over the edge.

That’s the thing about men and women. And yes, I know I’m about to throw down the generalizations here. Tough. Men want to find a solution and fix it. There is no room for emotional venting. There is just problem: solve it. They assumed that in tweeting, poor little girl was begging for answers. Nope. I was simply mad and verbalizing my anger. Twitter is a place for that, right?

What’s funny is my twitter friends, men and women, responded with sympathies and virtual pats on the back. Warmed the cockles, it did. But I was still on my soapbox. How dare those men assume I didn’t know about tires and ... the rant went on for quite some time in my head. I’ll spare you.

Fast forward to today. I needed to get the car to the tire shop. AAA said they could either come tow me or put the flat on. It took me a good 2 minutes on the phone to decide. Two solid minutes of silence, during which time my brain spun in overdrive. The conversation went something like this: “I am so not having some guy come over here and put my spare on and think I’m some helpless thang.”

But then, “Yeah, but it’d be easier, and then I can go when I am ready and want to.”

“Sure, but that guy, he’s gonna think you’re dumb. What kind of liberated woman calls a guy for tire help?”

Finally, “You know what? I don’t care. I’m secure enough in my feminist feminism that I can get something done without worrying about how some guy I’ll never see again feels about it.”

Poor lady on the other end of the phone must have wondered if I’d ever decide.

Turns out, it had to be towed anyway, and I learned some interesting “facts” from the tow truck driver, always fun.

The thoughts I have about this entire episode are slippery. I’m at once mad at those twitter jerks for their lectures, happy with my twitter friends for their kind words, feeling stupid for hitting the pothole and asking for help, and glad it’s all over.

I started out mad about gender roles and thought I could clearly peg men and women as right and wrong. In the end, it’s just a tire. Right?

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