Thursday, October 11, 2007

It is a "Hope Floats" kind of day.

I drove the carpool to school today because we weren't certain we got the clamps tightened down enough on Melanie's car battery. Melanie and I left school around 5:30. I handed her my keys because I didn't want to drive and climbed in the passenger seat. She backed out of the parking stall and we went forward about 100 feet through the pot-holed parking lot. When we got out to the road that runs through campus, we realize the left front tire was flat. Cripes.

We pulled into the parking lot and looked at the tire. It had a big slash on the sidewall. Melanie went to call her son's daycare to report that we weren't going to be there by 6:00. I called campus police to report that my tire had been slashed. The dispatcher said she'd send an officer over to take a report.

I started unloading the spare tire and jack from the trunk. They have the spare tire and the jack and jack-handle and lug-nut wrench (whatever it is called) bolted down so securely in the trunk that I could roll the car down the freeway six or seven times and nothing would come undone. Right in the middle of trying to unload everything, I get a phone call to confirm a date Sunday night. Could the timing on that one be worse? Fortunately, he understood that I had to get off the phone and said he'd call me Friday. This whole time I am thinking to myself, "Damn, damn, damn! I jinxed myself by writing that blog post about dad making me change the tire on the car before getting my license. Damn, damn." (Sorry for the cussing Shawna.)

There was an older man sitting on a bench on the sidewalk who came over and offered to help. Thank you god! We figured out where to put the jack and he pretty much took care of the rest. While he was changing the tire he was telling us that his wife works at the law school. I ended up getting her name from him so tomorrow we'll be dropping off a thank you note and a treat.

Finally, the new tire was on the car, the punctured one was in the trunk with the jack, etc. and Melanie and I started to leave to run and pick up her son. Right at that moment, the police finally show up to take the report. I showed the officer the slit in the sidewall. He points to a teeny-tiny portion at the bottom of the perfectly smooth slit that went a little sideways and pronounced his opinion that it wasn't a slash. Whatever. It doesn't really matter to me as I still need to get a new tire. Of course, the officer has a vested interest in keeping any crime reports low on campus because it affects the university's ratings.

Anyway, we head out to the daycare. We stop at the Shell station on the way to add a little air to the spare. Unfortunately, there was a drug deal happening next to the air pump so we decided to get Melanie's son first and return for the air. We return to the Shell station - the drug deal must have been sucessful because neither party is in sight. I take off the little cap on the tire-air-stem and pay $.75 to put air in the tire. (Yes, for AIR!)

When we got to Melanie's apartment, we decide we better see if her car would start so she could make it to school tomorrow (I don't have class on Fridays). Nope, it tries to turn over, but won't start. So, I dig out the cell phone and call Dad for updating instructions on jumping her car. We hook it up properly. I start my car and run it a while. Melanie tries to start hers. Nope. We let it run a while longer. Nope. I call Dad and he says to let mine run a while longer at 2000 rpms before trying hers again. Nope. So, I'll be foregoing sleeping in tomorrow and driving Melanie to court and her son to school in the morning because that is what girlfriends do for one another. She'd do it for me if I needed her to.

Oh, to top of this "fantastic" (drip sarcasm here) day, in the middle of charging Melanie's car, I get a phone call from a man I went out on a date with last week. Man! When it rains it sure pours! I try to explain to him that I am in the middle of jump-starting my girlfriend's car. He gets all dejected sounding and says, "Oh, maybe I'll talk to you later then." Ya think? Geeze Louise guys! If a girl is lying to you to get off the phone, she'll say she is on the other line, is busy, is washing her hair. But "I'm jump-starting my girlfriend's car" is *not* one of our ready-made excuses. Whatever, I was so far past the point of frustration with mechanical issues that any response other than, "I'm sorry - good luck starting the car. I'll call you later." would have doomed any possibility anyway.

It is moments like this when I really think dating sucks. The cynicism and distrust is so palapatable that it colors everything - I mean, me having a really hard day becomes some excuse for a man to think I'm lying to him. Good grief.

This brings me all back to the title of this post. It is a little known fact that women, when having a really tough day, will indulge in pathetically sad movies. In the absence of a really nice man to baby me and make my day "all better," it just works to stop being stoic and strong for two hours and BE sad.

Don't worry though - I'm sure that stoic, strong and competent will be back in top form tomorrow. I don't really *need* to be saved, but sometimes I just wish I could just get more than two hours off.

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