Adventures a Week(ish) Before Your Wedding

I've always thought of myself as a semi-capable woman. That is, I feel I am capable, somewhat, of doing a semi-large amount of things. I can jump a car. I can make bread from scratch. I can enjoy scotch.

One of the notable things I can not do is change a tire. You can therefore imagine my dismay when I awoke this cold and rainy morning to this:

Hmm. Something here is not quite right. Wait, what's that?

No, seriously. What is that?

And why is it in my tire? Why isn't it performing the function for which it was designed, which appears to possibly be screwing something into place? Why did it decide (probably sometime last night) to appear in the path of my car tire and cause this unfortunate flattening event?

We may never know.

In any case, though I've been saying for years that my dad or my fiance or my very capable friend Liz should teach me how to change a tire, that has, as yet, not happened. Which is entirely my fault, I admit. I was mostly planning on making it through my entire life without requiring this skill. Indeed, fate has decided that today is the day I will learn to change a tire! Allons-y! What happens when I don't know how to do something that should be a thing I can learn?

Guide me, o wise Internet!

I consulted the book of armaments this website. The website is both funny and informative - perfect! This website will definitely, definitely teach me how to change a flat.

So, I went back outside. The first instruction on the website was to open the trunk. Fantastic, something I already know how to do! I am ahead of the game here, folks. Gifted. Additionally in fortuitousness, because I am getting married next week, I recently emptied all the junk from my trunk (oh yeah) in preparation for taking centerpieces and reception decorations over to our venue. Thus, it was very easy to locate and remove the spare tire, jack, and wrench from the well in the trunk.

I was doing awesome! I am totally capable of doing this! I don't even need a big strong man to come help me, because I am clever and can follow directions!

The second instruction (or perhaps it was first... in any case, I did it right after the trunk thing) was to put the car's emergency brake on. Easy-peasy. Check. I am so good at these manly-things.

However, step three is where things became minorly problematic. I think step three on the website was to loosen (but NOT REMOVE) the lug nuts, but before I started in on this I checked the little jack door that the jack is supposed to fit into (my car's frame is mostly plastic. The jack door covers the part that will actually support the jack near each wheel. I am making up the name for the "jack door." It may be called the shnargle plodge, but jack door seems more likely). It... seems... rusted.

See, about ten years ago, this particular schnargle plodge jack door fell off my car while I was driving around one day. Experts (aka my dad) figured this wasn't a huge problem - they don't make this car anymore and we probably would't find a replacement for it, and the only thing that would really be adversely effected was the car's resale value when I inevitably upgraded to a new car in a year or two. Um, oops.

Fast forward to ten years later... apparently the thing the jack door was covering did not enjoy those ten Wisconsin winters and all that road salt and muck, because it's kind of rusty. I called my dad (ssshhhh, I gave in) and explained the situation - was this safe? He said it would be fine as long as it's not mushy.

It's not mushy. Onward to real Step 3 - loosening the lug nuts! I'd really been looking forward to this part, so I grabbed the wrench thing and looked at it, which seemed like a good place to start.

Mmm. Wrenchy.

Wait a second, let's look at that again...

I did not believe this wrench (the website reminds me that the technical term is "tire iron." I definitely knew that) was going to work on those PHILLIPS HEAD SCREWS holding the wheel together. Whose idea was this? Where's the screwdriver wrench for this situation?

Just in case my spatial awareness was totally off, I tried to match the hexagonal tire iron to the round, tiny, Phillips head screws.

This does not compute.

It was time to get real. I went inside, got my tool box because like I said, I am a semi-capable woman and all semi-capable women have tool boxes. I found my Phillips screwdriver, put on some not-a-skirt-for-wearing-to-work clothes, and went back outside.

(Actually, let's pause for a moment - why did Ford not supply me with a screwdriver for this situation? They must have known I would be at home when my very first flat occurred and not somewhere on the side of the road in the 'hood. Onward.)

Like all semi-capable women, I keep my tool box on the stove (no, I don't).

So back outside I went. I got the spare tire out of the trunk again. I got out the tire iron and the jack. I then approached the tire with the Phillips screwdriver.

Oh. Oh my.

What the heck are those? Upon closer inspection, what I had from afar (standing, crouching slightly) assumed to be Philips screws were actually screws that resemble screws you occasionally find on bathroom stalls, which require a special tool to remove so hooligan children don't disassemble bathroom stalls around semi-capable women. I do not have this special tool.

I texted my dad a photo and he replied, "Oh... that's a problem."

 This is not the right tool.

 Also not the right tool.

The struggle.

Now I'm inside, calling my awesome down-the-street repair shop and a tow, waiting for my knight in shining armor to arrive on his magnificent steed (aka: my fiance on his bike) to rescue me. I do have to go to the post office today. Somehow, I need to salvage what should have been a triumphant moment of capable-womanhood.

Guess I'll have some tea, watch Doctor Who, and make some more bunting.

You can never have too much bunting.

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