Sunday, April 29, 2012

Depending on the kindness of strangers

I wasn't quite in the same situation as Blanche in "A Streetcar named Desire" (feel free to read the play if you are unfamiliar, but basically she had a mental breakdown), but I was in an uncomfortable situation yesterday morning, and two very nice people helped me out.

On my way home from Jazzercise, I hit a curb and popped my driver's side front tire. Yep, popped it. You can see the inch and a half hole in the sidewall and everything. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it big, and that includes getting a flat tire. I was only about a mile or so from home, and after a quick thought of just driving on the flat, I thought better of it and pulled over to change it out.

Normally, I would call Steve and have him talk me through such a situation (or have him come help me), but with my new "No Facebook, Twitter, etc" lifestyle, I don't use my cell phone as much, and I forgot it at home. So I was on my own.

I took the stroller out of the trunk and found the spare and tools to go with it. I took the jack out, and figured out where to put it on the frame so the car would not fall on me in the middle of the tire change. It took me a minute to figure that out, but luckily there were pictures on the jack. I was feeling fairly confident when my kind strangers pulled up.

I think the stroller standing up next to the car might have made me look like a damsel in distress. I had not intended that. I just didn't know where to put it while I was trying to jack up the car. It was pretty cold out, and I just wanted to get done quickly.

Jose and Stephanie were very kind. Neither of them asked me what I did to pop my tire so well, and even after I told them, they didn't judge me. They made nice conversation as Jose made quick work of changing the tire. He did double check my jack placement and confirmed that I had it in the right place (score!). He also knew how to work the locking lug nut, which, I think if I had gotten that far by myself, would have stumped me.

After Jose had finished, I hugged them both and embarrassingly offered them the little cash I had for helping. Jose laughed at me and said he did not do this for money. They got back in their Envoy and drove away.

As I drove home, I thought about just how cool it is that there are people out there who still stop to help change a tire and don't expect anything in return. I'm honestly a little sad that chances are I will never seem them again. They were really nice, good people, and who couldn't do with a few more nice, good people in their lives?

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