Well, Matt and I have been married for two months today. And in those two months of marriage we have purchased four new car tires which, let's be honest, is a pace we cannot keep up.
On Tuesday I drove to a meeting about an hour and a half away. The drive to the meeting was uneventful, but as I approached my highway exit on the way home, the low tire pressure light on my dashboard started flashing.
I guess I should have known something was amiss when I was singing along to the radio several miles earlier and it sounded like someone was pounding on my chest as I sang. Here I thought I'd finally perfected my vibrato a la Carrie Underwood, but in reality it was a sign of a flat tire.
Hindsight is 20/20.
I got off the exit and pulled right into the parking lot of an office complex. I called Matt, and when he answered I said, "Hey, my low tire pressure light came on. So I got off the turnpike and I'm now parked in a parking lot. What do you think I should do?"
And he said, "Well, do you have a flat tire?"
"I don't know," I said. "I didn't get out and look at the tires."
Note to self: When your low tire pressure light comes on, the first step is to get out of the car and actually look at your tires.
I performed a full four point inspection and while I didn't see an obvious flat, I heard what I thought was air hissing out of a small hole in the driver's side rear. Matt wanted to come and change it but since he was an hour away and we pay for roadside assistance with our insurance, I called roadside. And while I waited for the mechanic to arrive, I watched my tire flatten into a pancake.
And half an hour later an ancient, white, dented, beat up van that said "Home Improvement, Inc, NEW YORK" came pulling up to me and my little Ford Focus. It was like the start of a horror movie, because 1-beat up white van, and 2-I was expecting a tow truck from Pennsylvania, not a home improvement truck from New York. But the man in the van was very nice and had a tire jack with him so I guess he was legitimate. He told me I had a nail in my tire, so he put my spare on and I headed slowly off to Pep Boys for a plug.
At Pep Boys, I told the man at the desk I wanted my tire plugged and handed over my keys. And ten minutes later one of the mechanics came into the waiting room and said, "Hello miss, I looked at your car and I actually recommend four new tires. The ones you have are six years old."
Little did he know that I am NO EASY SELL.
"First of all, the car is only five years old and these aren't the original tires. Second of all, I'm not here to buy new tires today. I don't understand how everything was going along fine and I hit one nail and suddenly all four tires are bad. I'd like the tire plugged and that's it for today, thank you."
Well, Mr. Mechanic came back in a few minutes later and told me that due to the way the nail punctured the tire, a plug wouldn't hold. Half of me thought he was telling the truth and half of me thought he was trying to make a few hundred bucks out of the deal, so I called Matt again and he told me to just go ahead and get the two new tires because MY SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT.
And that's how I became the owner of a lovely set of Hancook tires for the moderate performance driver, because apparently the tire salesman and I have differing ideas of what constitutes a high performance driver.
I naturally consider myself a very high performance driver because I have an almost perfect driving record and I use those turn signals like a boss. The salesman considers a high performance driver someone who drives at speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour on a regular basis in a car with sport handling.
And so instead of a fancy dinner date for our two monthiversary, we gazed out into the parking lot at all of our new tires, and had a music night where we played all of our favorite songs and made a giant batch of chocolate chip cookies.
And when I went to light the candle for dinner, I saw this written in the wax.
The best things in life are free.