Saturday, Paul and I spent the morning running errands. As I drove, I noticed my car kept pulling to the left quite dramatically. I’m prone to anxiety and so my neurotic questions to Paul–How is the car driving? Do you notice any difference in the ride? Do the tires feel full?–were pretty typical for a Saturday morning ride. He responded that all felt well and so we continued on to Whole Foods.  

About 80 bucks in wine and provolone and soppreesata later, we hopped back in the car and got on the road. Right away, it was clear something was seriously wrong. The car had problems accelerating and kept making weird noises. The steering felt erratic and we assumed a drive train issue.

Yet, in characteristic fashion, my commitment to food trumped my concern for the car. Ain’t nothing standing in the way of me and an Italian antipasti plate! I pulled into an empty spot and let Paul run upstairs to put the precious cargo away while I called local car repair places. As I dialed, a man tapped on my car window and informed me I had a flat tire. 

I was a bit skeptical at first since it felt like a steering issue, but sure enough my right front tire was deflated. Soppresata safely in the fridge, Paul hopped back in the car. 

Since neither of us is a functional adult, we weren’t sure how to change a tire, if I had a donut (mmmm, donuts), or if I had roadside assistance. We were basically the girl at the beginning of a horror film–stranded, helpless, and clueless how to fend for ourselves. 

In a cruel twist, our apartment building has a AAA on the first floor but neither of us is a member.  

Making up for what we lacked in knowledge with misplaced bravery, I hopped into DC area traffic and began the journey to our local Midas. 

Those were the longest 2 miles of my life. Things were going along pretty good, until about the last 2-3 minutes of the trip. The car started shuddering and bucking and emitting a very loud, rapid chunk- chunk noise like an off-balance washing machine at full throttle. If this happened in an airplane, you’d assume death was imminent. 

Shaking and keening “Oh god, oh god, please don’t let me kill someone. This is bad. This is baaaad!” I managed to make a left turn without a light against traffic on a busy Saturday. I was shaking too badly to pull into a spot, so just left the car at the front door of the Midas and sort of threw my keys at an attendant. 

The damage wasn’t too bad and they fixed up the car quickly. But I will probably suffer from PTSD, post tire stress disorder, for the foreseeable future. 


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