Despite having owned many and loved a few, my knowledge of the innerworkings of my cars leaves much to be desired. My answer to “why is the engine making that knocking noise” is a very typical “I don’t know, call the goddamn mechanic.” I’d sooner breastfeed a baby camel in my backyard for fun than learn how to change my own oil. For the 30 minutes it takes to get my oil changed by someone who knows what they’re doing, and is therefore held accountable for their mistakes (the selfsame reason that I will never again ask people to help me paint my house, I cannot yell at my friends, but I CAN yell at people I pay). Color me lazy, but it just seems easier that way.

When I was 6 or 7 months pregnant with Ben, due to an unfortuante error in judgement on my part (which is not the subject of this blog post), I was loaned my recently deceased grandmothers car, which I used to tool back and forth to school.

On my way to my beloved jewelry making class, I rounded a corner, and a most mysterious thing occured. The car was filled with a horrible flappity-flap noise while becoming increasingly difficult to stear. Being the amazingly intelligent person that I am, despite being late to my class, I dilligently pulled the car off of the main road and into a brand new subdivision. Upon closer inspection, I realized that I had blown a tire.

Well, this was slightly before I’d gotten a cell phone, and I was a mile or two away from a pay phone, so I opened the trunk. It took several minutes of staring at the jack and the donut tire incompetently before I realized that I had absolutely no clue how to change a tire. Truth be told, even if I had, my burgeoning belly would have likely impeded me from getting into the required position anyway.

After several minutes, it dawned on me that squatting on the well-manicured easement and shaking my fists at the sky impotently while weeping copiously was going to do absolutely nothing to help my situation (aside from possibly landing me in a straightjacket). So, I looked around at the brand-new pre-fab subdivision, with it’s trees so young that they appeared to be houseplants, and noticed that most people were not yet home from work.

If there ever was a situation in which I need help, this was it, so I set off to find someone to give me a hand. I shuffled along, waddling all the way, looking for some sign that someone was home at ANY of these identical houses. Several houses down from where I had pulled over, I saw some teeny bikes in the lawn, and yay! the front door was open. Figuring that anyone who had small children wasn’t apt to be a serial killer, and would likely take pity on an obviously pregnant woman, I rang the bell.

When the children went to get their father, I feverishly explained my situation, my panic escalating by the moment. Through a strangled voice thisclose to tears, I explained that I needed someone to help me change my tire, could he please help me change my tire, I’m pregnant and I need someone to change my tire, please, please, pleeeasssse help me.

The man rolled his eyes at me.

He ROLLED his EYES at me.

Then he sighed audibly at my shear stupidity, rolled his eyes again, glared at me, and opened the door.

I trailed him like a sad, lost puppy dog, explaining my situation while drawing huge gulping nearly hysterical breaths, apologizing profusely, all of which he ignored. But being who I am, when I get upset, it’s like my internal switch goes from “Talks Paint Off Walls,” to “11” so I continued peppering his minstrations with an irritatingly apologetic monologue.

He said not a word as he changed my tire for me. Not one single word.

After he finished, I began thanking him repeatedly for helping me out, all of which he ignored. After sighing dramatically, giving me one last withering glare, he promptly got up from the curb and began walking angrily back home.

I have no idea how long I stood there, rooted to the spot, watching this man walk home. I was completely dumbfounded, hell I still AM completely dumbfounded. And a touch hurt: I have never, ever asked a complete and total stranger for much of anything, except for maybe the time, and I suppose that my expectations were too high. Anyone else I knew (and know) would drop anything to help someone in such a situation, I’d sure help out if I thought that I would be doing much good by occasionally commenting on the sky while other people did the manual work.

Maybe this is just another one of those things in life that I’ll never understand, up there with the popularity of skinny jeans, and propensity for cats to piss on anything plastic and/or vinyl. Why would someone who very obviously didn’t want to help me, help me? He could have very easily sent me on my (waddling) way, and I would have understood: it’s not his mess to clean up, my flat tire.

While I am completely aware that this was a dumbass move on my part, even now, I wouldn’t change a tire while pregnant, and seriously, what was I supposed to do? Hell, when I’m pregnant, I can barely walk in a straight line, let alone jack a several ton car up on a spindly little jack. It’s likely that I would at the very least attempt to change a tire when I’m not pregnant, but still, I have no freaking idea what I’m doing, so the experience would likely net me a trip to the ER AND SOME VICODIN. Mmmmm, Vicodin.

Am I the only one who gets confused by these interactions? Has this sort of thing happened to other people?



11 Responses to Thanks, But Really, NO Thanks.

  • Tony says:

    I have a theory:

    You actually had a run in with a spirit forced to walk the earth and do good deeds for people for all eternity. Because in life, he never helped anyone, he now MUST help anyone who asks. And they find him they do – You were possibly the 14th pregnant woman with a flat tired that day, and his patience was wearing thin. The children in his care were there because someone asked him to watch them while they were at work.

    He didnt say no because he couldnt. To do so would land him in eternal damnation in the deepest pit of hell. You know – the one they keep hitler in.

    thats my theory, and I am stickin to it.

  • Kelly says:

    Be thankful that he helped you out -even if he had poor manners while doing it!

  • Pauline says:

    I have no words. Some people are just, well, plain wierd. Clearly, he had some sort of guilt complex. Felt like he “had” to help but wanted to make sure you knew he didn’t want to be there. People are so bizarre sometimes.

  • Gail says:

    Becky, the dude was just WEIRD. Or maybe he was actually mute. Or maybe he expected you to pay him. Or maybe he hates pregnant women because he had his own kids and didn’t want them. How many sentences can I start with Or?

    My first flat tire was outside a nursing home (while I was in high school). I was aproximately 3 blocks from my house, and was planning to walk home and get my Dad to deal with it. But a little old man came scurrying out of the nursing home to change it for me. He INSISTED on doing it for me. I actually knew how to change a tire, because in Driver’s Ed in Canada, they teach you actual useful stuff like that (and how to hotwire, but that’s a different story).

    I was petrified that this old man was going to have a heart attack under my ’74 Monte Carlo. Then he would be dead and it would be ALL MY FAULT. Luckily, he did it (all by his little old self) and then gave me a lecture before scurrying back into the nursing home. It was probably the most exciting thing that had happened to him in quite a while.

  • calliope says:


    (& it takes weird to know weird…just saying)

  • Kristine says:

    (I came via Baggage, FYI)

    Most of my flat tires came at midnight after returning from the football game on the band bus, only to have to call my parents to come get me.

    But I did have one when I was litterally 200 yards from the tire shop I was on my way to. I was in high school. A squirmy little guy who worked at the place I pulled into ran inside and got all his buddies to come out and watch him change my tire. Much more capable men were standing around watching Gumby jump on the tire iron trying to change my tire. He did it though, and I went on my way. I sent a thank you note to the company address, since I didn’t have a name. But I have always wondered why he went inside to get 3 other guys to come out and watch him change a tire, they did not help him at all.

  • becky says:

    Tony, I’m totally with you on that. That’s a good way to think of it, and maybe, just maybe I can accept this and stop wondering.

    Gail, that’s hilarious. I love older people so freaking much.

    Karen and Kim, your comments got lost in my blog migration, which I know very little about. Sorry about that.

  • becky says:

    Kristine, I just laughed out loud imagining that poor guy with all of the people watching. How helpful that must’ve been for him to have an audience!

  • Denise says:

    I’m glad he changed your tire, but what a jerk. At least he wasn’t muttering to himself about women who can’t change their own tires. 😉

  • becky says:

    Denise, I’m fairly certain that he didn’t much care for women at all, which was why he was being such a jerk.

    To me, it was worse that he changed it while being rude to me, because honestly, I’m SURE I could’ve found someone else to do it instead.

  • Kat says:

    I was visiting my man while he was doing his job training and I was driving around trying to find a cake shop I’d seen on Food Network (I was 230 miles from home). I ended up doing a u turn…and drove onto the curb. There was a loud ripping noise and I got out to see it the tire all torn up. I was freaking out when I saw it and freaked out MORE when I realized I had left my wallet in the hotel room. So here I am, without my wallet (which had not only my license but also my AAA card)…I was freaking out really bad until this pickup pulled up behind me. This friendly as hell and loud southern good ole boy walked out. He pulled his somewhat reluctant passenger out to help him change my tire.He was pretty awesome.

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