After Kevin and I got engaged, we bought a condo and moved to Hightstown, New Jersey. We picked the location because it was near Princeton Junction, which is an express commute to New York City, and Hercules Inc. where Kevin worked. It was conveniently located for both of us.
When I lived in the City, I didn’t have a car so of course I purchased one when I moved out to New Jersey. I was so excited because it was the first car I had ever picked out by myself. In high school, I drove used cars and in college, I bought the car that my dad recommended, er, forced me to. So I was happy to pick out my own car for the first time. It was a Saab 900 - a pretty sweet choice. At any rate, one cold winter day we walked out to the car and lo and behold, I had a flat tire. I have had flat tires before but I always managed to find somebody else to deal with it, mostly boys I knew in college.
Kevin, being the engineering type, felt that every person should be able to change their own flat tire and decided that, “today is the day you learn to change a flat, Lynn.” He went inside and got a lounge chair and a beer for himself, set himself up and told me to get to work.
First of all, it was freezing outside. I mean, this is New Jersey in the winter and I was cold. Real cold. Second of all, I had no clue what to do. I’m a very capable person, but I had never actually changed a tire before. So Kevin says, “Lynn, get the jack and the tire out of the car”. “I don’t know where it is,” I replied. “Figure it out” was what I got back. So I looked and sure enough, there was a tire and a jack hidden in the back hatchback area.
“I can do this” I was thinking, “I know how to do all sorts of “manly-type” stuff. My dad taught me to use all sorts of power tools and this should be no problem.” So I got the tire and jack out and set about jacking up the car. Let me tell you, this isn’t as easy as it seems. You have to put the jack in just the right spot to raise it up. You also can’t have it leaning at an angle or it could break or even worse, crush you. But, I was doing well getting the car jacked up and Kevin was chilling in the lounge chair, drinking his beer, watching and making snide remarks.
Meanwhile, this was a busy parking lot and it was Saturday, so there were all sorts of people passing through the lot. I could see them milling around, staring at the scene in front of them and getting really, really pissed off at Kevin. To them, it looked like some dicky guy making his wife change his tire while he chilled and drank. The dirty looks and comments he was getting were so funny.
By this point, I had successfully jacked up the car, taken off the lug nuts, changed the tire, put back on the lug nuts and was putting the car back down when I looked up and noticed the commotion. I was incredibly proud of myself for changing the tire and I was beaming. However, Kevin was busy getting a reputation as the biggest “dick” in New Jersey.
To this day, we still laugh about it. Ironically enough, I’ve never had to change one since, although a few weeks ago, I did have to use jumper cables to jump the car. So there you are, no good deed goes unpunished … just ask Kevin!