Sunday, January 4, 2015

#3 of 30 Shorts: Minor Fender Benders and Responsibility

The rite of passage of attaining a driver’s license is almost a necessity for the suburban young adult, especially in New Jersey. Accessible public transportation in this state is just not what I became used to while growing up in Philadelphia.

Granddaughter Tayler is one of those young adults who recently became a licensed driver. She is a good driver, but a little too overconfident for someone who has been driving for only 6 months.

Tayler was offered the use of my car if she would take my younger granddaughters, Meghan and Isabella to a performance of the Nutcracker ballet, which I wasn’t able to attend. All of my girls like live productions, especially the little ones who are discovering the oohs and ahs that can be garnered with a few pirouettes done for their daddies. I had no trust issues allowing Tayler the use of my car, she is a good driver. But as I was about to embark on my own excursion I received a tearful and almost hysterical phone call from Tayler.
“Hello,” I said
“Grammy, I blew out a tire,” she wailed, “and I don’t know how to change a flat.”
“Is everyone alright?” I asked. “Yes, but I don’t know how to change a flat!”

My helpless frustration went further when I suggested we call AAA, and then she began to cry with more gusto, “That’s why Daddy just yelled at me when I called him, I don’t KNOW where I am!”
In these days of google maps, she also wasn’t geared to pay attention to street signs or landmarks. Oh boy.

A good Samaritan, soon stopped while she was still crying on the phone to me, and I hear him say, “Is everyone alright?.” To which she replied yes, but didn’t know how to change a tire. He replied, “I can do that for you. Would like me to change the tire for you?” and before she could answer for herself, her little charges, Isabella and Meghan chimed in, “YES, PLEASE, just fix it! We have a show to get to!”
This kind gentleman did indeed change the tire, detailing every step involved in the process and even returned the flat and the contents of the trunk just as he found it, everything, including the trunkful of unwrapped Christmas presents.

“I’ll replace your tire.” she texted to me and on her way she went to the Ballet.
The next day, I got the tire replaced, fortunately I had road hazard insurance, and took her with me to Firestone introducing her as the culprit of the blown out tire. “Wow, you did a number on that,” the tech said to her. She was nervously holding her cash for the bill in a tight fist.

“That’ll be $152.27.”
Her eyes popped and she gasped, “ I don’t have that much money!”
“Just kidding,” he deadpanned. And with that he and I laughed and giggled. Tayler did not think it was funny.
“I did,” he said, “every other parent would think it’s funny, too. That’ll be $39.”
The take away on this event is that Tayler had a minor traffic incident that shook her confidence just a little and will be a little more mindful of her driving and surroundings. She posted her $39 repair bill in the refrigerator door as a badge of her first ‘fender bender’.

1 comment:

  1. We never forget our first flat tire. Tayler will never forget her extraordinarily patient Grammy.