Roll With It

by Rachel on January 10, 2011

Friday morning, I had to deal with one nagging problem: getting my tires fixed.

While I didn’t want to pay for new tires, I also was getting a little sick of being housebound. My tires were in too bad of shape to drive on the highway, and I wanted to be able to drive to my new job this morning (!!), but, after calling ten different tire stores in the area, I was quickly learning that Judy’s tires were a rare breed.

Eventually, I found a Discount Tire that had my tires so I headed there and gritted my teeth at they told me it would cost $350 (that was the discount) for four new tires.

While I was at the counter, getting that lovely quote, a man came in. He was older, with caramel-colored skin and and dark, curly hair. He appeared to be in his late 40s and he was talking loudly on his iPhone, with some sort of strong, but unrecognizable accent.

The store was big, and I was the only person at the counter. He came up and stood directly beside me. While he was, technically, forming a line, traditionally the phrase “getting in line” means forming behind the person being served.

At least that’s how I’ve always understood it.

He continued to stand directly next to me and blab into his iPhone, creating quite a distraction while I was trying to talk to the mechanic. I gave him a few dirty looks as I struggled to hear the mechanic over all his shouting and carrying on, but he seemed not to notice. After agreeing to sign over more than half of my just-sold Macbook fund to fix the car I’m beginning to hate — after the $500 alternator and battery repair last Monday or the $700 breakdown in September, who can blame me? — I walked to the customer lounge area to read my Kindle and wait.

I was pretty into my reading when I heard someone say, “Would you like some water?” It took me a few seconds to realize it was the guy from earlier, and he was talking to me. I looked up with what was most certainly a blank expression. He was standing in front of a small refrigerator which Discount Tire stocks with bottled water for their waiting customers.

So the water is, in fact, complimentary. And you can’t miss the fridge — so it’s pretty safe to assume that anyone who isn’t drinking a bottle of water made a conscious choice not to do so.

But let’s just assume he was being nice and not trying to start up a conversation with me based on “buying me a drink.”

“The water is free!” he said, and then he laughed. “So it’s not my water! I’m not buying you a drink!”

Oh. Wait. So he…was trying to start up a conversation with me based on “buying me a drink.”

He seemed delighted at his own joke (if you can call it that?) because he laughed again. I went back to my Kindle.

“So do you come to Discount Tire a lot?”

Hold up — did someone just actually say, “Do you come here often?” And did he say it in a tire store?

Normally, I’m pretty responsive to strangers, but I just wasn’t in the mood. I wanted to read, I wanted to mourn spending so much money on tires, and I wanted to do it alone.

“No, I’ve never been here before,” I said. “But I’ve always heard good things.” I looked back to my Kindle.

[This is true. Eric’s mechanic recommended Discount Tire, as did a few other people I asked. And despite the fact that $35o is no small sum, it was still better than Wal-Mart, Sam’s, and Firestone could have done for me. Plus, I was extremely impressed by Discount Tire’s store, service, and warranty program. Finding people you trust to work on your car isn’t easy but I will definitely go back to them when the time comes. But, God bless them, I really hope that isn’t for a while.]

“Oh, they are the best,” he said. I raised my eyes to look at him, but made no other effort. “I come here all the time. Today I’m here to fix my Mercedes! I needed new tires for it again!” Then he laughed again. What was so funny?

“Uh-huh,” I said.

[Eyes back to Kindle.]

He misread this as a lean forward and an “Oh, please, tell me more!”

“I live in a high-rise downtown and every time I drive into my building’s garage, I go over the speed bumps and it’s just doing a number on my Mercedes’ tires!” He laughed.

“Mmm-hmm.”

[Eyes to Kindle.]

“And then I had to get my custom-designed rims fixed last week too!” He laughed again.

I mean, it was almost like he was trying to relate to me — just like I had had to get my alternator and battery replaced on my 1995 Blazer and get new tires, he had to get his custom-designed rims replaced on his new Mercedes and get new tires. We were practically living the same life!

“I have three cars. I have a Lexus and two Mercedes. And when I got the second Mercedes, the tires are just, I don’t know, a meeeeee-leee-meter [that’s how it came out due to his accent] bigger, just the tiniest, teeniest meeeeee-leee-meter.” He laughed and laughed as he was telling me this. “And I’m just not used to that extra tiny bit, that teeny, tiny bit, so every time I am driving or parking, I always seem to run over the curb!”

“Yup,” I said.

He continued to laugh, perhaps forgetting, just for a second, that he was in a Discount Motherfucking Tire and not in the company of millionaires who would find this funny. Perhaps the other people waiting at the Mercedes dealership’s service center would have burst into enthusiastic laughter as the sipped on champagne while they waited for their new tires because they, too, were there because of an extra meeeee-lee-meter on their new Mercedes’ tires, and isn’t it just the most annoying thing that the new Mercedes couldn’t have the same tires as the old one?

Mercifully, his iPhone rang and he picked it up and started shouting — not angrily shouting, just speaking, but SPEAKING LIKE THIS BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT’S NECESSARY TO DO IN CLOSED QUARTERS IN PUBLIC — into his phone again. He paced around the store while he shouted for the next 20 minutes. As he paced, he’d get louder as he approached me, so I had the sensation I was listening to radio with a defective volume.

As I sat there, hating every inch in him, I wondered why, on earth, he was telling me about his luxury car problems. I was there stressing about a $400 repair for my 1995 Blazer. Trying to impress me by talking about his Lexus and his two Mercedes was like using a bazooka to kill a mosquito. Like, these days, I fall a little more in love every time Eric picks up the tab at Panera.

Had I been wearing a velour tracksuit and carrying a Louis bag, getting new tires for my gee-that’s-so-embarrassing-that-she-drives-a-2000 Range Rover…fine. But nothing about me that day said, “I only go to bed with millionaires.”

Then I got really indignant. I mean, given that I wasn’t wearing a ring, why hadn’t he really tried to impress me and just offered to pay for my tires? If he’s got money to throw around on a third luxury car and a “high-rise downtown,” surely, he can afford to pay $350 for sex.

I’m not saying I would have accepted, but at least then I wouldn’t have been forced to hate him.

On the one hand, I can see how Discount Tire on a Friday morning would be the perfect place to go to pick up down-on-their-luck women in need of supporting.

On the other hand, I feel caught between “OK, fine, just give me the pink tracksuit and support me! Fuckkkk itttttt!” and “I don’t need a man! I can take care of myself!” I think I need to pick a side and wear it proudly, otherwise, things like this are just going to continue to happen.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liz @ Blog is the New Black January 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

Ha! “Do you come to Discount Tire a lot?!” OMG… love it.

Reply

2 Manon January 10, 2011 at 9:46 am

What. A. Tool. But, the good news your tires were only $350! I think I paid more than that when I had a sedan, and would have been paying closer to $650 for my Jeep if my dad didn’t have a friend who hooked me up…and in turn my dad hooked me up, which is even more awesome…but nonetheless, spending $50 on car shit pisses me off. Kinda funny since it’s one of those things you are pretty much dead in water without, but still. I’d rather buy boots. Or tequila.

Reply

3 Natalie @ Scarlett Notions January 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

Lonely old rich guy…yuck! I think there’s something about some older men with money – they think ALL women in their 20s want to hear about it. No, thank you!

Reply

4 Stephanie January 10, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hahaha! “Do you come here often?” lllaaaoooser.

The other day when we were dining our waiter (about mid 40’s maybe??) was giving me suggestions on which meal to choose. He points to the one where you get the most food and says “You should get this one. Back in college when I was a football player and REALLY buff I would get this after work, bring it home, split it with my extra buff roommate who played football with me, and then even have some leftover for my dog.”

Without blinking an eyelash I asked if his dog had indeed been *BUFF* too?
Some guys are just such tools.

Reply

5 Savannah January 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

*BUFF* dog! Love it.

Reply

6 Bobby @ boymeetscake January 10, 2011 at 10:23 am

There is no shame in having a “life sponsor”. To me, that sounds much classier than a “man twice my age that pays for everything in exchange for placing me in leather chaps and calling me sonny”.

Reply

7 Rachel's Mom January 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Life sponsor….I love it!

Reply

8 Alli January 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

Have you read I See Rude People by Amy Alkon? It’s half a psychological/sociological study on why people are rude, and half how to deal with all the jerks we encounter on a daily basis — I sometimes think she’s crazy, but other times I’m like, you go girl! And she has a story in there very similar to your tire lover lol.

Reply

9 Elina (Healthy and Sane) January 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

Eh, what a sleaze ball.
I’m hosting an awesome giveaway for a light peanut butter spread. Check it out if you’re interested! :) ………OH, and good luck at your first day at work!!!!

Reply

10 Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks January 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I can’t decide which side is better either.

Growing up I always said that independent and self sufficient were best and I wouldn’t be caught dead being a housewife or being reliant on someone else’s paycheck.

Then I became an adult and had to earn my own paycheck.

You can see where the dilemma started.

Reply

11 Caroline January 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I’ve only been to a Tire Discounters once and they didn’t screw the lugnuts (or whatever they’re called) back onto my tires tightly enough and when I pulled out of their shop onto a busy street my car wobbled like crazy …and well, lets just say they didn’t have a happy customer!

Seriously, paying for car repairs sucks..it’s so necessary but there’s no direct joy involved so I’m always stingy about it.

Reply

12 Jennifer@ knackfornutrition January 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm

what.a.douchebag.

Reply

13 Angela January 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

UGH, and I think that’s totally a power play when people come up the counter next t you rather than behind you. It drives me crazy. I’m an evil bitch sometimes, so I would have turned to him and said, can you take that somewhere else?

I’m sorry that he was bothering you – total douchebag.

Reply

14 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter January 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Wow. Just wow. What a complete jerk and disgrace to humankind in general.

Reply

15 Chase January 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Bleh. I hate this guy already. So insufferable! I’ve had this happen before and I just stop responding. So rude, I know, but I just pretend I’m so into my book that I didn’t even notice him. I’d never let a man like that support me. I’d rather be broke.

Reply

16 Meaghan @ OhReillyWrites January 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm

This is hilarious. I’m so sorry you had to go through this (car repairs are the WORST), and I can’t say I’m ever been propositioned by a billionare, but you seemed to handle it more than admirably. Your commentary is perfect.

Reply

17 shelby January 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Hahaha! Amazing how some people just don’t realize what caricatures they are. What a douchecanoe.

Reply

18 Talitha January 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

You should have called him out on why if he was in fact so ‘rich’ was he getting his car fixed at a discount place? And if he needed help learning how to use his phone ;)

Reply

19 marie January 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

yay love this post. I know it’s one of your “blog resolutions” from Hollaback to write more and blog less, and this is definitely quality writing, I really enjoyed it!

Reply

20 Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) January 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I hate taking my car in to get it worked on! No fun :-(

Reply

21 Nicole January 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

When I meet someone like that – I always think about how I basically need my WHOLE BODY to hate them with.

Reply

22 Lauren at KeepItSweet January 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Rachel- wanted to let you know that I gave you the Stylish Blogger Award because I love your blog! Stop by the blog and check it out. I hope you’ll share 7 things with everyone!

Reply

23 D January 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm

That’s a tire BARGAIN! Look on the bright side! I got a puncture last night (driving home alone from Detroit airport at 1am. It actually couldn’t have got any worse) and have to pay $150 for ONE new tire. Not only have I had the car approximately 1 week, I’m a brand new grad student who just signed the lease on her first (own) apartment. What an AWESOME way to blow some money!

Reply

24 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) January 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I loved this – I felt like I was right there the whole time. I hate having moments like that, where I’m in an awkward situation and can’t decide what the most appropriate response for it is. I would have been like you – returning to my eReader time and again.

Reply

25 Ashley January 11, 2011 at 9:10 pm

LOVE the story. Out. of. control.

Also, I am a big fan of Discount Tire as well. The ones here in Jax have great service and prices, too!

Reply

26 Rachael January 12, 2011 at 11:25 am

Just because I love sharing videos so much and during this whole story I kept thinking of this one … thank goodness that driver had the extra meeeeee-leee-meter on his Benz.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el1I79Pwo3k

Reply

27 Mary @ stylefyles January 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

haha. I had the same experience (but at the Honda dealership). I had chosen the dealer over an alternative method of changing my oil because I had manipulated coupons by forcing two dealerships to wage war against each other to earn my business. There was some older gent there going on about how he had driven over a nail and had to fix his tire….and how this was the third car this happened to so he might be jinxed. Luckily, some older lady opted to lend a sympathetic ear to him, but I was privately annoyed as I waited on my bargain-oil change. No one cares about your twenty Mercedes, which have all had the misfortune of needing tire changes. I was happy that the woman he was talking to, while being sympathetic to his plight, also managed to jab into the conversation a few carefully construed comments to illustrate her less-than desirable situation (it was fairly clear she didn’t have moola). But then again, she was probably not as noble as I remember. Most likely, she just wanted him to pay $1,000-something for sex.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: