Of course, it didn't work out so well. I got to the parking lot and wasn't able to remove the original tire. Yes, I figured out the car jack, and took off the hub cap, and unscrewed the lug nuts...but for some reason the tire wouldn't come free from the car. (I still have no idea why it didn't work...I'll have to look this up for next time. I've never had a flat tire get stuck like that before). Suddenly, Plan C was in place: I would drive the flat-tired car 1.5 miles to the repair shop. Surely there was enough air in the tire to ensure a smooth drive.
That didn't work so well either. Aside from driving 10 mph the whole time, and getting unsolicited advice from everyone I passed ("Your tire....it's flat!" "Oh really? Thanks, I'll fix it!"), driving with a flat tire makes really annoying sounds and the smell of burning rubber doesn't help. I was pretty sure I'd broken the car even worse...but I trudged on to the Pep Boys to get the tire fixed. I had a 12:00 appointment I figured they could at least solve the damage.
That didn't work either. I got to Pep Boys and was told they didn't have time to fix my car today. I showed them my online appointment and they said the online system doesn't sync with their live system and they probably wouldn't be able to get to it until tomorrow. After some phony belligerence on my part, I was able to convince them to "maybe look at it if they could" but I wasn't convinced. Plan D seemed to be failing just as Plan C, B, and A had fallen through. I figured since I was stranded in East Liberty, I might as well complete my eight mile run and get Chipotle. Barring falling down and losing my wallet, at least those things would work out.
Remarkably...Plan E worked just fine. I started running, unsure if I'd have a vehicle or a method of getting home. After a bit, I realize didn't fall down yet, and about halfway through my route, I got a call from Pep Boys informing me that a) they looked at the car and b) it only needed a new tire and c) it would be done within the hour. In fact, everything worked itself out perfectly. I finished the run, got Chipotle, got the car, and drove home. Ultimately, I ended up losing about a half hour from my original plan...and the cost of new tires.
The moral of the story? Who knows... Maybe it's that you can only care about the small things if you have the important things taken care of first. I can't expect a student to care about English if they're dealing with a personal, family, and social crisis in their real life. Maybe it's that sometimes you need to walk away from a problem and approach it again after you've had time to cool off. You might find that things work themselves out. Maybe it's that running and Chipotle fix everything. They certainly seemed to today. Frankly...I hope it's all three.