When life gives you lemons, you change your tire


Photo by Anna Jordan

Sometimes, when you pop a tire, you should just take a second and munch on a sub.

Anna Jordan, Assistant Editor-In-Chief

One strange thing about growing up is finding myself going through those epochal moments that define entire TV episodes and teeny-bopper songs, like my driver’s test or applying to college or going to my first doctor’s appointment without my parents. Though it could have been traumatizing, I recall this experience fondly, like the first time I drove myself around with no one else in the car.

I was harrowed. I was cold. I was a victim of a popped tire. (Photo by Anna Jordan)

Oh, Sunday the fifteenth of 2023. It dumped rain across the entire West Coast all day, sparing not even LA county, which unfortunately meant me. I had been driving all day. I drove all around Orange County and its freeways, I drove when the sun was down, I drove when it blinded me with its rain drop-reflections on my windshield, I drove with my windshield wipers working so hard that they could have capsized the car… And yet, there I was. Close to my house, going to Subway for a quick dinner with Charlotte Jordan ’23 on the phone with her friends in the passenger seat when it happened.

It looked like I had purposefully slashed the tire, but it turns out that I’m just a terrible driver. (Photo by Anna Jordan)

Fine, I’ll tell you what it was. While making a left-hand turn, I bumped a curb so hard that the tire literally blew up. I’m not exaggerating, it blew up. It shook the car so ferociously that my phone flew off of its magnet, nearly taking out the windshield while my twin screamed along with fellow Royal Emma Silva ’23 and Servite’s own Matt Ellersick ’23 despite the fact that they weren’t actually in the car.

Matt could barely contain himself, saying, “I was shocked! When they abruptly left the FaceTime, I became nervous!” I remained completely calm and drifted into the Subway parking lot because I’m no stranger to hitting curbs; however, the car could barely move at all with a terrible grinding noise following us as we came to a stop parked diagonally and immovably between two parking spots in the almost entirely empty lot that reflected the 9 o’clock hour.

Charlotte didn’t have as much fun throughout this whole experience as I did. (Photo by Anna Jordan)

When I got out to check the tire, I didn’t want to say anything to anyone and pretend that some mercenary had covertly slashed my tire while I was on my way to Subway. It was not out of trauma or fear, but pure embarrassment because I thought that Emma Silva would make fun of me when she found out, though she only said: “It was jarring to say the least. I felt the pop through the screen.”

And then, I realized that I was going through another one of those moments when I understand that I am a bit older than I used to be. Standing there in the rain while staring at the defunct tire barely clinging to my car as yellow and green kissed the rubber in the shadow of Subway’s neon sign reflecting off of the wet pavement, I laughed. I’m older and it’s wonderful.

We took a quick selfie with our AAA guy for the memories. (Photo by Anna Jordan)

I’d always been so anxious about ever needing to change a tire because all of the media I consumed told me that it was complicated, dangerous, and required adulthood in order to be done correctly; however, a family friend that was nearby came to check on us and taught us how to change a tire as well as where spare tires are often stored.

I learned that changing a tire is significantly easier than anything I’ve had to do while growing up. Learning to drive? Took forever. Figuring out the common app? Time-consuming. Changing a tire? Not so bad.

And so, we waited for AAA to check on the car for damage and help us quickly put on the spare. We got what we came for, feasting on sandwiches and lemonade while watching a very nice AAA employee fix our tire as the rain stalled to a drizzle and our spirits remained high. Despite Charlotte being somewhat of a sourpuss because I had accidentally robbed her of her night of crocheting, we both agreed it was nice to have company in a situation like this.

Charlotte still isn’t as grateful for this experience as I am, saying, “The experience was, in a word, annoying. I had just finished my homework for the weekend and was looking forward to a night of free time. All I wanted was some Subway and then to go home and chill.” And she did get to do that! Just an hour and a half later than she initially thought.

As we were driving away, we tossed on some Charlie XCX and went about our merry way. (Photo by Anna Jordan)

After thanking the very nice man who fixed our tires, we turned on “I Don’t Care” by Icona Pop featuring Charlie XCX and rumbled slowly toward our house. After apologies were issued to my parents, the experience was over and I was a little wiser. With my ramble over and my storytelling whims briefly satisfied, I’d like to advise you to appreciate these small moments of firsts that we are blessed with as young women entering a world we’ve watched from the sidelines. Though it can be stressful and getting older is often seen as a bad thing, growing up means an end to all those things you didn’t really know about, and I find that to be magical. Don’t you? Now I just have to get a job and learn how to do taxes.