Thursday, January 6, 2011

Putting on My Big Girl Panties

When we lived in the States I was a fully functioning, independent, adult woman. I could change a tire,  navigate the interstate and schedule any appointment by myself. I took care of our house and cars during all three deployments, paid the bills and worked full time while going to grad school. I even handled the situation one awful 100┬║ summer day when the air conditioner broke, the toilet broke AND my car died in the driveway, requiring a tow truck and $800 worth of fixing. I could handle it all, because you see, I, am a big girl.

Then we moved across the ocean to a foreign country and this big girl's panties grew a little smaller. I have always considered myself independent and confident in my abilities. If I cant get something done, I know how to ask for help and I will find the answer. Over here though, my confidence is a little shakier, my abilities challenged more often. I know little of the language and feel at a constant disadvantage because of this. The answers dont come quite so easily and help is harder to find.

Today I am faced with one of my first real challenges since moving here and of course, J isnt here to help me out. We bought my car back in September from an AF guy. He was a nice enough kid, but not the most reliable. I liked the car though and we got a great deal on it. He had new tires put on it this past summer. What he forgot to tell us was that they are summer tires. German law dictates that all vehicles must have winter or all weather tires during the winter months. J and I arent familiar with tire types, so we had no idea that our tires were summer tires. That is, until we got stuck in a parking lot and the attending who was helping to get us unstuck told us. He also warned of not getting caught because it would mean a fine. Great. *sigh and eye roll here*

Sooo, we searched for new tires and found a great price online. They were shipped and here within a week (the fastest mail we've received yet!). J was busy with training today, so I made an appt at a German garage and took the car down there myself to get the tires changed. After waiting for 20 minutes, the clerk comes out and tells me that they cant change the tires without the lug nut key. I havent a clue what this even means. They show me an example and tell me that the lug nuts are locked and this "key" is the best way to get them off. Otherwise they will have to charge me 20 more euro and rip the lug nuts off, requiring me to buy a new set for each tire. Um, what?! You've got to be kidding me right?

After searching the car throughly, we came up empty handed. I was now faced with the prospect of tracking down the previous owner and finding out what he did with the flipping key. Of course the number that I had for him wasnt working, but with my super detective skills, I was able to track him down at work. He thought the key was in the trunk, which of course it wasnt, so now I sit here and wait. After work he'll go home and look for the key. If he doenst find it, we are going to be out even more money and I will be even more pissed.

I dont like feeling helpless, but thats exactly how Im feeling at the moment, 
because all I can really do right now is wait. 
But, Ill put on my big girl panties and do what needs to be done. Why? 

Because thats what big girls do. 


Bonnie said...

That really sucks! =(

~Kristen~ said...

If you are talking about the VW, and it is like mine, there is a box-ish thing built into the trunk under the felt material, and everything is located in that. Have you tried that yet? It is sometimes built into where the spare tire is, and sometimes on the side.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a hard day :/ glass of wine for the win. I hope he finds the key for you so it doesnt cost you extra $

Nicky said...

Ugh, that's frustrating! It's always annoying when you're in situations like this that you have almost zero control over. I too have a VW - worth checking the secret compartment under the trunk, like Kristen mentioned, if you haven't yet ventured that far down! If all else fails, you could also do an eBay run or something like that & see if you can get one online, or even buy one from a dealer - still might be more cost effective than having the mechanic rip them all out.

annoyed army wife said...

Wow, look at all these commenters with car smarts. Sweet. I hope something works for you. That seriously sucks!

Anonymous said...

Just remember...big girls also get to have a glass of wine at the end of each day! =)

ALW said...

Oh no! Why does everything seem to go wrong when husbands leave?! I hope you got it figured out! From reading others' comments you have a VW. I used to have one, and I vaguely remember the lug nut thing (ha!) being somewhere hidden.

Mrs. Mootz said...

UGH! That's really stinks! I hope you guys were able to find the key.