Friday, February 25, 2011

tire tubes and bike grease

"do you change your own flat tires?"

my eyes stretch wide as I look at her in disbelief, "well, yes, I do." as opposed to letting my tire stay flat? yep. I change them.

"my husband always does mine, and I tell him he's infantalizing me, that I need to learn to do this."

"I'd like to be infantalized that way," I say with a half-grin.

I have been heard to say I want to marry a bike mechanic. now I haven't met one yet that I want to marry--or who wants to marry me--but I sure love having someone take care of those mechanical issues for me.

not that I need it. but I like it.

I can change tires, and I do change tires. I've even reached that way-cool point where I can put my rear wheel back on the bike after I've removed it to switch out a tube. yep, I've even figured out how to flip down the little rear derailleur do-hickey and get the chain back where it belongs. and the bike works after this complicated surgery, too.

this is a new skill: I couldn't do this for the life of me a year ago. but all the sudden a couple weeks ago I had to change my rear tire, and I did, and it all worked smoothly and beautifully. so yesterday when I had to change my rear tire again, I moved through the job with ease. I even found the hole in my tube, patched it, and successfully put things back together.

no infant here.

but that doesn't mean I don't want to be one sometimes.

as much pride as I take in the fact that I can care for my bike, there is just something magical about having it done for me. as independent and capable as I am, and as much as I like knowing how to and that I can do, there is still a part of me that absolutely loves to be taken care of. pampered. adored. put on a pedestal . . .

okay, that went too far.

I just like having my bike looked after. and I'd prefer not to have to scrub bike grease from my hands. I'd prefer not to have the frustration of being too weak to get tight new tires off rims. I'd prefer having someone else clean and scrub and care for all those little moving parts that could always use loving attention.

but who knows, if I had that, I might become like my friend who obviously has some desire to change her own tires.

because it often seems that--no matter how good we have it--we find a way to want what we don't have, don't we?

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