Confused, but Empowered

Dear Jim,

I’m in the middle of a nasty breakup. I was recently dumped by my boyfriend of three years. We started dating right out of high school and now I’m completely lost, but not in the ways you might be thinking. Since we were so young when we got together, I actually feel pretty empowered about getting back out there, dating again, and living my life without the burdens of a controlling boyfriend. 

However, it has just occurred to me that he used to do a lot of things perhaps I took for granted. He even helped me find out more about what to do when I was being discriminated against at work. Not just that, but the little things, too. For instance, I’ll be the one who has to kill the spiders now and take out the trash. That got me to start thinking about all of the other things I may not be ready to handle on my own. Jim, my dad has never been a part of my life and I need help. 

Can you please help me learn how to change a tire? Nothing I read online is making any sense, and I’ve been reading your column for months now; I know you’ll be able to help! 

Thanks in advance, 

Confused, but Empowered


Dear Confused,

First, I just want to say congratulations on your break up. It takes a strong woman to head out there on her own after being in a controlling relationship. I commend you for taking the initiative to learn as much as you can about things that your ex used to handle and for killing all the spiders

Now to your question: if you need to change a tire, before you get down and dirty trying to change it yourself, first check and see if you have roadside assistance through your insurance company or AAA. I’m all about learning how to do this for yourself, but if you have these roadside assistance programs, you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity. If you do not have roadside assistance and have to change the tire on your own, here’s what you do:

  1. First, make sure that you find a safe place to park. The last thing you need is to get hit by a car and then have to write in asking about how to get an attorney.
  2. Turn on your hazard lights and apply your parking brake.
  3. Put up your wheel wedges so the car doesn’t roll while you are changing the tire.
  4. Put your car jack up underneath the frame of the car and raise it.
  5. Remove the hubcap of the tire you need to change and then loosen and unscrew the lug nuts.
  6. Remove the flat tire and mount your new tire or donut if you have on in your trunk.
  7. Re-screw the lug nuts, tighten them, and replace the hubcap.
  8. Now lower the car jack, remove your wheel wedges, and you’re ready to get back on the road.

I hope this was able to help you and I wish you luck!