How would you imagine your 25th wedding anniversary? Maybe getting dressed up, taking a limo to a fancy dinner, having a night on the town, and finishing with a champagne toast to 25 years of happiness? Well that wasn’t exactly how ours went, but close, or not.
To set the stage, I am lucky enough own a Tesla Model S. For those of you not familiar with Tesla, it is a high performance luxury sedan that is 100% electric. It is a fun car to drive with a sophisticated look and feel. So I decided that who needs a limo when you have a Tesla. So we drove the Tesla for our anniversary event. At least we drove it there.
Our plan was a nice dinner followed by a play and few after dinner drinks to cap off the evening. Since we would have to start a fancy dinner really early in order to make the play on time, we opted for something a little less formal. I dressed up in slacks and a nice shirt and my wife put on a dress she looks gorgeous in and we headed for Taco Bueno. Neither of us are connoisseurs, and we have had a lot of good memories talking about new homes, kids, and careers at this fast food restaurant, so it seemed fitting to eat there on our 25th wedding anniversary. By the way, half way through this story, it may seem to you that I am a little cheap. That is not really the case as you will see by the size of my tip in the end. Anyway, I prefer to think of it as being frugal.
So after our fancy dinner at Taco Bueno we headed for the play. The play was Sherlock Holmes and my wife had bought the tickets, so we had great seats in the second row. We could almost reach out and touch the actors. It was a fantastic experience. You might imagine where the tickets would have been if I had been responsible for acquiring them.
There was one slight challenge. On the way to the play a warning light in the Tesla had indicated that we had low tire pressure. So after I handed the keys to the valet (only $5 with our tickets to the play), I did what any classy husband would do and I went around the car and kicked all four tires with my dress shoes. I am sure the valet appreciated my thoroughness in checking the condition of the car before turning it over to him. I was not able to detect any problems with any of the tires. My wife compares this act to my diagnosis of my kids’ broken limbs. I act like I know what I am doing, but I am really clueless and just swinging in the dark.
After the play we picked up the car from the valet. As I pulled into the road, I noticed another warning light. This one said something along the lines of, Your Tire Pressure is Dangerously Low, Pull Over Immediately. So I quickly found an empty parking lot with a flickering street light. As you can imagine, late at night in downtown Dallas with a flickering street light and possible flat tire is not my anniversary dream scenario. Maybe I should have sprung for the limo. Especially since Teslas are not equipped with spare tires.
I identified the problem tire and the cause of the leak, a small screw in the tire. No problem, I came prepared with “Fix-a-Flat.” You know that green goop you put into your tire and then air it back up so you can get back on the road in 15 minutes. Or not.
In order to use “Fix-a-Flat”, you have to position the valve stem of tire in top most position. So my wife in her dress is guiding me to position the tire correctly which results in the nail being pushed further into the tire with a louds hissing sound. Definitely not a good sign. But we pushed on and followed the “Fix-a-Flat” directions, which included to “pull the obstruction out of the tire.” I was dubious, but I was determined to do this right and get us back on the road. Since Tesla’s are electric, I didn’t see the need to carry any tools. So I had to pull the screw out of the tire with my fingers and anything else I could find in the empty parking lot. So I get down on the ground in my slacks and use whatever I can find to pry, lever, and pull the screw out. Luckily I was eventually able to pry the screw from the tire and the long whooshing sound that followed indicated what a huge mistake I had made. But I don’t give up easily so completed the directions and filled the tire with the green goop. Then I spent 30 minutes putting air into the tire only slightly faster than it was leaking out. Needless to say the “Fix-a-Flat” didn’t fix anything. Note to self: the only tool I should ever use to make repairs is a phone.
Now that an hour of frustration has slowly passed, I decide to do what I should have done in the first place and call the Tesla service center. They of course dispatched a tow truck immediately, which due to traffic challenges, took 45 minutes to arrive. But my wife and I got some great alone time for our anniversary. We also got a text from our Tesla rep who helped me arrange to get the tire repaired first thing the next morning.
So we got the Tesla loaded and I helped my wife in her dress, up into a Tow Truck. Not exactly a limo, but close. The tow truck driver, Charles was a great guy. He was friendly and talkative. The one challenge was there had been a serious accident and our main route was blocked by traffic so we had to find another route. Charles told us all about the carnage of the accident that was causing the traffic back-up. He even entertained us with stories of the kinds of death and carnage a tow truck driver sees throughout his career. He of course focused on the most horrific stories he could remember. All the while driving in the rain, did I mention it had started raining, with my beautiful bride of 25 years sitting patiently in middle of a tow truck cab in her dress.
We dropped off the Tesla so the tire could be repaired and Charles took us home sometime close to 1 am. I gave Charles a $20 tip for all his help and entertainment. I couldn’t help but think I would have had to pay a limo driver at least a $50 tip. Of course Charles was close, instead of opening our door to let us out, he instructed me to roll down the window and reach outside to open the door, since it would not open from the inside. Almost like a limo.
Despite the challenges we had a fun and memorable 25th Wedding Anniversary. I can’t wait to see what we plan for next year. My budget is at least $100.