top of page
  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

Clothing Malfunctions & Other Conditions

Brian and I went on a short couple day road trip this week, so this is another on the road adventure story.

We had done a bit of shopping and I bought a nice little shirt at a great sale price, which always makes it a win, win. I put it on the next day, I was able to have breakfast in it and then as we checked out of the hotel, 1 hour later, I put on my jacket and went to zip it up.

I stood there in the chilly morning air in the parking lot trying to see what was the matter with the zipper on my jacket; much to my chagrin, the zipper had pulled the shirt right into itself and was stuck halfway up. No amount of tugging would loosen it.

I got into the car, in a bit of a fit, trying to pull that zipper one way or the other.

Brian leaned over to try to help but that zipper was royally stuck, no up and no down. The fabric on the shirt was pulled so tight I was sure we were cutting holes into it as we tried to move the zipper. I was miffed!

I only had the shirt on for 2 hours and now for sure there had to be holes in the stupid thing, the fact that it had been on sale no longer mattered! It was the principal of the matter.

Brian drove to a coffee place and told me to come around to his side of the car outside. It probably did look awkward as I stood facing him sitting in the drivers seat of the car so closely as he did his best to work at the shirt and zipper. No longer caring, I stood there and cheered as he finally got the fabric out of the zipper!

There appeared to be no holes in the shirt however my jacket zipper was now 4 inches longer on one side than the other, was no longer zipped at the bottom and was still zipped up in the middle, trapping me in my jacket.

But the shirt was free!

It took us another whole session to free the zipper on the jacket and you know, the zipper works perfectly. A blessing because we were not gentle with it!

I had to laugh because it seemed to be a theme, this trapped in your clothing thing. The night before we had been in a store. On the one side of me a young girl was trying something on and her friend was waiting in the hall.

I was privy to their conversation only because of our close proximity, otherwise known as eavesdropping.

She was having a dickens of a time getting into whatever it was she was trying on and when she was done her friend came in and announced, “you have it on backwards!”

She groaned and then resumed trying to get it off, which took even longer and included the phrase, “it’s stuck.”

By then I hustled out of the store and did not wish to hear any more, but in my head I was still trying to figure out what on earth she had been trying on, it’s probably best not to know.

Clothing malfunctions.

On the drive home, we were 2 hours into the 5 hour drive when we noticed we had a flat tire. Thankfully we were in a town not on the side of the road. Brian put on the spare out in the snow and we headed to the tire store. The tire was warrantied but they had no replacement and told us we would have to take it in at home to get the warranty. We drove away and stopped at Timmy’s where we noticed the spare was much smaller than the other tires. What that would mean is for 3 more hours we would have to be prepared not to travel more than 50 kms/hour because the tires would turn at different speeds. 50 kms /hour, did not sound that fun.

Tire malfunctions.

By now it is 5:05pm on the Friday of a long weekend. The tire store we had been at was now closed. We hurried into Canadian Tire where they had a proper sized tire but the mechanics were gone, so no one was there to put it on the rim, no sense buying the tire.

We googled and found another tire place supposed to be open until 6 and Bless their hearts they were. They of course could not honor any warranty of the wrecked tire so $202.00 later we had a proper size tire, put on and ready to go by 6:00pm.

Malfunctions: they happen to the best of us, come out of nowhere and cause us angst and frustration, they sound quite a lot like life itself. Life happens as do clothing and tire malfunctions. Life can be complicated as can clothing and tire malfunctions. Things can get damaged, ripped or worse stuck in awkward situations in both cases.

Hmmm, maybe that is like a lot like life as well.

The choice to react to malfunctions and life is ours and how we react is our choice as well. We may not like the choices presented to us, but we can laugh at it, stay calm and try to fix it or get all riled up and throw a fit. I was pretty miffed while stuck in my clothing, and it was soon apparent that I did not possess what it took strength wise to fix the problem. If Brian had not been there I would probably have been too stubborn or embarrassed to get out of the car and ask a stranger for help with my zipper. I probably would have driven home 5 hours trapped in my own clothing malfunction

I also did not possess what it took to fix the tire. Both situations needed the help of other people.

I find it hard to ask for help. I am not 100% sure why that is, but I have a list: pride, ego, self-sufficient, stubborn, hard headed….a whole long list of not flattering words.

It takes things like clothing malfunctions or mechanical breakdowns to realize that yes, we do need other people, but then I think, maybe only for the smaller things in life. Why would I think that?

If the smaller things take other people, why in the world would it not make sense to include other people into the larger more complicated things?

God, Counselling, doctors, help groups – it’s kind of like asking for directions, we hate to do it, because we think we really can figure it out ourselves. Life is not meant to be done by yourself in the small or big things. We stubbornly tell ourselves we can handle it, and we try, usually not well, to do it ourselves and often we find ourselves stuck in the malfunction of our own doing.

How much better it is when the load is shared over two or more people? How relieving is it to realize other people are exactly the same. They have malfunctions, problems, and frustrations the same as me and together we can help each other and make each other stronger.

Kind of sounds like another kind of win, win – doesn’t it?

68 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page