•Q. My fiancee and I were discussing our wedding plans the other day, and a question came up. We’ll be driving away in my VW convertible (there was no discussion on that). However, her maid of honor insists on decorating it. I told my fiancee no. I don’t want my car dressed up like a clown car. I hate those people who put antlers and a red ball on the hood during the holidays, thinking it’s cute. I compromised and said that a magnet on the back that simply states “Just Married” would be fine. But I’m afraid I’m going to walk out and there will be stuff all over my beautiful car. What do you think? Am I crazy? I will be using everything you say in our court of love law. So, please side with me ... but be unbiased.* (*wink).•
TOM: Making decisions in a marriage is an art.
RAY: Which makes my brother, what? Jackson Pollock!
TOM: Right. I’ve spilled a lot of paint throughout the years. So trust me on this stuff.
RAY: We’re sympathetic to you. As are all of our male readers who live in houses with pink kitchens and bathrooms.
TOM: But “getting married” is really the first act of “being married.” Planning a wedding and dealing with increasingly crazed relatives and friends as the date gets closer forces you to work together as a couple.
RAY: In order to succeed as a couple, you have to learn to make decisions that are acceptable to both of you. If the way you settle arguments is that one of you wins and the other one loses, it’s going to be a short marriage.
TOM: In which case you might as well insist on having your way!
RAY: More top-notch marital advice from my brother.
TOM: Actually, here’s where I noticed a problem: You say that you’ll be driving away in your VW convertible, and that there was no discussion on that. Well, maybe there should have been discussion on that. Just as there should be discussion on anything you both feel strongly about.
RAY: When you disagree, one thing you each want to assess is the relative importance of the given issue. It may be that she doesn’t really care what car you drive away in, so if taking the VW is important to you, she’s fine with that. But it may be that decorating the car and fully emasculating you in full public view of your nearest and dearest IS important to her. In which case, you may need to give her that.
TOM: Or the car decoration might not be very important to her, so she’ll agree to the magnetized sign, but you’ll agree to something else that’s more important to her.
RAY: Like agreeing that your frat brother Zeke will be chained to the floor in the coat closet until the ceremony and reception both are over and your honeymoon flight is at 28,000 feet.
TOM: So when you don’t agree on something, start by asking, “How important is this to you, on a scale of one to 10?” When there’s stuff that she rates a nine or 10 and you rate a two or three, do it her way. And vice versa.
RAY: And just a warning: If you rate everything a 10, you’ll be joining my brother very shortly in the marriage-of-the-month-club. Congratulations, you two!
•Q. Yesterday I went out to put air in my tires, and I had the same problem I always do — I’m very afraid that the tire will explode while I’m filling it, probably ripping the skin off my face. I end up filling the tire only one or two PSI at a time while looking away, then rechecking the pressure, and so on. Can you give me any advice? Has a tire ever exploded on you? Do you still have your faces? Thanks.•
TOM: Unfortunately, for those living near us, we DO still have our faces.
RAY: You have tireophobia. But you can stop worrying. We’ve never seen it happen in all the years we’ve been fixing cars.
TOM: It’s virtually impossible to explode a tire while filling it up with air. Even though your tire is designed to run on, say, 30-35 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi), it would take something like 250 psi to cause the rubber to break apart.
RAY: The air compressors in gas stations and tire shops don’t produce anywhere near that much air pressure. So even if you grossly overinflated your tire, it wouldn’t explode.
TOM: We occasionally hear about a tire exploding, but it’s almost always a truck tire. And it’s usually what we think of as a “blow out,” when the tire is on the road, traveling at high speed and generating a lot of heat.
RAY: Or it’s while the truck tire is being mounted, and the bead fails. But even those instances are rare.
TOM: So you can stop worrying; it’s not going to happen. But we know that phobias are not entirely rational. So if it really ruins your day to inflate a tire, find a full-service gas station or a friendly repair shop, and tip some guy to do it for you. Find some guy like my brother, who’ll be more than happy to risk his face for a couple of bucks. After all, how much worse could it get?
Got a question about cars? Write to Click and Clack in care of this newspaper, or email them by visiting the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.
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