Monday, November 17, 2008

Relieved? Yes. And no.

In the past months that I have been riding the bus, I've missed out on fuel shortages, $4.25 a gallon, and a lot of stress. I have met some really cool people and I have also learned to problem solve, in a way. For example, I am learning that this is the time of the year that makes my neighborhood both a good and bad place to live. What I mean by that is there is tons going on, road races, parades, etc. This also means that the streets are blocked off for the better part of the weekend day and there's no bus service. If I need to go someplace outside walking or biking distance, say Whole Foods, I need to work out where else I can go to get the same thing or how else I can get there. I have to say the past many months sans auto have been, well, fun.

I had to get work done on my car. It's not the only reason why I've been riding the bus, but it was certainly a big factor. My car was just sitting. I was okay with that. I took it to Whitewall Auto here in town on the recommendation of a friend. They were great, honest, they fixed my car in a day because they had all the parts either on hand or easily accessible and charged me about half what I was expecting. They also let me pay over the phone and left the keys for me. They trust me, ergo I trust them. If you find yourself in the area and in need of service, I whole-heartedly suggest you go see them. Finding a good mechanic is possibly higher on my list than finding a good hairdresser and probably equal to finding a good gynecologist. (Who's with me on this?)

On my way home from work, I called that friend to thank her for the recommendation. She said, "that must be a big relief for you." My reaction...meh. I mean, yes, it's a relief I found a good mechanic, they were reasonably priced and super fast. Yes, she's right. But at the same time, I wish I didn't have a car. Yes, it's convenient to have a car if I need to run to the drug store at 10:30 on a rainy night. I am hoping it will not become too convenient. Between my apartment and this friend's new house lies a huge hill. It's a bitch to bike up. It will be nice to drive over. I don't want to get back in the habit of "running quickly" to the market. I hope that I continue on this path I am currently on. Certainly, I will take the bus to work. Traffic around here during evening rush hour in particular is a Nightmare. I will do my best to not drive. When I moved into my apartment, I decided to allow myself to drive once a week. I am now amending my decision to next to never.

To be honest here, I also have a small anxiety about driving. Since owning a car, two actually, over the past 15 years, I have had 9 accidents. Before you freak out, let me finish... None of these accidents were my fault. In most of them, I wasn't even moving. My anxiety about driving? I'm tired of being hit. Wouldn't you be?


Cellar Door said...

Good for you! Not driving is wonderful. I've had my bouts going sans auto as well, but now I drive all the time. Something happened when I had a baby. I just lost the will to public transport. You inspire me, though.

Emily said...

Do you have a round red target painted on your car?! My gosh! Or do you just live in an area with terrible, terrible drivers (I can relate!)?

Anonymous said...

My husband takes the car to work, so I toil back and forth to school on my own little legs. The kids have to come back under their own power too. But on a day like today, when it's really cold and hailing and wet.. Oh, how I long for the dry interior of a car!

CailinMarie said...

9 times! holy cow! Crazy! As to not driving I think it is fabulous. Tim works close enough that he bikes to work unless he has clients arriving and he needs to be snazzy. Actually several of his employees do too. Very cool. Myself however, I must admit I am delighted to have the car option with the plethora of small ones I drag around with me. They knocked down a huge area of trees across from the 199 entrance to Kingsmill while we were away and are supposedly putting a Grocery Store in there. While I remain HORRIFIED that they ruined our trees and intend to make up for it by walking or biking over... maybe this ridiculous town will add a cross walk and a walking path... but don't hold your breath.

Meg said...

Lady Fi...I couldn't imagine waiting for a bus in Sweden in the winter. And that's coming from a girl raised in Pittsburgh who was too cool to zip her coat while waiting for the school bus!

Cai-with your brood, you need a car. Definitely. The visual of you wrangling the kids on a city bus is amusing, though. Do you really live in Kingsmill? Ah-hahahahahaha. Too funny.

CD-ditto wrangling toddler learning to toddle on a bus. Once she's a bit older might we see Zelma On The Bus?

Emily-Hell hath no fury like the motorists of RTP. One of these days, I'm going to try to get a picture of I-40 during evening rush hour. These people are nuts! Road rage is a way of life here. Most folks have to drive on a major interstate to get home. They are only four lanes and the exits are very close together. Nearly every car is an SUV and has one person in it, usually on the phone. The State Troopers will park on the side of the road. They are waiting to respond to an accident!