Wednesday, August 14, 2013
My other ride is your mom. Wait...
Yesterday I said goodbye to the Russian Barracuda.
For a long time I've been saying that I'd like to try out a carless existence. I've had this car for about 5 years now, and while I love being able to hop in and just go anywhere I want, it's caused me more grief than it has joy - endless repairs, a summer of ticket nightmares, inconvenient parking situations, and damages that I did not incur.
On Monday my baby brother brought his new vehicle into a local repair shop to get it ready for the cross-country trip to California. When I arrived to pick him up for our hang-out that we were having while they worked on his vehicle, I decided to schedule an oil change and an estimate for some repairs that I knew it was going to need. About three hours after dropping it off, I got a call from the mechanic telling me the news that I knew, deep down, I was probably going to get: That it would take $1,000+ just to make it safe to drive again, and that I would probably be better off taking it to the salvage yard where I could get maybe $300 for it.
So yesterday, I did just that. I cleaned out my car - apparently I'm a pen hoarder? I had A BILLION PENS stored in that damn vehicle. I also found a porn DVD in the glove compartment. Which is hilarious, because apparently someone out there is still waiting for me to discover a practical joke they must have played on me, like, three years ago or something - and then took it to the salvage yard, praying all the way that it wouldn't break down on the way (because that would just be my life, to have to pay for a tow truck to haul my car to the salvage yard to collect the exact amount of money from it that it would take to pay said tow truck). Luckily for me, that didn't happen...they weighed it, cut me a check, and off I went to embark on a carless existence.
Like I said, I've been wanting to try it out for a while, and I'm at that point in my life where, if I'm going to spend money on something, I want it to be worth it. So instead of tracking down a used car that can simply get me from A to B, I'd rather wait and sock away a bit more money so I can buy a vehicle that I'll really dig.
I *did* had a bit of separation anxiety yesterday: It's hard to change that mental habit of knowing that you can just hop in your car and go anywhere you want to, at any time, to knowing that now you actually have to plan your life around the fact that your mobility is restricted. But I'm also kind of excited about it? Living in the middle of town, I've made a point to walk everywhere I can, and to use my car as seldom as possible, so it's not going to be *that* big of a change. I can walk to work, I can walk to the store, I can even walk to my friend's places. I'll probably get a bike for those longer hauls, and there's a place here where I can rent a car if I need to get out of town. It won't be as easy as it would be if I still lived in Minneapolis (public transportation, cab systems, lots and lots of bike lanes and greenways), but that's kind of the point of a carless existence, right?
Also, I'm really excited to post a bunch of self-righteous, smug tweets and Facebook updates about how I'm so much better than all of you because I'm not contributing to the oil crisis / being an active part of America's gas dependency / hating on the earth by using a car.
High-Fives to me for being part of the SOLUTION instead of the PROBLEM, you guys!