I should be writing about how great it is that I live in a place where the city neighborhoods are so well-planned and the public transportation so reliable that I really don’t need a car. But my husband’s out of town this weekend and I’ve been schlepping two kids and a dog around by myself all day, so I’m feeling petty enough to whine about this shameful first-world problem. It’s sort of like how most of the time I care about eating fresh, local food, but then other times I shove entire boxes of Pocky sticks into my mouth.
I miss my car because:
1) It lets me make my own schedule. I’m always either running to make a bus or killing time until one arrives. And you should see me when I just miss a bus that would have kept everyone on the right nap schedule. Sometimes I just wish I could go when I feel like it.
2) It’s basically an extra closet. Have you ever thought about how much stuff you can just keep in a car? All the stuff that makes my diaper bag weigh 20 pounds and then some. Changes of clothes, soccer balls, blankets, books, Goldfish crackers, tire irons, and who knows what else. I always have to weigh a particular item’s possible function against the weight it will bore into my shoulder, but a car does all the heavy lifting for you.
3) It’s weatherproof. Today was the kind of day where it couldn’t seem to decide whether to rain or snow, so it did both, in abundance. I have a plastic cover for the stroller and that kept my kids dry, but it didn’t do much for me, and I can’t hold an umbrella while walking a German Shepherd, pushing a double stroller, and toting a diaper bag. Therefore, I became intimately acquainted with the gross weather in a way I could have easily avoided with a car.
4) It’s a world unto itself. I can put on a CD and sing loudly and obnoxiously with my kids. I can eat whatever I want. Nobody will glare at me or shush me. If I’m feeling grumpy, I can sit and stew without needing to be polite. I have plenty of room for just me and my stuff. No need to stand in a car!
Admittedly, the reasons I miss my car are the reasons I shouldn’t. It allows me to accumulate clutter, isolate myself, avoid the outdoors, and not plan ahead…an ecological, sociological nightmare! And OK, most days, I’m really thankful to be reducing my carbon footprint, avoiding traffic jams and near-accidents, and not paying for gas.
But just for today, I miss my car.