I have been the owner of compact car for 2 years now. And when I say owner, I mean the driver of a leased vehicle that plays all my favourite cd's. It's new, it's shiny, it's good on gas and it gets me everywhere I need to go.
I can't imagine life without it.
Before life with Roxy--yes, I named my car Roxy....she's a Pontiac Wave, Roxy was a natural name selection--I drove an old clunker, lovingly named Hot Donna. She was a 1993 Chev Cavalier; she was red, she was fast...she was great....I thought she was about to die and carelessly gave her away to the mechanic neighbour who then sold her to some kid up the road who can be seen flying down the back roads to this day. How foolish of me to give away the gem of a car my parents bought for me for $500. Woops. (I could sound spoiled to say 'my parents bought me a car' but really....it was $500, and the original reason for purchase was not for me...just for my dad to mess around with it....and then it all worked out in my favour....so I'm not that spoiled, just lucky.)
Essentially, my entire life of independence, now officially spanning 3 1/4 years, (I count the 'official' time period as being when I finally stopped messing around with having fun and moved out of my parents home for good...my year in Australia was a drinking and laughing binge...doesn't count as real independence since I left Oz early cause I ran out of moolah...) I have had in my possession a car. I have had the freedom that a car provides. It has been great.
My brother and sister, along with their spouses, are all carless. Furthermore, they are all driver's licenceless. Have I mentioned before that I am the youngest in the family? So it's not like they are young and haven't gotten around to it. They all depend on public transport to get around. On the one hand, I must give them props for the benefit to the environment they are providing. Though I know this is not a factor in why they don't drive. But on the other hand, I can't imagine how they survive!! Even the task of grocery shopping seems crazy to me without a car to bring it all home in. I guess that is why they both live in places near amenities. I live in an almost-suburbia area.
Being that I am the only kid with a car, a lot of responsibility and expecation falls on me. It is expected I will drive an hour to pick up my sister and her husband to attend family functions. It is expected that I will drive my brother and his wife and his kid home after family functions, even though he lives two hours from me. Simply because I am nice, I am responsible, I am a good sister, I am dependable.
I didn't know having a car made me dependable.
I guess it does. Should any family crisis occur big or small, I show up in my cute little car to aid my mother in her dire straits. Or any other family member for the matter.
I debate leaving the city where I live to move closer to my family members. Save my mileage--I do lease my car, let's get real. I could move to where my sister lives. But then I realise I would become her instant taxi driver. I can hear the requests now "Can we go shopping? Will you take me to the bank to pay some bills? Will you pick me up after work tomorrow?" This is not a pleasant thought for me. And she never gives me gas money, no matter how many times I ask. (I'm too diplomatic to demand the money....damn). So then I am left with moving more east of where she is, towards where my brother lives. To the midst of the hustle and bustle. It is where I grew up, but I'm not too sure I can handle it now. He would not take advantage of me living nearby (he always give me gas money) and would be delighted should I offer to take him somewhere. I should flip a coin on that one.
Perhaps I can just live out of my car. It might be compact, but it is pretty roomy. And with all my belongings in it, I would have a great excuse to never drive them anywhere: "I haven't any room!! Sorry!"
Or maybe they can all just get their driver's licences and rent vehicles for family functions and leave me alone.
Now that's a novel idea.