Wednesday, June 29, 2005

trains, planes and automobiles

Cars. They're rather a money drain. Between insurance, gas and upkeep there's not a whole lot of room for putting extra dollars into a savings account. The value of a car depreciates from the moment that it is driven off of the lot and onto the street, and, suffice it to say, it never gains the value back. In other words, cars are a waste of money.
Funny thing though-- I can't wait until I have a car of my own. My life at present, and for the past four years, is completely dependant on everyone but myself. I am at the mercy of everyone else's (including HSR) timetable. When others have time and when it's convinient for them, I do my groceries, I return books at the library, I shop for clothes, I visit other friends. When I have time to spend an extra two hours on the buses I can do the said ventures on my own, but when my evening doesn't start until 7pm, there isn't time for public transit and my hands are tied. Thankfully I've been blessed with absolutely fantastic people who very often change their schedules as much as they can in order to encorporate me, but the bottom line is this: I live my life as a passenger who can make suggestions, not a driver who makes decisions.
Granted, it doesn't often bother me to be the passenger. I prefer not to drive on the highways when there's someone else to do it, I don't mind being able to soley converse with other occupants whilst in the car instead of having to concentrate on the road. Being the passenger, however, has so many more repercussions than advantages in the long run. It's not really my place to pressure the driver to go earlier or later, or to hurry up, as they're doing me a favour anyhow. I can't ask someone to go hang out at Walmart or Zellers or Winners with me for about an hour because I need to get things but I'm not yet sure what those things entail. I can't get into my car one afternoon and go to visit my sister and her new baby or my brother and his kids, or go visit my old youth pastor in Oakville. These activities require a little distance and the time to spend visiting, which is ok, but if I was to ask a driver to take me there it would need to be planned a few weeks ahead of time. And I like being able to do things off the cuff just as much as the next person. And so life, from time to time, is frustrating for me.
I love the solace of being in the driver's seat, listening to the music that I want to listen to, at the volume at which I would like to listen. I miss the ability to turn left instead of right at the lights because, as long as I'm on this end of town, I might as well stop at this store and pick up this item that I've been waiting for. I miss the freedom to just go out and wander and not have anyone waiting for me to make up my mind on something.
Being so reliant upon those with cars for the past four years has, I like to think, increased my patience. (Some may find that a little difficult to believe, I know, but it actually is possible to have less patience than I do presently.) It has decreased my spending budget and has increased my interaction with others. It's not all bad. But from time to time, like tonight, I'm jealous of those who can jump into their cars and head out of town for the evening to visit those long-overdue for a visit. Don't take your independence and freedom for granted, folks: it just makes it that much harder for those of us wheel-less people to suck it up and ask (yet again) if you wouldn't mind going out of your way.

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