Friday, September 05, 2014
An acquaintance of mine, a woman I went to high school with back (WAY back) in the day, does not drive. I asked her why once, thinking maybe it was due to a medical condition, but she said no, she had actually gotten her driver's license once upon a time. But then she went off to college and didn't need a car on campus, and then she moved back home and got an apartment within walking distance of her job, and she couldn't really afford a car on her salary, so she just ... didn't drive. Never quite got around to it.
She is able to walk to work and to some grocery stores and store-stores and her gym, but public transportation is spotty at best around here, and so if she wants to go more than a mile or two, she either has to take a cab or rely on friends.
I don't know. I go where I want, when I want. If I feel like driving up to Ithaca for an afternoon, I hop in the car and go. To the restaurant across town, to the county park two towns over, to the State Fair ... I go. I just ... I cannot imagine how small my world would be if I didn't drive. I mean, I don't particularly enjoy driving, per se, but I sure as sh*t like to go places. Lots of places. All the time. And the idea of having to rely on someone else's schedule to go anyplace is, frankly, frightening to me.
Just last night after work, I went to the library, and then I went to the pizza joint to pick up a pizza, and then I went home, to my house out in the semi-sticks, right where I like to live. None of which I'd be able to (easily) do if I didn't drive. And that's not even anything really fun; it's just everyday basics. This weekend I'm doing an adoption event on Saturday which will include shlepping all the tables and crates, and then I'm sure I'll get some hiking in on Sunday, probably up at the state forest, and I couldn't do either of those things if I didn't drive. (Unless a friend happened to be available to cart me around.)
And I mean, sure, things are different than they used to be; now the internet and nine billion cable channels can bring the world to you (more of the world than anyone needs to see, sometimes), and it's not like she's just sitting in her apartment staring at the walls or something (as far as I know). But still. I wanna go.
I dunno. What do you think? Could you get by without driving? Would you want to? Would you be happy?