Towards the end of last month (August), I lent my car to my son. He will have it for another week or so. I live in a community whereby I’m able to hitch a ride with friends when needed. So the logistics of being car-less is working out okay. I’m a semi-hermit anyway, so being around my house suits me just fine. But, I find myself fantasizing about cars. And thinking about new ones, which is definitely not me. I guess this is what happens anytime you are deprived.
My car is 10 years old and has 170,000 miles on it. It’s a very basic model car … no bells and whistles … no GPS … no great sounding stereo … no heated seats … no backing up camera thing they all have now. I just put the key in and drive. My phone is like that too. I can make calls and text and that’s it. I guess I’m just a basic girl.
Cars have never been that important to me except as a mode of transportation. Years ago I needed a new car. I decided I wanted a blue Toyota Corolla. There was a red Supra with a T-top on the showroom floor and my husband fell in love. Little red hearts were floating out of his eyes when he looked at it. But, I wanted just your basic Corolla. Well, he convinced me by telling me that I wasn’t getting any younger and I needed the Supra. So I got the Supra, of course. Well I’m not sure that he actually convinced me — more like he wore me down!
We leased it and at the end of the lease, I had to decide what I wanted to get next. I decided on a Ford Saturn — a blue or purple one as I recall. Well, here we go again! This time it was a black Ford Explorer. And once again, I let myself be talked into something other than what I had decided I wanted.
I kept that car until mechanical issues made it unreliable. By this time, I had become a widow and I was about to buy my very first car all on my own. Hence the grey Honda Civic I currently own. The one not sitting in my driveway, but four hours away in my son’s driveway.
Here’s what I’ve learned being car-less and all:
- I spend a lot less money when I can’t just jump into my car and run out to the store.
- I feel less like an active participant in life and more like an observer.
- I don’t like being dependent on others. Ever.
- I understand how an older person feels when they have to surrender their car keys and give up their freedom. By that I mean older than me.
It won’t be long now until I get my car back. And my freedom. And while I fantasize about newer and fancier cars, I’ll enjoy my old basic Civic. We kind of match each other. We’re both old with lots of mileage and grey. But we’re reliable, steady and get the job done.