The Boy and I have one car. Until we started getting pounded with snow, he’d take the train to work (or I’d drive him if we overslept) and I’d walk to meet him at the train station in the evening. Once the blizzards hit and the train simply stopped functioning, he had to take a car to work. That meant either I drove him, or he took the car.
When you think about working from home, you tend to think about rolling out of bed and being right there. When my phone tells me I’m four minutes away from work, I think, Man, my house must be pretty messy. Driving the Boy to and from work makes my daily commute two hours, and that was not something I was willing to do, as it would severely cut into my work time–or more like my time for playing stupid computer games that I use to “warm up for writing.”
Usually, the Boy is very concerned about me not having a car. “I don’t like you not having a car,” he says.
“But I don’t usually go anywhere during the day,” I respond. Which is true. Unless it’s a designated errand day, you’ll find me sitting at my computer, willing words to appear on the screen. Or checking Facebook. Or surfing through various roller derby forums.
So when I said I didn’t want to spend all of my time driving him, that’s all he needed to hear. He’s had the car for work every day, and I haven’t heard a peep out of him about being worried that I don’t have access to a car, not even when we kept getting snow.
This routine has been going on a little over a month now, and I’ve got to say that not having a car in suburbia is starting to get old. Sure, I can walk, though you wouldn’t believe how little people shovel and de-ice sidewalks. I’ve had to completely abandon one way to go to the grocery because I’d have to spend too much time walking on the side of a busy street (that is much narrower than it used to be, thanks to piles of snow everywhere, making the Massholes even more dangerous). I can also take the bus or train–though I tend not to. They don’t always go where I need them to go, when I need them to go. I live in the land of fairly scheduled buses, not ones that come along every five minutes. I also live in the land of express buses that are pretty expensive (something like six bucks one way), and if I’m not heading all the way downtown, it’s not worth it. The commuter rail–if it’s running–is also in the six-dollar range, depending on where I want to go (and yes, I get that MBTA is completely strapped for cash, but if you take the commuter rail from Chicago to Northwest Indiana, the trip is twice as long and costs much less. I have little sympathy when I’m being gouged).
At any rate, I have a doctor’s appointment, which means that I’ll drive the Boy to work and pick him up, but I also will have the car all day. And I’m going to do all of the things. Going to the store to buy more things than I can carry with two hands! Going to the gym during the day! Dropping off various recycling! I am so excited about this…hell, I may even go crazy and go out for lunch. It’s like Oprah’s in my head saying, “You get a car!”
And then on Tuesday it’ll sink in that I have to pay the car tax, and we’ll go back to the new normal.
I’ll still fill you in on all the scintillating details though.