Thursday, October 7, 2010

We have been carfree for three months now. Just over three months actually. We are pretty much just grooving along in the routine of it, I don't have much excitement to post right now. I have noticed some of my routines have changed, obviously, and there are some things I just don't do anymore. Like I haven't been to Costco for ages. I did get a friend to pick me up some frozen berries when he went, and it will soon be inexpensive car-renting season so we may share a car for a weekend and I may do Costco then. I want to say 'along with other things I need a car for' but I can't think what. Perhaps I will go to Value Village - I love thrift shopping, and that has been a frecuent haunt for me, although I now just go to Goodwill as it is walking/biking/bussing distance. I have gotten many good finds there.

I also feel like having the 'carfree' thing under my belt (so far, winter is still to come) has given me a certain confidence that I am not as tied down to the expectations of the dominant culture as I feared I may be. When I started thinking about how car-dependent I was, I felt really like I'd been duped, I'd bought in and now I was dependent. As I said I think in my first post ever on here, when I got my first car it wasn't intended as a lifelong decision. It was to get around in a rural area and to commute to the city for work. But when I moved to the city, I didn't break the addiction, and it turned into this apparently lifelong dependency. I heard as well that if you lose your insurance for a period of 6 months or more? you start again at a base level like a new driver. I need to investigate how true this is, because if there is validity to it, what a con. This provides a strong disincentive for experimenting with being carfree, because of course if we lack confidence that this can be a longterm decision (as I did/still do to some extent), it is harder to go back. I still pay insurance on my car, $22/month I believe, though I don't think it even covers fire and theft so I am not sure what exactly I am paying for. Perhaps the ability to go back, I should look into that.

Wow apparently I do have a lot to say today!

I do not know what exactly I will do with my car, and this has been nagging at me. It is old, and in semi-disrepair. Too good for the scrap yard, too crappy to feel good about selling. I will keep it at least through the winter until I get more confidence in this new lifestyle. I still fear January and February and fear I am going to wimp out. I did splurge on a down coat though, and the kids have warm snowsuits, so I'm not too sure exactly what I am afraid of. I think the level of permanency that would come with making it through the winter season. If I can do that, I don't need a car. And... yikes. It still feels somewhat temporary, though as the months go by it feels less so and that is so freeing as well as being a  bit scary.

I feel silly saying that I am scared still of being carfree... how lame. But there it is. Partly there is a weird social ostracization - the mothers at my daughter's school have been very curious about where is my car, what happened. I have explained the carfree thing and I can tell they think it's a cover for just simple poverty, that the car broke and I can't afford to fix it or something. Which is ostracizing because they have their vehicles and their salon hair, and if I am poor I am even less 'one of them.' I noticed the questions about my carfree status arose anew and with more sincerity when I showed up at the schoolyard with the shee-shee Valco stroller, and I believe it is because if I can afford that, and the Xtracycle, I must not be broke. So am I crazy? Or, what the hell is going on with me that we are no longer driving? These were the aims of the questioning. So interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Would be interested to know how it's going?

    Still cycling etc?