I have never been a car person.
Sure, I lived out of my car when I started college like everyone else I knew who commuted, but I never wanted to learn how to drive. I was bullied in to it by my family because the bus-ride/train took 2 hours from East Los Angeles to Long Beach and I use to commute six days a week. Driving was the sensible solution. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate driving, I just prefer public transportation for the pure reasoning that owning a vehicle just creates more complications financially.
Now let me preface this next rant with: I always over think things.
When I started learning how to drive when I was 18-19 years-old I freaked out all the time. I refused to take the freeway for a good 2 months, but I also had to learn how to drive using the 710 freeway. Trucks driving erratically, potholes everywhere, and narrow lanes in a small 80’s Toyota Tercel. I hated every minute of it. Then come the thoughts about insurance, repairs (because this car always needed something), maintenance, and gas. This was also the time when gas prices starting rising over two dollars. Did I mention how I hate owning a car?
My second car, which was a used 2001 Kia Sephia (which they don’t make any more) was a lot nicer and wasn’t a lot of trouble. However, every other driver out there seemed to visual a target on my vehicle. I had so many dents and small scratches on that car people would always gasp, “What happened?! Were you in an accident?” No. Not really. Most of those were caused by jerks in parking lots. The first time I took my car to get an oil change the mechanic says, “Already in a fender bender, huh?” I yelped back, “What?!” and looked to find a lovely sized dent on my bumper. I hate cars. I’ll admit I was in a few accidents, none of them too major, but who hasn’t been? The worst part was the $500 in parking tickets my ex-boyfriend racked up on my car, before we broke up. To make the deal sweeter my car started falling apart on me after I finished paying it off. Trying to pay off parking tickets, not caused by me, and constant repairs drove me crazy! It finally got stolen (I don’t know how or why someone would want that piece of crap) and I never called it in. Why? It was worthless. And no, the insurance would not have covered the value of a worthless piece of a crap that it was. The repairs were worth more than the car. Trust me, I did the math.
Since then my current boyfriend and has been helpful driving me to work, when possible, and letting me borrow his car to run errands, go to work, and visit family and friends. I pay for most of the repairs and the maintenance on the car. Except for the muffler replacement that recently happened. That shit was expensive and not cool, but luckily not my fault. We just recently got the pink slip for the car, which is nice, except I had been hoping to get it six months ago when we could still afford to pay for the insurance. Now that my boyfriends’ mother has been unemployed for over a year we are now responsible for the car entirely. I’m not complaining about the responsibility, just the timing of it all. Nothing really happens when it’s convenient. We have been paying for the registration, maintenance and repairs all by ourselves, and now this one extra payment we may have to reconsider where we are financially. Insurance is not cheap, and I didn’t get a raise this year because our pay was reduced by 3% in April for budgeting reasons. The hope is we’ll get our 3% back by next Spring, but with no raise.
Did I mention I work for a non-profit theatre in Orange County? Yeah, this has not been a good year financially. Cars don’t make anything easier other than commuting. I have always preferred public transportation, walking, or biking. Granted, I am a lazy bastard at times, but I did take the bus to work a few times when my car needed major repairs, and I carpool as often as possible with co-workers who are willing to share their personal space. I also took the bus for 2 hours my first year and half I was in college. I despise having to drive to work alone, in traffic (with no accidents!), five days a week, when I could have taken the bus. The only reason I can’t take the bus to work is because the bus route takes 2hrs and the routes don’t always run on certain days of the week. Go figure. Taking the bus in the OC is just not convenient.
Luckily, my boyfriend and I have worked out a reasonable schedule so that I can drop him off at school on my way to work, pick him up on my way back home, and I try to run errands on my way home or on my lunch. He is very understanding and flexible when it comes to sharing one car and I’m eternally grateful for it. Especially since I almost refuse to own another car. I will eventually have to get one, but I will hold out for as long as I can just to avoid all the complications that come with it.
In a perfect world I would take the bus to work every day and only drive on my days off if necessary. Unfortunately, that is not the world I live in. I don’t hate driving a car; I just feel that owning a car is only necessary for some people, not everyone. I hope to one day live in an environment where I can take public transportation to work everyday and only drive on my days off. Hopefully, once I get a job in LA that will be more plausible. Cross your fingers for me!