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Monday, November 19, 2012

To Drive or Not To Drive

The Wifester and I were talking yesterday about driving and whether or not I missed it, and to what degree did I miss it, and whether or not she would miss it if she could no longer drive. She says she wouldn't miss a thing about driving, and that if she didn't have car-sickness she would never drive again and be absolutely fine with being passenger. But as it is, her car-sickness is lessened significantly by her driving rather than riding. C'est la vie, Wifester. Besides, I guess it's probably a good thing one of us can still drive.

I tend to first think, HELLS YEAH I miss driving. But upon deeper inspection of the idea, I actually find that no, I don't miss all that much about the experience. Sometimes I miss the freedom that being able to drive gave me, but the driving itself? Not so much. I recall that I seemed to be hitting lots of garbage cans, light posts, and other random side-of-the road items. I had way too many to count near death experiences while trying to drive. I would check my mirrors, look over my shoulder, and then begin to merge over on the interstate only to be greeted with honking horns and a few explicit words being flung in my direction accompanied by a middle finger...I nearly sideswiped many a car, truck, bus, semi, you name it. If it was on the road, I have either hit it, run over it, or barely missed hitting it or running it over. I'm honestly quite surprised I survived my driving years. Sure, it was a long, painful adjustment to letting go of driving. And I continued to drive long after I was told not to. And I still sometimes get the idea that yes, yes I could still drive if I wanted to! But honestly, I know I don't see enough to do it safely.
So I just don't.

And living here, where I have such easy access to just about anything I want within walking distance makes it super nice. I can walk to coffee shops, bars, an array of restaurants from fast food to the chicest of the chic vegetarian/vegan digs in the greater Cleveland area. I can walk to drug stores, grocery stores, parks, hair salons, art galleries, and even ice cream shops. That makes giving up the keys so much easier. Of course, I still have to battle my own laziness and tell myself, "You CAN walk down there, you know!"
Eh, just knowing I can walk there if I need to really helps keep that helpless, dependent on others feeling at bay. Even if I do wait for the Wifester to give me a ride when the weather is either too hot, too cold, rainy or snowy.

How about you? Do you have anything that prevents you from driving? Do you miss it, or just the idea of it? And if you are still able to drive, how much do you think you would or would not miss it? How would you adapt to giving up your keys?

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