Friday, July 14, 2006

Day 14: Why I miss you, car.

While at times satisfying, giving up driving in a car-centric city has meant sacrifice. Here’s a small list of things I’ve missed in the last two weeks.

• Makeup.

While I’m considered the most “nature girl” looking of many of my friends, I haven’t looked quite this natural since college. And let me tell you, a decade makes a lot of difference. I’ve put on mascara for a few interviews I’ve had, but for the most part, I’ve gone mostly face-naked, in large part because sweat would wash away any effort I’ve made to look pretty.

• The gym.

It’s not as if I’m dying to add two treadmill miles to my three or more outside miles, but the gym, more than a mile off the bus line, offers me a refuge I can’t get anywhere else. One. They have a day care, which means about an hour away from my lovely, attention-crazy children. Two. My yoga class. Sure I can do yoga at home, but I can’t get the yoga teacher’s soothing voice telling me, “Here in yoga, I say no pain, all gain.” Three. Every treadmill comes equipped with a personal television complete with E! TV. I don’t have cable at home so how am I supposed to get my Brangelina news. How?

• Recycling.

Normal is the smaller town of two adjoing jurisdictions an area commonly referred to simply as the Twin Cities. But Normal and Bloomington have seperate schools and government, separate services and separate recycling programs.

Bloomington picks up recycling for its residents while Normal requires you to take it to one of several recycling centers around the city. I don't want to badmouth Normal, which takes about two-thirds more material than Bloomington collects. But I am getting a little tired dodging plastic bags full of bottles when I walk through the garage.

• My car, sniff.

While I don’t drive all that much, I do enjoy getting behind the wheel. I listen to talk radio. Or flip the crappy music stations. I can get a soda without getting out. I can load up my hatchback with groceries. I can take the kids to the fun waterpark they love. I can get downtown in 10 minutes. Or to ice cream in five.

I truly wish my neighborhood offered me a tenth of what I can get by driving for 10 minutes. I really believe that would be a better for a host of reasons.

But in the meantime, not having a car is an inconvenience. Seriously, I miss yoga girl. Does that make me a bad person?


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