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Tuesday, January 27, 2009
There are a few potential titles for this post:

1. Because I would walk 8 miles, just to be the man that....
2. These shoes were made for walkin....and walkin's what they'll do....
3. Having no car sucks...
4. My left hip hurts...

I have been without a car since November of last year. Nicki and I have been sharing the 4Runner during that time. It's been a headache to put it mildly. During my 5 week break from school, she would take the car to work, leaving me here all day with the girls. Now look, I'm not complaining about spending time with my girls, at all. What was hard, was the fact that it was winter, not allowing for us to leave the house (to go on walks to the park)on most days because of the weather. So, it was me, a 2 and a half year old and a 15 month old. Every day. Every. Day. There's only so much you can do. There's only so many times you can play Disney Princess Memory. There's only so many times you can read "Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles". There's only so many times you can watch Shrek and Tinkerbell. There's only so many days you can wake up, give the girls bananas and cereal for breakfast before all of your days start to run together in your head, making you feel like you're living the movie Groundhog Day. I have a point here people. Without the luxury of a car, you're stuck.

Now, what did come out of those 5 weeks with the girls was a total appreciation for single mothers/fathers. I'm telling you, when Nicki got home from work it was like a shift change at a blackjack table. I was OUT. I can't imagine what it's like to have children, and not have any time to pass them off to your spouse. Single parents have ALL of my respect and appreciation. What also happened is the fact that I promise I will NEVER complain about having a crappy car. Because you know what? A crappy car is better than NO CAR. I would GLADLY drive my 1998 Ford Taurus to pick up Jessica Biel Nicki for a date, rather than walking up to her door and then walking to our destination. I miss my tore-up-from-the-floor-up 1998 Ford Taurus. February 15th (the date we'll have the funds to fix it) can't come fast enough. I know later in life, I'll look back and see not having a car during this time in my life, especially while the girls were this young, as a blessing because I got to spend so much quality time with them. It's just right now that's tough.

I have the same schedule this semester as I did last semester. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I have the luxury of driving the 4runner to school, while Tuesdays and Thursdays I have to find a ride home, if possible. Here's how I feel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You've seen Dumb and Dumber. The scene where Jim Carrey walks out of that mini-mart, up to those guys he doesn't know and says "Big gulps huh?" (They stare at him, and don't say anything) then Jim Carrey says "GREAT! See ya later!". That's how I feel on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have to ask for a ride. Example. Say I go up to a friend of mine, who's engaged in a conversation with someone else, or perhaps studying in the library.

Me: "So, Luke, whatcha readin/doin?"
Luke: "Well, I was just reading this chapter for CF2 and then I was going to"
Me (cutting him off): Sweet, can you give me a ride home?

I feel like a jackass. I know it's not that big of an inconvenience to drive me home, just one exit up from school, but it is an inconvenience. I hate having to ask, partly because I'm prideful I guess, partly because I'm 31 and don't have a car, but mainly because it's just awkward. I only see the people I'm asking at school. It's not like it's a job we're at from 9 to 5, 5 days a week. I feel bad. I just don't want it to get to the point where people start walking the other way from me after 1pm because they know I'll be asking for a ride.

So today. I couldn't find anyone to give me a ride home. Thankfully it wasn't raining. It was cold, yes, but the sun was out. What makes walking those 4.6 miles hard, is the 23 pound backpack I have on, and the 13 pound laptop I carry. That's not exactly the best situation. I know it could be worse, like people in third world countries, I get that. But what sucks is that the backpack and laptop aren't strapped tight to my body, they sway and bounce. By the time I've walked about halfway, my shoulders start aching, and I start crying. (One of those is true). Today was funny though. I turned my laptop on, opened my MP3 player, and set it to play my entire "Alternative Rock" folder on random. That's about 6000 songs. Can you guess what song it played FIRST? "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day. Are you familiar with the lyrics? Here they are:

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk a

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow hearts the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

Seriously. Either God has a sense of humor, or my laptop is a living breathing organism that was aware of my situation, and decided to have a little fun with me. I laughed as if to say "Welp, that fits". It was a funny moment. To make it even funnier/worse, when I got home, guess what Kayla wanted to do IMMEDIATELY? That's right, she wanted to walk to park that's another 1.5 miles from the house. So we did. I'm Superdad.

I'm complaining about not having a car. But as I was walking today I was reminded (by that little voice in my head) that I do in fact have the legs and feet to walk. I was reminded that I'm healthy enough to walk. I was reminded that I live in a country where I can walk safely. I was reminded that I was walking home to two beautiful baby girls that were waiting just to see me. I was reminded that I at least have one working car that I get to drive to school the other 3 days of the week. I was reminded that I was getting some exercise in the process. I was reminded that there are parts of this country where it's 20 below zero right now, not the bareable 52 degrees I had the luxury of walking in. So yes, I get it. I'm a lucky/blessed guy.

It does suck not having a car though.
posted by Ricky @ 6:00 PM  
  • At 2/02/2009 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Mikey G said…

    I'm glad that you aren't here in the Bay Area just because if you were I would be really butt hurt by how you need rides and don't ask me.

  • At 2/04/2009 04:24:00 PM, Blogger Jesse and Melissa said…

    Get a bicycle...8 miles isn't that much on a bike.

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