Chaos Attraction

Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Non-Drivers

2010-10-11, 2:30 p.m.

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I am currently planning out the logistics of my upcoming weekend of birthday parties galore in the Bay Area.

Which is to say that I am taking Amtrak into the Bay, then hitting BART for the various Bay Area locations, then getting back onto Amtrak. I love that there is a hookup for this, mind you, and that for once I don't have to beg a ride all the way inland and back. But figuring out the train part of the trip is a real wanker right now because those only leave every hour and a half or so, so either I leave way early or late or...argh.

Seriously, plotting the logistics of this has been my entire day so far and will probably be tomorrow too at the rate this is going.

Let me explain to y'all the time factor and logistics of this IN GREAT DETAIL:

Total cost of 2 train tickets ($40 round trip) plus BART tickets to the homes of my friends and back ($11) = $51.

Total time getting back and forth from public transport areas, plus train trips that are over an hour long, plus BART trips of various lengths to get to designated pick up areas = over 6 hours.

Total cost of gas to drive directly from my house to one friend's house, and from her house to the second party location, and from there to back home = approximately $90.20. (Thank you, Mapquest.)

Total time driving to and from all of those places = 3 hours. (Thank you, Mapquest.)

Overall results: it'd cost me $40 more in gas to drive everywhere (saving me about 44 percent of that in funds to use public transport. If I can do math, which is kinda dubious.), but I'd have 3 hours less of commute time. That's literally double the amount of time I could be spending doing all of this because while BART is relatively conveniently scheduled and located (except for one location, hence the pickups and dropoffs and extra distance to get to those), Amtrak only does so much and so often. And timing all of this shit to coincide with each other takes a lot longer.

So think about that one for awhile. I sure will.

I share this tedious, lame detail with y'all for one reason. This goes out to all the parents out there:

FORCE YOUR CHILDREN TO DRIVE. Even if they freak out. Even if they cry. Even if the driver's ed instructor hits the teacher's brake a lot. Even if they crash your car. Even if they crash SIX of your cars. Even if they make someone paralyzed for life when they crash a car. Even if their mom died in a car crash and they watched it happen.

Whatever the emotional trauma that they might have going on, if you are unlucky enough to draw a kid like myself in the genetic or adopted lotto who doesn't immediately take to driving like a duck to water... FORCE THEM TO DRIVE. Force them at gunpoint if you must. (But try not to scream while you do it, eh?)

Because not driving at 16 like everyone else is the dumbest thing I've ever done in my life, NO QUESTION. I can't count the number of ways I have shot myself in the foot over this by not driving, and everything I missed out on and continue to miss out on, and I have had ENOUGH of it, but now it's... well, difficult to dig myself out of this damn hole that I dug for myself by crying behind the wheel.

Can you tell I'm really sick of this whole non-driving thing?

Not that I am likely to make another license attempt any time soon, mind you. (Having not driven over the summer, uh... I should probably practice again more first. Sigh.) And I have no effing idea how to afford to have a car anyway. (If I was 16, I would have been gifted a car... but only if I drove at 16. STUPID STUPID STUPID.) And even after I get a license I'll have to wait a year to get to use Zipcar. But even with all of that, THIS SHIT AIN'T WORTH IT.


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