Hello, my name is Courtney, and I live in my car.
Although we live together, and our offices are about 26 steps apart at work (yes, I just went and counted), we don’t drive to work together. ::: Hangs my head in shame::: Nor do I take the free bus to work, despite it conveniently stopping at the corner of our street, about 50 steps from our front door. ::: Closes blinds in office, paranoid about the Greenpeace protesters in the parking lot:::
Why, you may ask, do I not take advantage of these money and gas saving transportation opportunities?
Well, DJ is a man on a very strict schedule. He leaves for the office promptly at 7:20am. Every. Single. Day. He also comes home for lunch every day at noon, eats, and is back in the office at 1pm. He also leaves at 5pm; sometimes 5:30pm if he has baseball. It’s just how he works, by his schedule and the predictability of it. And that’s ok, but it’s just not how I function. Keep reading.
Once in a blue moon (no more than 10 times a year) I drag my morning-breathy ass out of bed and get in the shower before the alarm goes off at 6:41am (in time for the Moose Radio morning news), only to see him shower after me and still beat me to work. Which is annoying. Usually though, I barely stumble downstairs for coffee at 7:15am before he leaves. I then return upstairs with the coffee and do some facebooking, email, and generally enjoying being home by myself for a bit before jumping in the shower.
After getting ready for the day, I’ll pack my gym bag and a lunch. Lunches of salads, veggies and hummus, and fruit and yogurt go into plastic containers that I reuse. I use a grocery bag for a lunch bag. I schlep all of this out the front door to the car. Lets count how much stuff that is in the winter; 1) coat; 2) galoshes; 3) gym bag; 4) lunch bag; 5) purse; and 6) coffee mug. I’m a bag lady. (purse, gmy bag, coat, 2 pairs of shoes on the floor, office bag, window scraper- you never take those out of a vehicle in Montana)
I drive the two miles to work in 10 minutes, and park at the office where my car often remains until I go home. From the office I’ll walk three blocks to the gym. I’ll also walk the block and a half to a board meeting or to the Gift Corral if I have to work that night; both activities frequently keep me away from home until after 8pm. And DJ goes home at 5pm. And the last bus home is at 5:45pm. That clearly won’t work.
Sometimes I feel like I should ride my bike. I’m a great bike cop, with the spandex, Camelbak, and helmet. But then I look at my 1) gym bag; 2) purse; 3) lunch bag; and 4) coffee mug and wonder how in the hell that would work. Teetering around with all that stuff, trying to cross the busiest intersection in Southwest Montana at Main and 19th in the morning. Yeah… that’d go well.
So instead, I take my car and keep everything in it. Last night I took out 6.5 pairs of shoes (I lost a flip flop somewhere). I also had lunch Tupperware (I often bring three per day), receipts (I hate receipts!), bank deposit slips, general paperwork, work binders, Preservation Board binders, chapstick, pens, and candy wrappers in there as well. (shoes on the floor, lunch bag with 3 Tupperwares, candy wrappers in cupholder)
Yeah… um, don’t tell my dad, ok? He always judges someone about the cleanliness of their vehicles. His favorite random chore is to detail cars. He’s even been known to take apart and take out the car seats so he can vacuum under them. Once, he came storming into the house wondering why in the hell I needed seven tampons in various compartments in the red Maxima? Uh, because I was 17… He loved, most of all, detailing the ’76 Datsun. Despite the fact that usually you had to jump start it to get it running (or push it down a hill- it was a manual and you could start it that way), he LOVED waxing it, cleaning the windows, etc. Sadly, my parents sold the Datsun a couple of weeks ago in Clarkston. Wait for it…. They sold it for $1,500!!!!!! :::shocked face::: Probably because it was so pristine.
Anyway, I’m usually pretty embarrassed about how messy my car is, but I also just don’t have time to deal with it when I get home at 9pm. I bought my Altima (yes, my family is Nissan loyal, they’re great cars!) brand new in the fall of 2004 (so it was a 2005). I’ve driven it in the Bozeman winter without snow tires (front wheel drive though), across the Midwest to Lexington and back twice, to Boone, North Carolina, (tailgating in Boone, NC, in 2006, before we knew about the open container laws in the state...)Nashville, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, (in front of the hotel in Charleston, SC, on the great Kramer Family Roadtrip/ SEC football stadium pilgrimage)Georgia, and numerous trips to North Idaho and Washington. I’ve never had a problem with it, and still get a little pleasure getting behind the wheel and knowing that its mine. I’ll pay it off in September, and probably buy snow tires and have it for a long, long time.
So yeah, at least I like the car I live in.