There is a reason that we don’t own a car. There are actually a number of very interesting, plausible, financial and environmental reasons that we have “chosen” not to own a car and are instead banished to the realm of “couples that walk and bike places” after the bar because they’re ridiculous and poor. However, in the same vein as the reason I don’t keep plants (see: I’m confronted daily by the fact that I cannot keep anything alive which subsequently reinforces my regime of birth control, prayer and ancient anti-fertility dances) I have a single, equally as ridiculous and underlying reason why I do not have a car: I lose everything. (Again, plausibly tied to why I do not have children. Also, it is extremely hilarious to bike anywhere after drinking. Or rather, I am extremely hilarious and Jared appreciates the comedy fodder.)
So Saturday morning we pick up what is ostensibly a large child on four wheels: you have to make sure it doesn’t hit anything, fall into anything, get scraped, bruised, you have to feed it, wash it and remember where it is at all times. Mucho problemo people. I have never owned a car, and as a result when returning to my car after parking it a 1/4 mile from the mall, only look for the cars that have ferried me around as a youth – a copper Toyota Tercel with a sunroof and a grey Toyota Privia minivan. None of which even remotely look like the black Yaris we loaned that day. “Nevermind,” I think to myself “It is Car Day ’09 and I am so on top of my game that I elected to buy full no fault insurance because sometimes I panic and shoulder check the shit out of the car but forget to look at the spedometer! I will be ok!!”
It is key in this story to keep in mind that I do not drive. This does not mean that I cannot drive, but very simply that I do not have cause to get behind any sort of wheel save the one I play Mario Kart with. (Which of course occasioned great sadness when Budget informed me that no, they do not rent super scooters or cars shaped like bullets.) Seeing as how I don’t drive, my knowledge of navigating the city is entirely limited to my knowledge of cycling paths (natch, can’t drive on those apparently) and bus routes (huzzah!). That’s right folks, I navigated the city entirely by bus route. Which, for those of you who have not had the delight of riding the proletariate chariot, is not the most direct route to go anywhere. Save, perhaps, insanity. It was however the greatest source of comedy for Jared when I started muttering things like “Ok, to get to the thrift shop we have to turn here. Stop, pick up the Nigerian lady who works at the hospital. Go by the bingo hall. Stop, pick up the three students from the technical institute. Turn right at the Bargain Bin. Turn right at the daycare. Turn right at ABC Weddings. Stop. Argue with people with no change for bus. We’re here!”
But ladies and gentlemen, we were ok. We zipped freely from one end of town to another, locals that no sane cyclist would attempt (Ikea! It’s almost in another city!), we went to breakfast (drive thru! because we can!) we went to the good Starbucks, we had lunch, we sang Superstitious (or I sang and Jared did all the instruments..) and we shopped. Oh we shopped. We shopped (which doesn’t neccessarily mean we spent money. It’s kind of like saying “we dated”. Doesn’t really convey the degree of commitment, or what exactly happened, or the ammount of money that changed hands. Same with “we shopped”) until I had a shopping hangover. Dehydration kicked in, and in some unconscious demented attempt to look like a Breakfast Club extra I bought a faded denim jacket and wayfarer style Cheap Monday’s, I started eating Ikea chocolate bars and meatballs, I was in a GAP outlet people. A GAP outlet. And I tried things on.
And then we lost the car.
Which is how we came to be scuttling around the biggest shopping mall parking lot bent over like moderate to severe scoliosis cases (or at least 13 year old boys trying to look up girls skirts) listening to cars and dragging our shopping bags around. See, the blessed Yaris was equipped with remote door locks. What better way to find your car that to attempt a state of Zen wherein you will hear, above the din of thousands of people in a parking lot, your car locking and unlocking. Click to me baby. Click to me.
Due mostly to the good fortune of the same gangster in the same Range Rover being parked in the same spot, we actually didn’t need to hear the clicking. And in fact, probably never would have found the dear Yaris by this method anyways, so drown out was the sound of doors unlocking by the umpteenth playing of “My Humps” . Indeed, as soon as I inexplicably broke down into butt clapping stance and started wiggling around, J. knew we were close. We just had to be close enough for him to stuff me into the car before I got to the part of the dance I choreographed myself.
Which luckily he did.
The rest of Saturday progressed without major incident (barring Jared insisting I park by recognizable landmarks and giving him the keys immediately upon exiting the drivers seat) and we ate, sang and shopped our way across this beautiful city. We parked the car at home on Saturday eve, and not going to lie, I checked on it a few times that night.
Sunday was a beautiful day as well, J had an early morning gig (8am on a Sunday! You know who’s up that early? The Redeemers. The jumpin’, shoutin’ savin’ type that really like Jared. I’m pretty sure he took the gig because he wanted to see if it was like that scene in the Blues Brothers. He says it’s not, but they do wear hats. I’m thinking of converting. To Hattism ) and I picked him up at about 1am. My major memory of Sunday is attempting to find this church which is inexplicably located in Chinatown, and being chased down the street in the car by a bunch of children laughing and pointing and jumping up and down motioning to street signs.
Street signs which indicated with the utmost clarity that I was indeed going the wrong way down a one way street, and needed to turn around and be taunted by a group of children who thought that a white girl on her way to pick up her boyfriend at a revival in Chinatown looking like a blond Molly Ringwald was just about the funniest thing they’d seen all weekend.
And frankly, as I smiled and waved and turned the baby Yaris around, so did I.