Car-less again

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I waved bye-bye to one of the really silly trappings of my early mid-life crisis last week: my Honda S2000 roadster. It was a ton of fun for the five years that I’ve had it, but ever since I moved back to Toronto from the U.S. three years ago, I’ve realized that I don’t need a car. Before I moved south, I went without a car for five years, and only bought one because it’s impossible to live in southern California without one. Since I was about to turn 40 at the time, had just left my husband and closed down my business, buying a convertible seemed to be the way to go on the path to full-blown mid-life crisis.

It’s actually a relief to have it out of the garage. It was getting to the point where I would take it out for a drive every two weeks just to keep the battery charged: living close to Kensington Market and Chinatown, I buy most of my groceries on foot; there’s lots of restaurants, shops and theatres nearby; and my only Toronto-based client in the past year was located in the financial district, a 15-minute walk away. I got a nice big cheque from the buyer (a 25-year-old who is apparently having a great time with it, although he pays more for car insurance in a year than I spent in the past three years), and I’ll get half a year’s insurance money back, so have plenty to top up my RSP for this year and put towards the new condo that I’m looking for. As an added bonus, when Damir comes over, he can now park in my parking spot instead of having to forage for parking on the street, or park in one of the visitor spots where he’s restricted to seven nights per month.

I don’t really miss it from a practical standpoint, since I can easily find someone to drive me to Costco or Business Depot the few times that I want to go (or just rent a car from the Budget agency a few blocks away). Emotionally, however, I had a brief twinge last night when we were driving home from an outing with friends at around 2am: it was a beautiful summer night, warm and a bit humid, and it was exactly the sort of night where I liked to put the top down and cruise along with the wind in my hair, singing along to the tunes on the CD.

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