One car family

by Ginger on September 24, 2008

in Marriage

So, I may have mentioned before, but hubby and I share a car. Yes, here in Southern California. Yes, with our commutes. No, we’re not crazy.

I’d like to say it’s because we were thinking about the impact of two cars on the environment, but the reality is, we’re cheap. When we moved to San Diego from New York, we didn’t have a car, so it was an almost immediate purchase upon landing in the sunny state. Proof: we drove the Uhaul right to the car lot (you just know the sales guys were seeing dollar signs), though we were smart enough to not buy on that first trip.

Anyway, we didn’t have enough money set aside to buy two cars, and given that neither of us had jobs, it just really didn’t seem necessary. I always assumed we would eventually get another car, when we both had work and could justify the cost. And then, when I got a full-time job a few months later, N.C. was working freelance jobs, and it still didn’t seem necessary. When he started working long-term contract work, we thought briefly about it, but his office was on the way to mine, so we just made it work. We just couldn’t see spending the additional money, when our income ebbs and flows depending on his freelance work.

When gas started going up, and up, and up, we decided to shelve the idea indefinitely. Honestly, between the car payments, the insurance, the maintenance, and gas, we just couldn’t afford another vehicle. And since we go everywhere together anyway, it’s not a problem most of the time.

Oh, sure, on days when we have doctor’s or dentist’s appointments it can be a pain, since we sometimes both have to take the time off. Or when we’ve got art stuff that requires the car and it means I can’t go run errands instead. Or if he picks up a new contract gig and we have to rework the schedule to make it doable. Or there are times when N.C. has to go up to LA for business which usually means dropping me off at work, him driving up, and then he drives back in time to pick me up from work. Makes for long days.

But being a one-car family hasn’t been that bad to date. We’ve definitely saved some money, we always get to use the carpool lanes, we are reducing the environmental impact a little, and even better–I don’t have to drive all the time!

Sharing the car all the time can be interesting though. On mornings where we’re both tired or grouchy, the car can be a little…quiet. Sometimes, one or the other of us will just ramble on and on and on, while the other one would prefer to just sit and stare out the window. We both do things while we’re driving that annoy the hell out of the other person–we have to be very aware to not always backseat drive all the time.

It can be a lot of fun at the same time. It gives us plenty of time to talk about our days & allows us to rehash the crappy stuff before we get home, which is kind of nice. Sharing a car also means we both get to see the crazy stuff at the same time, like the truck we saw with a 4 foot pirate flag on the back, or the crazy runner guy we see everyday on the way home, neither of which could be fully explained without seeing.

All the people at our respective jobs think its weird, and it can be, but mostly it’s…nice. I like the time we have together in the car, with no other distractions–no tv, no internet, no art, no blogging, no business, no cleaning, no nothing but time with each other. Everyday I have an hour and 1/2 of time just with my husband and I, and just for talking. Whether we’re talking about our days, about our weekend plans, about our families, about zombie overlords, whatever, it’s time for just the two of us.

Which is a pretty nice perk to sharing one car.

Jessica September 24, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Aww that’s really sweet. I’m sure having one car can be frustrating but it’s nice to have that uninterrupted time together. It’s like a mini roadtrip!

Just Jinny September 24, 2008 at 6:56 pm

We just sold my car a few months ago to become a one car family. I live within sight of my job, so I just walk home after work. So far, it’s worked ok. I’m sure we are going to run into timed when we are playing ‘musical car’, but I don’t think it will be so difficult as to cause a problem. Maybe just a tiny bit of frustration. lol.

Anyway, the flowering plant I have photos of on my blog is a bunch of Cannas in my mother-in-laws backyard. They are actually very easy to grow and very hardy plants. Once you plant them, you can’t get rid of them. Trust me my MIL has tried. lol. I did a quick google search and I found that you can grow them in containers, perfect for balconies.

anna September 26, 2008 at 7:55 am

That does sound nice. It probably is difficult at times, but to have that uninterrupted time together built into your schedule must really strengthen your relationship!

Ginger September 26, 2008 at 10:57 am

It can be a sincere pain in the butt at times, but it’s worked out pretty well on the relationship side of things…most days. (Sometimes he irritates me and I have to give him wet willies though to keep him in line).

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