Most Angelenos will tell you that while, yes, they hate the horrendous traffic, they do love driving. Now I know I’m still relatively new here, but let me be absolutely clear — I despise driving. Abhor it. With way more venom than I will ever hate the traffic.
Driving sucks. There is this myth, especially when you live in New York, that driving will take all your troubles away. That you won’t have to pay for cabs, or rub inappropriate parts with randoms. In fact, right before I left New York I saw some hipster chick on the L train wearing feather earrings and I thanked the lord I would no longer have to look at anyone remotely like her on a daily basis unless I wanted to (which, for the record, I don’t). Big mistake.
Because as if driving itself didn’t blow hard enough, owning a car is maybe ten times worse. I bought my first car, thank you very much. It’s a hybrid. We call it the “datsmobile.” Guess what? It’s been banged up by valet attendants. They did not own up it to it. It’s been banged up because I have this ridiculously small parking space and the girls next door always park halfway over the line and parking is rough. Don’t judge. You try it.
And then there is the matter of putting air in the tires, and car washes every time it rains so that the frickin’ brand new paint doesn’t get stained, and the premium gas because apparently Honda wants to suck the life out of any hybrid fantasies I may have had left, and I guess maybe some day I’ll want some kind of trade-in value? Whatever that means? Seriously considering buying an old, beat-up piece of crap the next time I go car shopping. Not worth it.
But before you tell me to shut up and quit whining — because yes, I realize I’m on an unpleasant roll right now — here is the worst thing about driving: you have to pay attention. Not pay attention as in brainstorm sitcom plots or talk on the speakerphone while you sit in traffic, pay attention as in have some strong coffee and look around you at all times. Because the other drivers in LA? They’re even crazier than you.
For all the icky, awful things about the subway (I grant you those, Ellyn), the one thing that I miss most about public transit is that — my travel time? It was MY time. I didn’t have to think. I didn’t have to worry about my hand-eye coordination. All I had to do was make sure I got off at the right stop. And if I didn’t? No one died. I just got back on the other side.
Oh, and do not get me started on public transit in this town. A bus almost mauled me this evening, and I hear the subway is so sketch I’d actually have to pay more attention riding that gross thing than driving.