Though he was weaned from his mother's chauffeur services on his 10-speed, and actually spent some time in the early '90s as a bike messenger, my husband is a bit of a car addict.
One of the reasons I was eager to forgo our car three years ago when we started the "low car diet" (which quickly became a total car-free life) was his nasty habit of driving to the grocery store... three blocks away. And don't get me started on his eagerness to give people rides clear across the city.
But when we found out he'd be going to Iraq this summer; changing our financial situation from just north of "desperate" to a few ticks shy of "flush," he began to sneak this phrase into conversation: "I've been thinking when I come back, we could use some of my money to get a hybrid..." Or this one: "If I get that job as a cop I could drive to work in a hybrid..."
"No!" I'd say, firmly. "No cars!" I love the money we save, $200-300 per month just in gas, insurance and tags; I love that we have to think carefully about all our bike trips, keeping us closer to home; I love my conscience, clean as the air around me as I bike.
So Thursday morning, when some nice people from Ford's social media test drive program delivered us the sparkliest Escape Hybrid you've ever seen, I immediately gathered the two boys nearby and drove off -- before he could arrive home and suddenly remember his uncle (0.75 miles away) needed his groceries carried upstairs; or his friend (0.23 miles away) hadn't chatted in a while; or that we desperately needed to take the cans back to Safeway for recycling (0.4 miles away).
But before we hit the road to pick up film (3.7 miles away: this is how you do it, honey!) and take my four-year-old to preschool, I took a gander at the rundown on our car... $33,725 including "destination and delivery" for the model in our driveway. But "THIS VEHICLE NOT FOR SALE," said the page. At least there's that...