1. You’re dependent on your friends for rides
I have a confession to make: I’m a virgin who can’t drive. (JK about being a virgin.) I really don’t have my license though. I’ve never even tried driving a car because I’m too worried that I would kill myself and my passengers in two seconds. My fear is actually so intense that I’ve basically chosen to live in cities based on how easy it is to get around without a car. When I lived in San Francisco, for example, I could take Muni, BART, or buses, and in New York, I obviously can get around just fine. The only time not having a license poses a problem for me is when I’m visiting my family in Los Angeles. And then it really sucks. Then I really wish I could get over my driving phobia and just do the damn thing because 90% of America is driving-friendly and it’s a bummer to have to hide in the other 10% for the rest of my life. One of the worst things about living sans license is how much your friends resent you for not knowing how to drive. Even the best friends, the ones who are cool with driving an hour out of their way to pick you up and hang out, get secretly annoyed. I don’t blame them either! Driving seems like a headache! You have to always be on and checking to make sure you’re not one lane change away from encountering a fiery death. If I were them, I’d be totally annoyed to have to pick me up and drive me around places like a personal chauffeur. I throw gas money at them and offer to buy them lunch to alleviate some guilt but the fact remains that it sucks to rely on people for rides, especially when you fancy yourself to be very independent. It’s humbling to go from being a 25 year old who gets around on his own to visiting my family and asking my mom if she can take me to the coffee shop.
2. You can get trapped
Not having a license certainly restricts your freedom. When I’m in LA, my day always has to be perfectly mapped out, going from one available ride to the next. I’m at the mercy of others all day long and it often leads me to being stranded somewhere and having to wait for someone to come pick me up. I spend 70% of my time in L.A. just waiting. Waiting at coffee shops, at bus stops, at street corners. It’s so frustrating! If I had a license, I could have my own schedule and not have to plan around anyone else’s. I would be free to do what I want, when I want. I would be…happy?
3. You can’t go on long, pensive drives by yourself
It seems like one of the major advantages to having a car is being able to disappear and just drive to anywhere you want. Clear your head, delete some stress, and essentially have your life become a trendy car commercial for a second. One of my main life goals is to reenact some of my favorite car commercials. Ride with my friends in the warm night as a Nick Drake songs purrs over our meaningful stares. Or having Telepopmusik’s “Just Breathe” blare on the speakers as I sit in the driver’s seat and think very deep thoughts. Oh, that would be just so fun! If you have a license and haven’t done these types of things, you’re not getting it right. Go do them now!
4. You don’t get to buy a car
People form very strong bonds with their cars. They humanize them by giving it a name, preferably a female one, and even go so far as to give it a long, lingering hug in public so everyone can know about their love. The car becomes a very real extension of their personality, something that they use as a solid identifier, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want that too! I want to buy a car just so I can give it a clever name and take it on long walks at the beach. I want to spend lots of money on maintaining its beauty and provide it with plenty of TLC. I’m not ready to have kids or even a dog but I would definitely be ready to take care of a car.
5. You can’t control the music
If you aren’t the one driving, you can’t control the music. Drivers make it perfectly clear that when it comes to managing the tunes, they’re the ones in charge. Because God forbid you mess with their perfect driving playlist or change the radio station when they’re favorite song is on. There’ll be blood on the upholstery! If I had a license, I would basically convert the drivers seat into a DJ booth and pretend I’m Samantha Ronson making scratching noises on my iPod. It’ll be payback to all of those mean drivers who wouldn’t let me play that Hilary Duff song just one more time!