Every time I mention that I don't drive, people react as if I told them I have three heads. Especially here in the Midwest, the idea of someone living car-free shocks people profoundly. "How can you live like this?" they ask. "It must be SO hard for you." Then they start treating me like I'm an invalid beyond the hope of recovery.
So I thought that since everybody today belongs to one community or another, maybe I should start one of my own. I would call it the no-driving community. We would promote the idea that not driving is actually great.
Contrary to popular belief, living car-free solves a lot more problems than it creates. I don't care about the gas prices. I don't have to think about whether there will be a parking spot anywhere I need to go. I don't even have to know whether the street I live is one-way or two-way. I have never visited the DMV, that scary place people love to hate. I don't have to change my licence and my plates when I move. I don't have to pay for insurance or deal with the car mechanic. I don't have to pay extra for the garage. In general, living without a car saves so much time, energy, money and nerves that I have no idea why any one would ever want to have it.
It is also great for the environment. Every time I walk home from the convenience store and see my neighbors crossing the same distance in a car, I feel incredibly self-righteous and environmentally conscious.
When I moved to Southern Illinois, everybody kept repeating that I would never survive here witout a car so often that my driving-free identity had trouble surviving. And then I discovered that there is a bus that takes me from my doorstep to my office on campus and there is a very efficient cab service. And in any case, one can always revive this long-lost survival skill which is called walking.