Wednesday, June 4, 2008


(sob....) this post is tearing my heart out!

Okay, now you know how twisted I am, that is not a post about suffering and trauma at home or around the world... just about biking to work.

The thing is... I HATE MY !@#$*! SUB-PRIME MONEY SUCKING BRAND SPANKING NEW COOKIE CUTTER ISOLATED SUBURBAN TRACT HOME!!!! (sorry for the cheesy explico-symbol gibberish... I still can't quite bring myself to swear in front of everyone)

That is so selfish... I know. Millions of homeless around the world, and I'm complaining about the luxury that is laid at my feet.

But it's the truth.

What I really long for is some tiny apt in town closer to... well, everything that I currently spend hours and hours each week driving to. I REALLY REALLY want to put my Little Buddy in our bike wagon and go to the grocery store or the library or the book store or the pool... but to do so I'd have to ride at least 8 miles away on roads
with no bike lane whatsoever where traffic whizzes by at up to 50 mph.

I love my bike. And I love using it to go grocery shopping etc... The first couple months of our marriage we didn't have a car, biking and busing is how we got to work and did shopping, went on dates, etc... and I loved it. That worked so much easier in tiny Provo as opposed to sprawling Tucson, but even Tucson would be fine if we didn't live out in what used to be just desert, and is now just desert with an island of suburbia profanely plunked in the middle.

But my pathetic whining isn't going to change anything. We are here, we signed on the dotted line. And we can't move, the house dropped in value the instant we bought it. So we are here... gotta make the most of it. There is plenty I can do, I'm going to drive less, consolidate errands (NO!! That does not mean I'll wander over to the super Walmart they put up 10 miles down the road. I will just map out my stops better), drag out the time between errand running, plant another tree... something!

I shouldn't post this, it is too embarrassing, our stupidity, and my pampered whining about it. I just read Chandelle's brilliant post on health care and being unable to go to the doctor because they can't afford it even though they think their son's leg might be broken, and I sit here in my three bedroom home (with a mortgage that we are currently able to pay) with two (now heavily necessary) cars out front, and somehow feel justified at complaining that I have to drive my car. Poor me!

I shouldn't post this... but I'm going to. Maybe I'll delete it later. Maybe tomorrow (today) after I am finally able to shake the insomnia and get to sleep I'll re-read this and delete delete delete...


woundedhart said...

I can so understand what you are saying. The thing you have to remember is that you are learning things bit by bit, and maybe when you signed on the dotted line, and then had to buy the two cars, you were a little more naive (I'm only saying that because I sure was, even though it was only 6 months ago). You know more now, and have to adapt. Besides, it's one thing to live the life of privilege (not worrying about the mortgage or splurging on an x-ray and cast for a broken leg) and not care, and it's another to understand that what you have is not what everybody has, to be thankful, and to still try to share the wealth and do what you can to save the earth. And to hope that developers will stop building gas traps and start thinking about communities. I feel your pain.

G said...

thanks wounded heart.
yep, we were so naive, and feeling the pressure to buy (as the market escalated).

be bought almost two years ago, and I went into a depression that first year and would have this urge to break all the windows and mark the walls with permanent marker or spay paint. pretty weird stuff. (never did it, of course... but I had the thought quite a few times.)

but that was then, I'm fine now, and I don't really HATE my house, that was sort of an exaggeration in the heat of the moment.

It's just a place where we live for the moment, it happens to be highly inconvenient and environmentally unhelpful. But next time (whenever that happens) we will be wiser and much more concerned with the social and environmental aspects of where we live.

btw, congrats on your house!

(chandelle) said...

we ARE remarkably privileged, and it's good that we know that. i have a similar guilt about my growing deep discomfort with this house we rented...we now occupy less than a third of the house and the rest goes unused, and it makes me feel terrible. and i totally get you on urges toward destruction. we're lucky that we don't own anything, but we still feel trapped for the next year...and then what? who knows.

it must be hard to live in such a sprawled-out area. since living in SLC i really appreciate the value of a city or town that can be traversed without a car. i used to think i wanted to live very rurally but now it's a higher priority that we can live without a car.

we all make compromises.

C. L. Hanson said...

I'm glad you decided not to delete this post. :D

I agree with WoundedHart. Even wanting to make an effort is a step in the right direction. The reality is that the way things are set up in the U.S., it's very, very hard to cut down on car use. I wouldn't switch to riding a bike if it meant endangering my kids' lives on routes that aren't safe. But the more people who strive to make it a priority to cut down on car use, the more opportunities can be created in the public square (safe bike routes, public transportation, etc.).

Lessie said...

c.l.hanson, you hit on one of my biggest drawbacks on biking to work. We have to cross some big streets (regardless of which routes we take, we still have to cross these two particular streets)on the way to their day care right now, and I really don't feel safe doing that with my kids in a bike trailer. I'm still trying to figure out how to make this work.

bigbrownhouse said...

Your post sparked lovely flashbacks of biking around Provo as a BYU student 20something years ago when it was a small quiet town. There was this old beat-up cruiser that was passed around among friends...riding it out to the lake in the middle of summer...riding down the middle of University Avenue in the dead of night. Ahhhh....memories.

I love the walkability of my current neighborhood near downtown SLC, but it's not as bike-friendly as I'd like because of hills, confusing one-way streets and lots of distracted drivers.

(I'm still sad that you decided against traveling to Utah this summer, by the way.)

"Nana" said...

To anyone is trying to get a medical procedure done and might not have the money or insurance to cover what they say the cost is, you can negotiate your fee with your doctor. It's true, if your do some research on how much medicare would give the doctor at (the Center for Medical and Medicaid Services' Web site). Generally speaking the doctor will take that price since that is what they would get from most insurance companies anyway.
Be up front with the doc and tell them that you either do not have incurrence or it doesn't cover it and that this is the amount you can afford and then ask if they will work with you. If they don't, another one will.
I just can't bear to hear about anyone not getting the medical attention that they need, especially kids...if you have any questions about ways to haggle anything go to www.themoney or send your questions to
I know this is totally off the subject, but that's what blogging is all about, right? Love you G!

galen said...

thks cl hanson...
we went camping this weekend, right after I posted it, and the whole time I was thinking "dang! I didn't delete that post!"

well... I'm glad I didn't delete it too.

thanks for your thoughts, all.

angryyoungwoman said...

Hey, G, I hope you're doing ok. I'm sorry these things are frustrating for you. I think you're great, though. :)

djinn said...

Sell it! So, it's dropped in value; with the price of gas, the overwhelming likelihood is that the outlying areas are only going to be losing value from here on out. It's called a sunk cost. Sell. It. Now. Move closer to the city. If you have to take a loss, get the bank to take it, not you. It's called a short sell.

Life is short, goodness knows I've made all these mistakes too.

E said...

Give it up and go to the Walmart. It's sort of like a small town inside, and you'll use less gas.

Anonymous said...

After reading your post, I was wondering if one could look at the situation this way: If you were to move to where it is more environmentally friendly for you, what is the likelyhood that someone who isn't as environmentally savvy moves into your house? Maybe you are doing your part by living carefully, although it isn't ideal for you.

Reuben said...

It's probably hard to hear, and I'm sorry if it sounds like I lack compassion, but djinn is right.... it sounds like you just need to get out, regardless of the cost. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to take a loss on something as large as a house, but it sounds like it's making you miserable. ..ok.. maybe not *miserable*, but clearly you desire something different - and you should have it.