11.05.2008

No Driving Day #1

The Face of Doing Nothing --->

Yeah okay, I know: I drive a Yaris and I worry obsessively about the amount I drive. That's how Ed I am. Or how cheap I am. One of the two. When you hate the debt you have, you do anything to give you a feeling of control. Not driving feels like not spending. So I stay out of the car when I can walk or stay home.

I couldn't work today, not with the life-changing experience of voting in hope last night. We're still waiting to hear if Jeff Merkley won, as well. If so, it'll be the first time ever that everyone I voted for won. He used to run my Habitat for Humanity office in Portland Metro/East in the early to mid-1990's, so I feel like I'm related or something. He's a good guy. That I know.

I spent all morning looking at the news, blogs, and anything political while texting friends and relatives worrying about Jeff Merkley's chances. At a little after 1:00 PM I realized it was 1:00 PM. I was probably now annoying my friends and relatives who were probably busy doing more important things and didn't need my interruptions.

Showering seemed too hard, and why? Where was I going? Why waste perfectly good hot water? I decided to bake instead.

Somehow staying home baking whole grain bread and oatmeal cookies seemed frugal and useful. I made extra and put them in the freezer. Then I cooked up some leftover salmon and basmati rice for dinner and made a salad.

The kitchen started to get boring so I went back to texting and looking at blogs. Merkley was still behind but only a little. Since we are now out of almost every food item, it seemed smart to go to the co-op down the street and at least get some soy milk. If we have soy milk, Charlie doesn't seem to notice that we have nothing else in the refrigerator. He is SO easy.

Yeah, it could have been a zero dollar day without this random purchase, but I can stretch out the time between shopping if I go pick up this one thing. It seemed like time to get out of the little condo anyway.

At the Food Front the cashier was so excited. You'd have thought she just heard Obama was elected. "How's your day?" she asked.

"Amazing," I said.

"How was your day yesterday?" she asked, still not sure she could freely talk about the life-changing election.

"Even better," I said. "Can you believe it?"

No she couldn't. She told me about her family's voting experiences, her friends, and even her parents. I felt like we as a country did some miraculous thing, like win the war in Iraq. It was nice to get out of the kitchen and out of my cell phone to share it.

And even though I spent money today, it wasn't so bad. I only bought soy milk (three on sale cheaper than anywhere else -- even Winco) and I walked to get it. I looked at the bulk chocolate items but didn't get anything. It wasn't a zero dollar day, but it was less than ten dollar day. That plus baking minus driving seems pretty virtuous to me.