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December 10, 2013

Rose Simpson: Princess Rose takes the bus

Rose Simpson's column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina.

December Snow Storm
December Snow Storm. Photo by Zhu, from the OttawaStart Flickr Group.

We donated our old Subaru to charity yesterday. Whatever it brings will go to the Ottawa Humane Society, our cause of choice. I was thinking of putting Gordie in it to save the euthanasia fee, but he seems a bit better so we'll keep him.

I arranged for my elderly friend Doris to drive us around yesterday to get some groceries and hooch and to buy Scott his very own Presto! pass. He works just up the street, too far to walk, but he only has to toddle a block up and catch the bus which will take him right to the door of the brand new Subaru store where he works. Ironic, isn't it? A car salesman with no car? It reminds me of Carol, a now-since-passed drinking buddy who was a manager in a local BMO. She gave people mortgages and loans all the time but couldn't get them herself because ex-husband had gambled away all their savings and ruined her credit.

That's not really our problem. We don't have a lot of debt but we've been working poor for six years now. That's when I had a little breakdown after a decade of being a single mom. For years, I had panic attacks and could barely leave the house. For his part, Scott had a business that turned into a part-time hobby, so he had to take a car job.

Two years ago, the tsunami hit Japan leaving Subarus without cars to sell, so Scott tried a couple of different car jobs selling Kias and Mazdas. Most of the car trade is an oily business, so he himself had a little breakdown and sat on his ass for four months playing video games. Luckily, at the same time, I landed a freelance contract working as an editor for the French, who subsequently fired me.

That's when Scott decided to go back to Subaru.

For the past three months, we've been clawing our way back to a normal life. Nick has finally landed a job so he's no longer a drain on the finances.

We've decided to cut back on everything. The gym is going. The premium cable is off the television. We're even talking about avoiding the liquor store. What the what?

And now we're becoming bus people.

We don't have money for car payments and we don't have a couple thousand laying around to buy a junker. I'm not working and seriously have resisted the urge to take employment in the neighborhood crack and prostitution trades.

We're being realistic, and responsible.

Besides, we live two blocks from Elmvale mall which has all the stores we'll ever need. It's also a transit station which will take us everywhere. And we'll be doing our part for the environment.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

My son Nick -- a lifelong bus rider -- once told me the reason he'd never get a car.

"Cars are always breaking down, mum. If a bus breaks down, there'll be another one along in ten minutes."

Blinding glimpse of the obvious.

-- Rose Simpson


See also: Ottawa OC Transpo Guide
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