Ride Pride

The reality of the situation is that I have NOT had a car in the city more than I have had one. In 18 years of living in Chicago, my knowledge of public transportation has grown along with my knowledge of the city streets; tips, tricks, and shortcuts; and the grid. I do pretty well for myself when it comes to getting around.

That is not to say at times, that the buses and el can't be notoriously unreliable; the time it takes to traverse the city via CTA can almost be double than using a car or bike; and both of those factors can mean being exposed to the extreme elements of the Chicago seasons can be very uncomfortable.

It is for those reasons -- ones I am never so far removed from -- that I never have had a problem giving people rides when I have a vehicle. This goes extra when it's late at night or when there's weather or when we're somewhere kind of remote in terms of where someone lives. Oh, did I mention that cabs are pretty expensive and I'm super anti-car sharing companies (if you must, take a Lyft, not an Uber)?

I offer freely, and because I love to drive anyway, it almost always is no skin off my nose. Really. It truly is my pleasure. Even going out of my way means I get some time to drive and listen to music and do an activity I almost always enjoy. I know many people do not feel as enthusiastically, but given that a lot of people in my circle of friends should not or even have not had their licenses in the past, I often think it's the least they can do to sort of karmically give back to the universe.

Now that's MY judgment on the situation to be sure, and not everyone is beholden to that take on life. I realize that. But there are a couple of things that have conspired lately to put me in a spot to feel left out and out of sorts. They are mostly within my control, yet I feel handcuffed by them.

The first is when I'm with a group of people and there's a bunch of awkward shuffling about when it comes to going to a different location to hang out -- moving from a meeting to a restaurant, a party, etc. -- and the friends I was hanging out with get themselves rides with our other friends and seem to have no care what happens to me. All of a sudden it goes from #squad to every man for himself. I don't understand this. Not to "back in the day" it, but YEAH -- I will "back in the day" it:

In my world, if you started the night hanging out with people, you stuck together. You didn't just scatter when it came time to get a ride places. You made sure that you traveled with the people you came with, or at least that they all had a ride. I feel like that has become a lost art, and there have been a few times I have been left wondering where the people I came with went. This is just my personal set of thoughts, and I know I can't expect everyone to do like I do.

The other thing -- and this is entirely my fault -- is that I am way too prideful to ask for a ride. I am always terrified of hearing "no," so I would rather just deal with the rigors and randoms of public transportation than to have to hear that there's no room or that I'm too out of the way. I want someone to *offer* a ride, not have to wheedle or cajole.

I realize that this is entirely my problem. The answer is always "no" if I never ask. But, it's just a product of the old story that no one likes me; that I'm always left out; that I'm always last to be picked for the team. My pride tells me it's better to go it alone than to ask for help and not get it.

It's too bad, because these situations have caused me a lot of pain in recent days. I'm sure it doesn't help that I've been terribly depressed -- on top of every situation, there is a filter, a sheen of sadness and insecurity. So, everything is a little more hopeless, a little more terrible.

I'm definitely coming out the other side, but I still have terrible ride pride. #groan

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