I had a realization yesterday while stuck in gridlock in my Enterprise rental: I hate being in cars now. I earned my living for over fifteen years behind the wheel between driving cab and various delivery vehicles, but in the last few years I only drive when having to shlep artwork or furniture. Once or twice a month at the most. I miss nothing about driving every day but yesterday it hit me that I don't enjoy anything about being in a private vehicle.
Driving has always been associated for me with work. I learned to drive at 22 and was a cabbie at 23. There was never any romance or joy or illusion of freedom connected to being in a car. Being a passenger in a cab or rideshare now is trying for a variety of reasons. Most have to do with the drivers' ineptitude. As a former driver I can't help noticing all they're doing wrong, but that doesn't make me want to push them out of the way to let me drive; it makes me wish there was some other efficient public way to get around if you have things to transport. I will do everything possible to haul my crap on buses or trains whenever possible. It feels like a much more civilized and ethical way to get around than any form of private car.
Maybe it's age or general crankiness, but yesterday behind the wheel was just excruciating. Was it always so and I'd just developed an immunity which has since worn off? Or has driving city streets gotten to be an all-around more miserable experience in the last few years? You tell me, but I'd be happy never to have to do it again.