Material objects do not bring happiness.
That said…wouldn’t life be grand if we had a washing machine, a dishwasher, an elevator, and a car. People in suburbs or small towns, or even most other cities, have these things and think nothing of it. Many Brooklynites live without these comforts: I didn’t miss them until I had twin babies.
To drive to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving we rented a car, and since it was a weekly rental and we weren’t there for a full week we got it for a couple extra days in the city. To take advantage, last night I drove to the grocery store.
Here is shopping with the car:
Step 1: Get in car, drive to co-op in five minutes, park two blocks away.
Step 2: Shop to hearts content, buying massive amounts of heavy groceries, get co-op walker to help get groceries back to car.
Step 3: Drive home in five minutes, unload groceries from in front, park the car two blocks away.
And here is how it works usually, without a car:
Step 1: Walk two short blocks and two very long blocks downhill to the subway, whatever the weather.
Step 2: Wait twenty minutes for the R train. Ride local to Union Street.
Step 3: Exit subway and walk two and a half very long blocks uphill to the co-op.
Step 4: Either A) Buy massive amounts of groceries then call a car service, wait ten minutes and pay twelve dollars. Or B) Buy as many groceries as you can carry. Lug them in multiple bags down two very long blocks. Just miss the train, wait fifteen minutes. (Ice cream is melting.)
Step 5: Ride the R train back to Sunset Park. Walk two very long blocks up the steepest hill in Brooklyn carrying extremely heavy bags of groceries.
In option A, complete errand in an hour and a half, get home and feed babies and put them to bed. In option B, complete errand in three hours plus, miss at least one feeding with the babies.
I don’t love cars, and am very pro public transportation, but this set up is not conducive to sanity. I need efficiency.