A traitor in my own kitchen?

This morning I walked into the kitchen and discovered that someone had taken over the body of my zero car husband.
This morning while grinding home-roasted coffee beans for his morning cup, my husband, in his most upbeat, listen to how fun this will be voice, asked our 6-year-old if he wanted to go shopping in Beacon after school.
“No,” said our completely uninterested kid.
“We can have dinner there, too,” his dad offered.
“What if you bring a friend?”
“No thanks.”
“What if we take a car?” my husband added to sweeten the deal.
I piped in, “If we use the car as an incentive then it makes it seem like living without a car is not a rewarding endeavor.”
“Well, it’s the only way I am going shopping in Beacon,” he said tersely.
“What?” I felt like I had been punched in the head. Luckily I was wearing an imaginary bike helmet.
My husband went on, “I don’t have time on Mondays to go shopping in Beacon without a car.”


I wanted to start a fight right there. Who was this car-using interloper and what was he doing in my kitchen?
Wasn’t this the same man who just yesterday talked me out of using a car for an all-day apartment hunting trip in NYC with our 24-year old, where we would be covering distances that spanned three boroughs?  Back then (yesterday) he spoke from atop his
car-less perch to say, “if you drive, you’ll just be paying the idiot tax.” When he said that (yesterday) I made fun of him for thinking he needed to shame me into make the right choice. Yet, I admit, I was still on the fence, as driving would have saved us at least three hours of travel time. In the end, we took Metro North, lots of subways, and I popped my Uber ride-sharing cherry with a 40-minute ride from Bensonhurst to Bushwick.


I am proud to say that I did not start a fight. I did, however, walk out of the kitchen confused and dejected. Are we just impostors?  Zero Car Mom was feeling like a fraud.
Here we were, a mere 24-hours later standing in my car-free kitchen with my DIY, brick repointing, sewer-pump fixing husband who appeared to be hatching a plan to use our “standby” car to drive to a nearby town.  The “standby” car is a red Prius donated to us by very supportive neighbors who have an extra vehicle and apparently a little guilt about their car surplus.  Oh, I am sure you are thinking, well, maybe this is a really important shopping trip.  Maybe your husband needs to get a prescription filled for a rare neurological disorder that sometimes causes people to completely flip-flop on their personal values. Luckily, the cure for this is available as an OTC homeopathic remedy at the Beacon Natural Market. Dear reader, how very compassionate of you to consider that my husband’s trip might be so critical to his health and wellness.  He clearly does need something to happen so he can remember who he really is: the patriarch of our zero car family.  I suspect, however, that my husband’s wish to travel to Beacon today was probably (and I am just hypothesizing here) to refill some pantry staples, namely our huge jar of organic popcorn and fresh peanut butter.


text memo.jpg


The good news is that my husband’s body has not been invaded and our status as a zero car family remains in good standing. Maybe all he needed was a good cup of coffee and a gentle reminder to stay focused on our commitment. (Just like I sometimes need.)  A simple text from the train, with an offer to help out, seemed to do the trick.
Now I can relax. It’s a beautiful day to ride my bike to work.

Author: zerocarmom

I am a 50-year-old mom with two kids (ages 7 and 24), a husband who works in our attic, a sneezy old cat, and a full-time job as the co-founder of a Brooklyn-based business. My family lives a mostly idyllic life in a small village in the Hudson Valley, sixty miles north of New York City.

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