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to want to enjoy a walk in the sunshine?

(16 Posts)
onthepier Sun 01-Mar-09 16:47:20

More of a rant really, as I know I'm not being unreasonable!

Both me + my dh are non-drivers, don't have a problem with using public transport + taxis, but are also keen cyclists + walkers too!

As today is the first real spring day we've had, we thought we'd make the most of it + walk back from town, (just over a mile), instead of taking a bus/taxi as normal. We hardly had anything to carry anyway, had been out for lunch as the dc's are with their grandma, + picked up a few bits.

Anyway, half way home we heard a car tooting + it was a friend of mine, stopping + insisting we had a lift home. My dh replied firmly, "No thank you, we're enjoying the sunshine + walking off our lunch!" She shrugged + drove off looking a bit offended, even though we'd thanked her anyway.

A few roads down we came across two parents I know from school, on their way back from the park with their son. The boy's dad said, "Wait there you two", (to us). "I'll dash round the corner + get my car so I can run you home, you don't want to be walking!" We again insisted we were fine, then just 5 mins from home one of our neighbours pulled up, "I can see you've got carrier bags, you haven't walked from town have you, get in!!"

At this point we gave up + accepted the lift, with this neighbour telling us never to hesitate to ask for lifts etc!

I know people are being kind, but we're non- drivers by choice, my dh's job comes with a company car so we use the money in lieu of that to pay for any transport we need, + we've deliberately positioned ourselves in a central area! It does annoy us that people seem to think we struggle, unless people with cars can't imagine enjoying walking anywhere!

Our dc's often turn down lifts too, if they want to scooter home from school or have been promised a bus ride on a double decker! Just wondered if any other non-drivers have this problem as we sometimes feel a bit patronised.

TheButterflyEffect Sun 01-Mar-09 16:59:46

Message withdrawn

ABetaDad Sun 01-Mar-09 17:22:40

onthepier - a great post!

You are being entirely reasonable and sensible - its the rest of the world that is mad.

I never ever thought I would ever read a post on this subject from another couple who do not drive. We don't either.

We feel exactly as you do - friends who offer lifts are just being kind but as we always say " We chose not to have a car and we design our life round it" Its not hard, it just takes organisation.

We walk or bus everywhere except the odd occassion where we need a taxi.

We save a fortune on not having a car. One year when my wife had a company car allowance we tried to spend it ALL on transport. We just could not do it. It was impossible. Yes just like you, we deliberately choose to live in an area with good public transport so we do not need a car.

I just cannot understand why people decide to live miles away from everything they need (i.e shops, hospital, school, work) and sit in traffic for hours complaining about the congestion and the cost of motoring.

We do sometimes cave in to an 'offer of a lift' just as you did today when people insist. Sometimes I feel if we push it too far then people might get offended.

Let me be clear, I do NOT care in the slightest about green issues but we are the greenest family we know. Just by being sensible.

Anyone else like us and onthepier?

branflake81 Sun 01-Mar-09 17:26:12

This happens to me all the time. I can drive but choose to walk as I much prefer it. I always have people I know stopping asking if I want a lift. Tbh, most of them know by now that I will say no and so aren't at all put out!

troutpout Sun 01-Mar-09 17:37:00

yanbu
dh's parents are like this. They drive everywhere and find it weird that anyone would want to walk when there are a set of wheels on the drive.They actually get quite distressed if i don't accept a lift.
My friend walks her children quite a long way to school (by choice) and says it took years of saying 'no thankyou' before she stopped getting cars stopping every 5 mins to offer lifts.
I think they felt embarrassed to drive past tbh (possibly their child would mention seeing them too). I think if you drive everywhere too, you actually start believing that any walk is a big inconvenience.

tumtumtetum Sun 01-Mar-09 17:44:00

YANBU.

We both drive but have this quite a lot as I flatly refuse to get in a car if it's a walkable disctance. DH's family think I am mad.

The best one was once when we were walking on the pavement through a popular green area on a beautiful summers day. We were going in the direction from nothing (no shops etc just fields) towards our house. Some of DH's friends pulled over and kept insisting we get in. We were 5 mins from home and the area and direction of travel and weather would have made it clear that we were going for a walk on purpose. Still they wanted us to get in the car. I just don't get it.

ChippingIn Sun 01-Mar-09 18:00:58

YANBU to feel this way. However, do the people who are kindly offering you lifts know that you don't drive/have a car by choice? I think you should find a nice way of humourously saying 'Thanks for your kind offer, but we don't drive by choice so that we get some exercise!! If we're knackered and see you passing, we might flag you down for a lift sometime if that's ok?!'. They can then feel like they have let you know they are there anytime you want some help and can hopefully stop being so 'kind'/'annoying'.

It's tricky isn't it. If I am walking 'by choice' it's annoying, if I'm walking when I have to and would rather not be it's horrible when someone just drives past!! LOL If I offer someone a lift when they are walking I might be annoying them, but if I drive past I might be being thoughtless.... I think it's one of those things that you just can't win on either side!

onthepier Sun 01-Mar-09 18:12:27

Thanks for your responses, CHIPPINGIN, most people around here know that we choose not to drive, although when I've accepted a lift because I don't want to appear rude, some of them have pretty much lectured me for the rest of the journey!

Things like, "It must be awful for you, you're the only family I know that don't drive, how do you manage shopping/after school clubs etc?" They obviously don't understand how anybody can live without a car!

Mind you, I tend to remember the ones who "lecture" + refuse lifts with them again!

I do take your point though, I think people do feel bad about just driving past, but if I've got the children with me, specially if they're on their scooters, I don't tend to notice which cars are passing, I'm just concentrating on keeping and eye on my dc's or making sure we don't miss the bus!

I can see that the majority of people are just being kind, like yourself when you offer lifts, but I don't like the people who offer + then lecture you about your life choices!

LucyEllensmummy Sun 01-Mar-09 18:39:55

I don't drive, DP does. I do like us having a car - we went on a trip out yesterday and it was lovely - just on the spur of the moment, we couldnt have done that without the car really. Saying that, im sure we could have found something else to do - i guess its what you get used to.

I am constantly shock though during the week, the amount of mums who use their cars to do the school run when i live further away from the school than they do! That when i mention to friends going places they so, oh i can't DP has the car - and i am like, well yes, i was intending on walking!!

We don't live in the sticks but we would struggle to do our main shop without a car - i guess could use shopping online for that. Sometimes need car to ferry my mum to hospital. For short journeys using the car for us is about time as we both enjoy walking - sometimes we use the car to take us places to walk grin

ABetaDad Sun 01-Mar-09 21:22:16

LucyEllensmummy - yes do your shopping online. Its great because its a lot less stressfull. I just did a whole week of shopping in 10 minutes just before I logged on here. Our kids are in bed and I never left the house and have got a delivery free of charge on Tuesday.

Our kids do not actually know what a supermarket looks like. They really have never ever been in one.

I once met a woman who worked for our local bus operator and I told her I loved the buses and did not have a car. She looked shocked and said 'how do you live - I couldn't live without my car to go to the supermarket in?'

I jokingly admonished her as she worked for a bus company and said she should shop online. She thought for a moment and said 'I suppose you are right but I do need my car really because I really need to look at my cabbages before buying'.

I left open mouthed. shock

swanriver Sun 01-Mar-09 21:45:57

I always had that problem with people offering lifts when I was a non-driver. I hated accepting them, and always felt held to ransom, unable to reciprocate, patronised etc. However, now that I can actually drive, I feel this compulsion to offer walkers lifts! It's very strange.
But I love the fact I know how to get most places by public transport, even obscure rural destinations.
Btw, BETADAD, it is possible to shop in a supermarket without a car. Using biceps or granny trolley. And I like inspecting my cabbages. It is a perfectly healthy way to exercise the children too, in quest of food.

ChippingIn Mon 02-Mar-09 10:01:28

Onthepier - LOL re lectures, some people will lecture on anything wont they!!

I am very nosy interested in people & their lifestyle choices, so I'd be one of the people asking you why you chose not to drive/have a car, but I wouldn't be judgemental about your answer (even though I love having a car and can't imagine choosing not to grin).

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 02-Mar-09 10:15:58

I don't think you are being unreasonable - people should respect your choices - and only a lovely day like today they should get orf their a*s and walk as well!grin

I am a non drriver - though my husband drives and we own a car we don't use more than a few times a month as he commutes to work by train. Unfortunately aside from the train service public transport ain't great round here as i have 3 children under the age of 5 I do struggle a bit, but we do manage and as the children get older it should get easier.

ChippingIn Mon 02-Mar-09 10:40:29

bigmouthstrikesagain - just have to say - I love your name!!! grin

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 02-Mar-09 11:11:43

I blush chippingin - smile - like your monikker too!

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 02-Mar-09 11:11:45

I blush chippingin - smile - like your monikker too!

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