Category Archives: 365 Deeds
Like my new car? I do. It’s two years older than I am an in practically new condition. It drives fantastic, and it’s clean. The thing about it is, it only seats two. How much more obviously childfree can I be?
How Selfishly Childfree And Immorally Atheist People Car Shop
I got a new car last week. I wasn’t exactly planning on buying a car that day, but I did. I was actually just browsing lots with my boyfriend, trying to figure out how we could help some friends of ours out who had found themselves in a sticky situation. Our friends are a family of three (the child is my “god(less)son,”) who, unfortunately, were having a bit of trouble. They had only one car, a two-seater, which didn’t fit their seating needs. Recently, this car was damaged beyond drivability in an accident, which wasn’t my friend’s fault. They had no budget to fix the car or buy a new one. And not having a car is a big deal for anyone.
So, my boyfriend and I browsed lots. Eventually, we stumbled upon a bright red 1986 Nissan 300ZX in excellent condition with only 78K miles. It had apparently been in a garage and under a tarp since the year that I was born. The body was in near perfect shape, the interior was luxurious, and it was beautiful under the bonnet too. We took it for a test drive immediately and it was just a dream. The asking price was out of the range of my friends, but very affordable for myself. It was a little hard to find financing for a car so old, as it was difficult for companies to ascertain its value, but I eventually got it and drove the car home that very night. Score.
As for my friends, well, I no longer needed my 2005 Chevy Aveo. It wasn’t a great car by any means, and wouldn’t be even if it was in perfect condition, which it was not, I admit. But it ran fine and safe and easily seated five and had deceptively ample boot space for groceries. My friends joked about donning robes and starting a cult around me after I agreed to gift the Aveo to them for free.
I think we always have a soft spot for our first car. I’ll remember my Aveo fondly. It has served me well, allowing me the freedom to leave post, have fun, go shopping, move, and get to work. And, despite some unfortunate neglect, it has never let me down. And now that humble Aveo has moved on to aid someone else. So a car that a friend of mine once sold me to help me out when I was a young, lonely soldier in need of transportation but unable to get financing (due to having no credit history at the time,) is now faithfully serving someone else in need.
Goodbye, my “Brave Little Toaster.”
It’s times like this I wish I was still doing my 365 Good Deeds Challenge series. (I only quit that because some days I stayed home and didn’t really go anywhere or do anything.) This deed has to be worth at least a few, I figure. What was that about atheists having no reason to be good without god and childfree people being selfish? Fuck you, stereotypes.
ANYWAY, I’m not writing talk myself up. Truth be told, I’ve been meaning to replace my Aveo with something better for some time now anyway, but couldn’t justify spending the money when my Aveo still ran just fine. This was just a nice excuse for me. And I did find something better. Much better, in fact. And I’m glad that I did.
1986 Nissan 300ZX. My boyfriend and I are both fans of BBC’s Top Gear, so my boyfriend jokingly calls my new car “the pornographer’s car.” As long as he doesn’t throw my T-tops into a ravine, we’re good. We’ve also joked that it was a time-traveling car, as it is in new condition over two decades after its creation.
My “new” car is actually older than I am (the “88” in my user name isn’t some Nazi reference, as a few dumb trolls have suggested. It’s the year of my birth.) However, it’s in just marvelous condition, inside and out. I do believe the dealer (something I’m reluctant to ever do) when he said that the previous owner had been storing the vehicle safely in a garage for years before finally trading it in for a Corvette. The only thing I can think to do with the 300ZX is replace the muffler, which isn’t actually a problem as it is.
My boyfriend and I were already admiring the 300ZX when the dealer came out to greet us. He didn’t even try to direct us towards “family cars,” despite us being obviously a couple. Not once did the dealer even mention children. There must be something about us that just screams “childfree.” Or, more probably, the dealer simply didn’t want to talk us out of a car we were already interested in.
Whereas a car that only seats two is a problem for a couple with a child, as was the case with the friends that I mentioned earlier, it’s just perfect for a childfree family. My boyfriend and I didn’t really need 14 seats between three vehicles for just us and a dog, which is what we had before. Losing three seats isn’t a problem for us.
The 300ZX is nice! I got the non-turbo model, but it’s still quite fast. Judging by the condition, I doubt many horses have escaped over the years. I love the nearly flawless red paint on a sexy body, and the locking T-tops on the roof are very nice. The interior is lovely, with cloth seats with lumbar support on the driver’s side, and a leather dashboard with an orange-lit instrument panel. I feel like I’m driving a James Bond car. Or maybe it’s Night-Rider, as the voice of “Bitching Betty” helpfully informs me when I leave my lights on, like an idiot. Unlike my old Aveo, my 300ZX has an alarm, central locking, power windows, cruise control, and speakers that are actually work very well. Happily, it costs even less to insure than my Aveo did, even with full coverage.
The only downsides for me are going to be getting used to driving a manual, and getting used to having a long bonnet. I might also need a pedal extender for the clutch as I’m a bit short. These are very minor things, which I will get over. All in all, it’s a fantastic car, and a definite step up from my previous car. This is the best car that I’ve ever driven. I’m very excited to have it. My boyfriend, who drives an 05 Pontiac GTO, tells me he’s slightly jealous. I’m a bit proud of that.
That’s the nice thing about being childfree. I can just go out and buy a car, and pay it off quickly. Being childfree doesn’t mean that I’m rich, I’m certainly not. But I don’t have the financial burden of children. More than that, I can buy whatever car that I want and can afford, with little concern for seating or storage space, which is something I would have to think about had I a larger family. Additionally, I can do this without much worry that the interior will be ruined in the same manner that my young self mindlessly ruined my parents’ cars, which I regret very much in hindsight. I can have nice things. I can have fun things.
I’m not bragging. If it sounds that way, I can’t really help it as there’s not really any other way to tell this story. It’s just that buying the car has made me think about being childfree a little more. See, some people who don’t understand what being childfree is all about, and see it as merely the absence of children, don’t get what there is to talk about when it comes to the topic. “What does it matter? Who cares?” (Although, a significant number of people DO appear to care, hence the bingos and unkind stereotypes.)
This car situation between my friends and myself is an excellent example of why it matters. Childfree means more than simply not having children around, it means having a completely different lifestyle, and different options, because there are no children to consider. Being childfree has allowed me to purchase a car that I just love, which I probably would have never even been able to consider were I a mother, for a number of reasons. And being childfree helped put me in a position of being able to lend help to others in this particular situation. At my current income, if I had a child, I couldn’t have afforded to buy the car that I did. I certainly couldn’t have afforded to just give my old one away for free. Similarly, being parents made my old Aveo far more valuable to my friends than it ever was for me, even with its faults.
I would never say that I am better than anyone else for being childfree. I’m not. But being childfree is certainly better for me, personally, which is something that I’ve always known. I will remember this story the next time someone accuses me of being “selfish” or “immoral” for being childfree and an atheist, respectively. And when someone tells me I don’t know what I’m missing for not having children, I’ll laugh as I drive away in my shiny, red sports car.
Live the life you want to live and be happy. If you’re able to, help the people you can help, not because you think a god is watching and not because you expect reciprocation later, but because it’s the right thing to do. Fuck stereotypes. I know I’m not selfish or immoral, and I don’t need this, or any other story, to prove it. Haters gonna hate.
Now all I have to do is learn how to drive a manual…
On the 23rd, I passed the two-week mark for daily good deeds. At the time of writing, I’ve completed 16 daily good deeds.
Recycling – Most of my deeds were simple. On Aug 18th, I brought soda cans to the local recycling center. I got $1 in return. I spent some time chatting with the gentlemen there petting their dogs. On the 20th, my BF and I had a chat and decided we’d recycle our cans at our new home (the cans I had before I’d collected while living in a barracks room by myself.) On Aug 22nd, I used two large paper grocery bags to make a bin for collecting cans (yay, recycling to recycle!)
Transportation – On the 22nd, I gave a solider in my platoon who had run out of gas rides to and from work and to an appointment at the hospital. The next day, the 23rd, I happened to pass a female soldier from another brigade walking along the road. I picked her up and gave her a ride.
Activism – On Aug 17th, I did something I really shouldn’t have had to do. I defended a woman’s maternal care rights to a group that claims to be about just that. I suppose the people there were so busy fighting for the right to have vaginal births and not have non-medically indicated cesarean sections forced upon them that they forgot that there’s nothing wrong with someone choosing to have a cesarean, if they want one. It was hard to get that point across with all the people too obsessed with birthing their way that they couldn’t imagine anyone else choosing another way.
Misc. – On Aug 19th, I bought an extra can of soda from a vendor because he was short on one dollar bills. I then gave this soda to a thirsty soldier. On Aug 21st, I attempted to bake cookies to share with my boyfriend. … Didn’t quite turn out. It’s the thought that counts, right?
Today, Aug 25th, I spent most of the day helping a female soldier from my platoon who I’ve known from my old unit and deployed with. She’s was having some serious financial trouble that wasn’t her fault and couldn’t afford gas. I spent the day giving her rides and gave her $10 to buy a few gallons. I brought her to a facility that could help her work out her money problems and, as she told me, are supposed to give her a gas card tomorrow. Later, I took her to the finance office and while she was in there, I went to Green Beans coffee to buy her a “happy drink.” Apparently, she has a favorite drink that she treats herself to once a month, but she feared she would not afford it this month. It’s the little things that cheer a person up, I think.
In order to keep a good track of my progress doing good deeds, which is made difficult by somewhat sporadic posting, I’ve started a page to list the deeds I’ve done in short descriptions by number and date. I’ll still be writing occasional posts giving the full story about what I’ve done, which the page will link to.
I think I’ll take my soda cans to be recycled today.
Are you working on good deeds? It doesn’t have to be anything big, you don’t have to save the world. Most of my deeds are fairly small. But they are good deeds. I bet you do good all the time without even thinking about it.
Edit Aug 20:
This isn’t worth making a new post for, especially since this one wasn’t buried yet. I’ve decided that posts describing the deeds I’ve done will be updated weekly instead of every few days. It just makes things easier for me.
On Sunday the 14th, I had a lot of trouble finding a good deed to do. It was a Sunday, so I didn’t have much to do. About midday, because I was bored, I went to the hardware store, then the grocery store.
At the grocer, I was pleased to find a free parking spot near the entrance. To my dismay, as I got closer, I saw that it was occupied by the shopping cart of some inconsiderate douchebag. Irritated as I was, I had to laugh. Just the day before, my BF and I had a good rant about this very thing.
Having a small car, I was just narrowly able to park. I took the offending cart as my own to shop with. When I returned and unloaded my bags, I noticed that the parking lot was full of the abandoned carts of more lazy shoppers. Sometimes I can’t believe what total slobs people can be.
As I was taking my own cart to the corral, I started collecting others. Almost immediately, an employee took them from me. I offered to help, but she declined. We got to talking. Nice lady. It turned out she was actually off work, but was waiting on a ride. I offered her one, but she declined. After a while, her ride arrived. She gave me a hug.
That’s all nice, but I still owed a good deed but couldn’t think of anything to do. I went back to my old barracks room to retrieve another load of my stuff to move to my home.
In the barracks parking lot, I happened to pull up next to a female soldier that I know. She laughed at me when she saw me exit my car from the passenger side, due to damage to the driver’s side. I saw that she had a lot of groceries, and I was going inside anyway, so I helped her carry them to her room.
On Monday, I had to go back to work. Along the way, I saw a man walking along a dangerous section of road in the heat of the morning. Normally, I don’t pick up people off post, especially men, but I pulled over anyway.
He explained that his motorcycle had broken, and he was trying to get to his home which wasn’t far out of my way. It want a big deal to drop him off on my way to work.
Later in the day, as I was unpacking more of my things, I found a container of suckers left over from the little fair my company put on.
Outside my home, there are always kids playing (and screaming.) I figured it was better to give the candy to them rather than throw it all away. I handed the candy over to a mother who was outside watching them.
So that’s two good deeds that day, but I can only count one for the day.
This morning, I was picking weeds around my old company building. My company was relocating to another building and needed to clear this one.
As another soldier and I were griping about how pointless picking weeds is given the daily rain we’ve been having, a third soldier approached. He asked to borrow my phone, since he’d lost his this morning. He took my phone over to his truck, but couldn’t hear his phone ring. Then he took my phone inside the building with him, thinking that maybe he’d laid his down somewhere.
I resumed by work, moving to another area to pull more weeds, nearly forgetting the whole thing. Near me, I noticed a full bad of weeds and made a mental note to dispose of it when I was done filling my own bag.
Suddenly, the bag started rapping. It was some hip-hop ringtone. I laughed as I dug through the vegetation and finally retrieved a dirty and leaf-covered phone. The soldier, and everyone within earshot had a good laugh when I proudly returned it it its owner.
So that’s three more good deeds for a total of seven. Yay! A full week of good deeds! Already I’m noticing that if I look for good deeds to do, I don’t find any. Opportunities just present themselves to be and I respond however I normally would, only to later think “Oh, that was a good deed.”
Later, as I was returning to work from lunch break, I noticed the pitbull puppy outside by itself again. It was a hot day so it was laying in the shade, panting. The cruel owners had left it out with absolutely no water. I returned to my home and filled a bowl. When a puppy shows WAY more interest in a bowl of water than a person, there’s something wrong. It probably emptied the bowl before I left the parking lot. Worst of all, when I returned from work hours later, the poor thing was still outside. :(
I’m finding it’s really difficult to find good deeds to do when I spend most of the day at home.
On Friday, August 12th, I drove my boyfriend to post so he could pick up his car. I’m not really sure how much that should count, but it’s about all I’ve got. Hmm… Well, I did by a diabetic cookbook for my mom, but I’m not able to give that to her until she comes down to visit me later this fall.
Yesterday, Saturday the 13th, I helped a pit bull puppy be unstuck. This pit bull puppy is always left outside, on communal property (we live in townhomes, so they’re connected) on a line. Usually, he’s out there by himself for hours on end with out even any toys or water. As I walked by, I noticed his line was stuck on a nail sticking out of a piece of wood, leaving him with only about a foot of slack to move around. I helped him, of course. Would it have still been a good deed if went and slapped the crap out of the pup’s useless owners who think it’s OK to leave a pup (which they’re not even supped to have since the rules are only dogs two and up are allowed here) in solitude like that? That’s just cruel.
Today, well, I haven’t done anything yet. To be fair, I just woke up not that long ago.
Let’s see, that’s four good deeds so far. 361 to go.