Suffering through the Holiday Season

A rider left her beloved family just before the holidays to treat her addiction

2 days before December 25, 2016 I drove a delighted dad to a BMW dealership in the northern suburbs.  We stopped at his bank first where he either acquired a substantial cashier’s check or other currency for a down payment on his new vehicle.  We enjoyed a fantastic conversation about his 2-year old son and his 6-year old daughter. He had determined that baby boys and baby girls are very different and described his son as a “wild animal”.


Further he indicated that his wife had a birth control injection which should have prevented her from having anymore children, after her daughter…

Before leaving the dealership, I turned on both rideshare apps, hoping that a request would hit in the next 15 minutes.  Being so far north, miles from civilized society where there exists 10,000 people per square mile, rideshare is less popular and riders (also adventures) are often scarce.  Before I was out of the dealership parking lot I accepted a request.  The way to the pickup location was 7 minutes, which left plenty of time for a cancellation.

Suburbia is so strange and nuanced .  The drivers in Winnetka are apparently lazy or angry about scratched bumpers, as there were twin parking spaces buttressed by X’d out “no parking” spaces.  In other words a curb that could easily house 20 parked vehicles could now legally park about 12 vehicles due to the “no parking” restrictions.  All the parking spots near my pickup location were taken.  Simply put, my determination was to misunderstand the suburb’s intent, and then I double-parked with my hazards flashing.

The people who honked at me ought to rethink the artificial scarcity of parking spots in their suburb.


While illegally parked I reviewed the profile picture of my rider hugging her daughter closely. It was clearly a loving embrace.  Further, and to my complete elation, my rider was headed back to the heart of Chicago! It was a perfect match, as I wouldn’t need to endure more misplaced suburban parking angst.

After 3 minutes of waiting my rider arrived to my vehicle with a large suitcase and wearing a Chicago Police stocking hat.

After she got in I thanked her for taking me back to Chicago, and we were on our way. I knew the area where she was heading and inquired if she was going to the Green Line stop. She responded that it was nearby.


“Are you a police officer?” I asked- she responded that it was only a “warm hat”; even before that comment it seemed she was not interested in talking and didn’t force anything. Despite the lack of dialogue in the vehicle, I pointed out a few interesting things including a 5′ tall snowman in Humboldt Park that hadn’t yet melted, but nothing seemed to elicit a smirk.

43 minutes after the trip started I was dropping her off at The Women’s Treatment Center.

At that point it hit me that she left her family just ahead of the holidays to seek addiction treatment.  I thought about her daughter in her profile picture and how she hugged her, and how impossibly difficult it must have been for her to leave her family to seek addiction treatment during that time of year. She is a strong woman and I hope her treatment is successful.

Author: Stick Shift Lyft

Blogging about ridesharing and ride hailing adventures

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