Giving people rides is just an extension of hanging out

02-2011-volkswagen-jetta-review-1289374323I drive everywhere, because I like to drive and I don’t drive, so that’s not a constraint. I also think that in many cases it’s more efficient, time-wise, than public transportation. Anyway, because I drive everywhere, I also offer to drive people to and from places all the time, especially when the driving vs. walking / public transport time is particularly large. To me, there’s no sense in someone spending thirty minutes to get to a place when I can get them there in five. But people are often really apologetic when they find that I’ve gone out of my way to get them home. Like, oh no, I can’t believe that I inconvenienced you, Rahul!

And, on one level, that’s sensible. I’ve definitely given them a gift of ten or fifteen or twenty minutes. However, on another level, their apology doesn’t make any sense at all, because it usually comes after we’ve been hanging out for two or three or four hours. Like, I already reordered my whole day and gave up an evening simply in order to be with them. So what’s the big deal about spending another twenty minutes with them in a car? Really the only time I have reservations is when taking them home means I’ll spend a lot of time in traffic on the way back, and in those cases, I usually just don’t offer to do it. Otherwise, driving people around is hardly a concession: it’s just a different phase in the night (i.e. the phase where we gossip about the people who we left back at the bar).