Everybody Loves A Leaf
Monica Horan, who plays Amy on the hit sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”, lives an eco-friendly life, which includes tooling around LA in her Nissan Leaf.
By Monica Horan
I love my Leaf.
For those of you who haven’t yet seen one, the Nissan Leaf is a fully electric car. There is no fuel tank, no need for an oil change, no stopping at the gas station.
I literally feel a weight lift off my shoulders every time I push the Start button and hear the “BWIP BWIP BWEEP BWIP BWAHP” sound I chose to alert me that my car is ready to roll. It’s one of the rarefied moments this former-Catholic-girl-turned-Jewess is truly guilt-free. I am not hurting anybody to get where I need to go. I am not, at this moment, contributing to climate change. I am making my country less dependent on foreign powers. I am part of a new way of life.
Forgive Me If I’m Rightous
It’s so easy to be cynical these days. Politicians either promote it or invite it and sometimes it feels like the Internet was invented purely for the propagation of snark.
So it’s comforting to have 3,500 pounds of metal in my driveway to remind me every single day that I am actively choosing to be hopeful. I’m as corny as Kansas in August and proud of it.
I love the graphic on my Leaf’s screen that tells me when I’m actually increasing my mileage because I’m using the car’s regenerative brakes properly, or driving downhill, instead of uphill. I love my oh-so-righteous seats made from recycled water bottles.
I love the shape of my Leaf. It screams less “good person driving an electric car” than I would like and yes, I plead “guilty” to wearing my heart on my sleeve. And I’m proud that I’m at a place in my life where I don’t need a big splashy car to prove my self-worth although as you can see, I haven’t quite achieved true enlightenment yet because you’re going to have to pry this possession — my Leaf — from my cold dead hands!
Don’t Hate Me If I’m Slow
I love that the ideal speed for maximum battery charge is 38 miles an hour. No, I’m not going to be the lady on the freeway going 30 mph under the speed limit. But around town? An even 38 is just fine. With all the reasons we have to rush, it’s nice to have a reason not to.
I love figuring out how to drive so that I can go 20 minutes away and arrive with the same amount of power left in my battery as when I departed.
Doing The Math
My only problem is the math anxiety. I suffer from intellectual insecurity on this…I have no idea what my actual mileage is. I know I’m probably the only Leaf owner who doesn’t know her exact mileage but oh, well.
I try to remind myself that we all have different gifts, but I still feel bad about myself every time someone asks, “How much mileage do you get?”
And someone asks every day. No exaggeration.
But I can’t figure it out. I just know where I can go with my fully charged car, and I know how to drive to conserve when necessary…I “feel” it. But numbers? I freak out.
I am not proud of this. It doesn’t cause me to lose sleep, but it does add to my ever-present low-level insecurity/anxiety disorder. Yet, in the three fabulous months I’ve been enjoying my smooth and prideful ride (made more fun by strategizing to keep my power over long distances), I don’t really know how much mileage I get.
But do I really need to?
My Leaf makes me happy. It grounds me as it takes me through my day. It is a small but very real assurance that I can help our kids, our country and our planet.
And you can’t put a number on that.