But I think the bill that bugs me the most, the one that I blame for fueling my other skyrocketing costs, is my gasoline bill. Now that a gallon of gas sets me back $3.82 a gallon - according to yesterday's fill-up - I cross my fingers and pray somebody does something to keep it from getting to $4 for the 87 octane I buy. Even more of a pipe dream, I cross my fingers and pray that somebody does something to get gas back to below $2 a gallon. (I hear you laughing. It could happen...)
Anyhoo, all this recent hand-wringing over gas prices reminded me of my own small personal protest: Back about a year or so ago, when gas was below $3 a gallon (remember those days?) and had never yet reached that particular price milestone, I watched nervously every time I needed to fill the tank. Everywhere I turned, I read all about how I needed to brace for impact. Three Dollar Gas was looming.
Then the Big Day finally happened, and gas went to $3.01. Incensed, I staged my own little protest and refused to buy gas until it went back down to below $3.
I don't drive much, as it is. I am blessed to be able to be home for the kids and write while C graciously braves the rat race solo. My only excursions involve 10 minute drives to get groceries, or to volunteer in the kiddos' schools, or to piano lessons. All told, my vehicle leaves the garage about 3 times a week, more or less.
So, I bravely drew my line in the sand: No under-three-dollar-gas? No fill-ups! I still did my usual trips. But I did not visit the gas station. Nope. Not me.
Week One went by, and I made the usual trips, plus an extra grocery run when we got low on milk and bread. I was down barely a quarter of a tank. Gas was still over $3 a gallon. I did not visit the gas station. Nope. Not me.
In Week Two, I ran the usual errands and volunteer trips. Then, I had to make a trip to Target. Hmmm. The closest Target is 40 minutes away. Crud. I had to go, so I did. When I got back, I was at a good bit over a half tank left. Gas was still over $3 a gallon. I did not visit the gas station. Nope. Not me.
Week Three brought with it a few extra trips, as we ran late for the school bus and missed it twice. Then a Wal-Mart run became a necessity, which is a 20 minute drive. Then a birthday party came up, and we almost always give books for gifts, so that involved a 40 minute trip to the nearest Borders. (My hands were tied there - I have to use Borders, 'cause that's where my freebie coupons can be used.) So, by the end of Week Three, I was down to about a quarter of a tank left. Eesh. That was a bit close. I usually never let my tank get that low. (What if there was an emergency? I do like to be prepared.) I sweated a bit, but decided to stick it out. Gas was still over $3 a gallon. I did not visit the gas station. Nope. Not me.
Week Four, and luckily a few volunteer commitments got cancelled, so I stayed home two days more than usual. Then, Lovely Girl forgot a project for school, and it was due that day, so I brought it in. Another day, we missed the bus. Again. Then toward the end of the week, Handsome Boy didn't feel well. We needed to see the doctor. That was another 20 minute trip. Then we needed to get to the pharmacy. Ugh. I had only an eighth of a tank left at that point. I would have to fill up. (My worst fear is to run out of gas on the highway, and then have to walk forever and a day to a gas station, with two kids in tow.) So, I did visit the gas station. Yep. Me.
I pulled up next to the gas pump, wallowing in defeat. I couldn't believe I was not going to win this quixotic battle of wills...
I grabbed the nozzle and looked up at the sign, cringing.
But what was this?
Victory! Victory for Kim!