Now, I could turn this around and make this funny and full of potty humor. After all, today when I was talking to my son Max, I asked him if he wanted to go to storytime and then do a craft afterwards at the library.
His response: "Yes, Mommy. I want to go to storytime and do a crap!"
This was amusing. What wasn't amusing was what I noticed when I was leaving storytime. Luckily for me, my drive is a short distance from my house, otherwise I am sure what I would have saw would have irritated the shit out of me even more. That is right - I am talking about the gas prices.
I already knew this was coming. I got an email alert yesterday stating that there was going to be an increase. But why? I don't follow the news much. I follow Mickey Mouse and occasionally Spongebob! And frankly, after discussing it with my husband (he pays attention to this crap!), he said there really isn't much of a reason. So obviously, we must be missing something.
Gas prices here in Southern California have always been a little on the high side. It has always been expected. However what happened today put me in a state of shock. I had just gotten used to thinking cheap gas was around $4 a gallon. I am not comfortable with it and it definitely takes away from other parts of our budget. But today what I saw was beyond ridiculous. Cheap gas (you know - the kind you get from smaller gas stations or those that give you a discount if you pay with cash) was hovering around $4.07 when I left for storytime.
Upon driving home, I noticed something. All these attendants were outside switching around the numbers. I couldn't see the price yet. I was nervous. I could feel the tension building up. Then I saw it. Gas was at $4.70 a gallon at one gas station. I think I puked a little.
Can we really do anything?
The answer is no. What can we do? If we take a day or a weekend and refuse to buy gas, supply and demand will eat us up and spit us out and probably cause an even steeper increase!
Yet it makes me wonder. How effective can high gas prices really be for helping out an economy that is already in the trash? Suddenly people are able to do less because they can't afford the gas. They won't be able to go places other then work; they are going to have to tighten their budgets. They are going to be forced to prioritize. What do you spend your money on? Do you buy your kids a new pair of jeans because the old ones are too small? Can you even afford to? After all, you need to put gas in your car to get to work!
Yet the rise in gas is going to come with consequences.
Last week as I was grocery shopping I saw significant increases in food. I am not talking chips and soda and garbage. I am talking necessities. Things to make a meal. Coffee to keep me sane. I am not even talking increases by the pennies... I am talking increases by the dollars. I felt sick as I realized how much money I spent on groceries that would barely last us a week.
So where does this take us? Nowhere. We can complain but do our voices really get heard? What happens when the banks start bouncing and people can't get to work? Can you really call in and say, "No I am not sick - but I can't put gas in my car?"
My husband has a drive to get back and forth to work. This increase will make a big dent in our budget. You may shrug it off as an additional 5 to 10 dollars each time you fill up, but if you have to quench the thirst of your car a couple times a week, this increase can get very pricey. Suddenly that extra 100 dollar bill is no longer going into savings. And what if the savings was the place that lost last time. What part of the budget do you steal the 100 bucks from. Do you skimp on your food budget? Do you skimp on your bills and try to pay them late? Do you stop having date nights with your significant other to save a few dollars (but not your sanity)? Do you cut out everything that is considered an extra (yes - this does include cable TV and the internet as well!)? Has it really come down to the majority of us working just to get to work, not to actually enjoy life?
It angers me to even think about this. When I was a teenager, I knew that I could afford a car because it would only cost me $10 to fill the whole tank. Long gone are those days. What will happen when my daughter starts to drive? I can't imagine the part time work while going to school will fill the tank up by that time. Is anybody else getting that sick feeling thinking about this?
But what I do know is the rise in gas prices will end up pushing our economy lower and lower. Business will suffer when "extras" stop being bought (or when employees can't afford to get there!) Anything considered entertainment will be out of the question. No business.... higher unemployment. I am not into politics but I can't imagine this is a good way to ensure re-election come November!
And just think - this is just the tip of gas and all that crap!
Note: I am not a political person so if this in anyway "fires" you up to start a political rant, keep it polite. This is not meant to be a topic about presidential elections or debate on who should be in office. It is nothing more than an observation based off of the gas prices and wondering how we - because we are all affected - will be able to continue to get by! The gas price I saw was $4.70 a gallon, however there were others I saw cheaper. I am sure as the gas prices spike around us, the prices will start evening out so there isn't big differences from station to station. The average around my area as I write this seems to be about $4.50.