Today I spent exactly $75 dollars on gas. I even filled up at the cheapest station I found in all of Santa Barbara, which had gas at $4.25 a gallon, to fill up the Explorer my mom let me borrow for the summer.
You know those movies where a person comes out of a coma, prison, or cryogenically frozen state and feels like the whole world has changed without them? That is how I feel, at least about filling up a tank of gas.
The last time I drove regularly was six years ago, before I left for college. I had a Civic then, and I could fill up my tank for less than $20. I still remember the day when I was shocked that gas climbed over $2.
Instead of being in a coma, prison, or cryogenically frozen state, I have been in the world of the car-less. I did not need a car during my four years at UCLA and used public transportation in DC. I never thought I would say this, but I miss the N8, which was my bus-line to school. Despite the times it did not show up, was filled with crazy people, or had a rude driver- it was still only $1.25 a ride.
I know I have the good fortune of having a paying job this summer and getting that stimulus check just in time. And I know that I only have to do this for two months. And I know that my parents plan on trading in the Explorer for a hybrid. But rising gas prices still makes me sad, especially for people who this hits the hardest.
I used to be in the camp of people who used to say "let gas get expensive so people change their driving habits." But I have realized that people can only change their habits so much and the people who really get screwed are poorer people. People who have to live far away from work because affordable housing is often on the outskirts or because both spouses have to work but one can only find work in the next town. Meanwhile oil companies get richer and rich people still buy Hummers. *ends rant*