Thursday, March 17, 2022

Feeling Lucky

Last week, when I filled up my tank, gas was $5.35 a gallon, for a total of $52.50. But I felt lucky when my car told me it would go 459 miles on that tank.

I also felt lucky I don't live in Los Angeles, where gas is more than $6.00 a gallon.

A woman in the grocery store, the other day, kept complaining to the check out clerk about the outrageous prices she encountered while trying to put food on her table. 

The cashier was young, it certainly wasn't her fault that the prices are high. As she kept ringing up a very substantial amount of groceries for the woman, she tried to tell her that prices do go up and prices then go down. 

The woman wouldn't listen and, as some people often do while complaining about one thing, the woman began to complain about something else. 

The high price of gasoline. The young cashier kept ringing up the woman's stuff, keeping her cool until she was about to blow up. 

Then she turned to me and said, "you've lived a long life, isn't it true that prices go up and down?"

I said, "yes, and we should be lucky we're not back in the 1970s when there was little gas to be had. Cars in Los Angeles, where I lived, were lined up around blocks, waiting. 

And, should you want to buy a house, the mortgage interest rates at the end of the '70s were around 11%!"

That last one really got their attention.

The complaining woman was quiet, the clerk smiled at me. 

Thinking back, I feel lucky that at least for now we have gas and I can afford to buy it.

I have my house and my car. 

Perhaps the complaining woman was not so lucky. 

Prices are high, that's so true, but please don't let your frustrations out on young people, on their feet all day long,  trying to make a living. 

I sort of wished I had said that to the complaining woman, but then I know it wouldn't have made a difference. None at all. 

At the end of the day, I feel lucky I don't need to take my frustrations out on others. 





  1. It's good to remember we have been through economic uncertainties before, but "through" is the important word. I remember sitting in a gas line with my parents in the mid-1970's. By the 80's everyone was shopping again. There will be a "through" from this too.

  2. Hello,
    Yes, I remember the gas shortages, the higher prices and the long lines at the gas pump.
    We will get through just like the last time. Take care, enjoy your day!

  3. Sure felt sorry for that young clerk especially since she was not responsible nor could she do anything about it. So glad you were there to open the complainer's eyes.

  4. Economic uncertainty is one of the few certainties we have! But that doesn't make it easy to live with, especially when you are not in a good place financially.

  5. Happy St Patrick Day, Inger. Our Canadian dollar is only worth .79 cent US and I put gas in my tank yesterday. I had 1/4 tank of gas when I filled it up and it still cost me $85. Our gas is sold by the litre for $1.716 a litre. One litre is 33.184 ounces. It would cost $94.38 to fill up my empty tank as my tank holds 55 litres... Don't you just love the metric system? lol... I always get confused with metric measurements, as I'm still seeing things in imperial measures, even the temperature, rain fall or snow fall, kilometers instead of miles etc...

    There are some people who will complain no matter what instead of counting their blessings but they will pay outrageous prices for cigarettes, liquor or junk food.

    You are so right, at least, there's gas to be had and no long waiting lines.

    Blessings on your day.

    1. I grew up with the metric system, which is so simple and makes so much sense, so I miss it a lot. But it's always a bit difficult to have to convert to something new. I did it when I first came to the US. To the UK before that.

  6. the only thing the cashier had wrong is prices never go back down. once they go up they stay there. I agree with what you said and I try never to complain in public, except I said to my favorite cashier at WM that if the prices keep going up I may need to rob a bank before I come to shop. she laughed and said, she would to... I have seen people take out their frustrations on emploees many times. my favorite cashier has FIVE grandchildren and 2 of her children living with her. She said try to feed 8 people with these prices

  7. The woman in the checkout line was probably just venting. I feel bad for anyone who has to feed a family right now. I complain all the time about what I pay for groceries and it's just my husband and me! Of course, I only complain to myself or my husband but still.....

  8. Thank you for injecting a note of history to the price conversation. I vividly remember in the 70s the oil companies deliberately starved NJ of gas to force us to accept offshore drilling, ruining our shoreline and major asset. They finally stopped but not before great hardship , gas rationing, anxiety about getting to work in a state with almost no public transportation.

    Now I drive little enough that I gas up only about once in three months, with my economical Honda set on fuel efficient function. So it will be a while before my screams at the pump are heard.

  9. Down here, we fill at our local Z service station and get a 10c reduction on Wednesdays. But with Covid, reduces supplies being available, prices are rising.And people are shopping only for necessities.Love your reply at the till, Inger, also down here the staff at so many places are getting abused.

  10. You did good! I was afraid if you supported the checkout lady, the complaining customer would blow up! But it seems that you defused the whole conversation!! And you have such a good attitude, I remember when gas lines were blocks long. We need to be thankful for what we do have, else we will be so unhappy.

  11. Best attitude is to count your blessings like you did. I remember in the 70's we heard the world would run out of oil by 2000. Didn't happen. My dad always said don't meet trouble half way, let it go the full distance. I choose to count my blessings and be thankful I have a rood over my head, food on the table, and can afford my bills. Patty Mc

  12. It's always best to be thankful for what we do have then complain about what we don't have. Hard to be complaining when you are thankful. A thankful person is a happy person. :)
    Your gas is higher than here. $4.25 here in town.

  13. We are living in uncertain times at the moment ...
    I always find it best to be thankful for what we do have!

    All the best Jan

  14. Hi Inger - yes ... it's interesting to remember the past economic changes we've experienced ... I remember the 70s petrol shortages, and how to live on very little as a student, and early on in my 'career'. We've got that experience which we can draw on, those coming along will have to adjust ... difficulties for many ahead. All the best - Hilary


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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