Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I was filling my car up today when a man approached me with a gas can and asked if I could help him out with a few gallons of gas.

Usually, I am flustered by people asking me for handouts. I am always torn when I see a hungry-looking person asking for money. However, one look at this well-fed, well-enough groomed man with his nice enough car parked nearby was all I needed to deny him guilt-free.

I explained that our family, too, was having a hard time meeting our budget with the increased gas prices and that we are all in the same boat here, so sorry I couldn't help him. He not-so-cleverly countered with the fact that all sorts of nice people have been willing to help out those who couldn't afford gas. I sweetly replied that it was wonderful that others could find a way to help but that he would not be getting any help from me.

Hours later, I am still mulling over his nerve. If he can afford a car, he can afford gas! A car is a luxury, not a necessity like food or shelter. Ever heard of a bus? Seriously! Yes, gas prices are obscene, yes it is difficult to continue driving without making adjustments in other areas of life. I get that. Why? Because I am living it and dealing with it myself! I am doing without things I'd rather have to make room for the increased gas bills. So why can't he?!

Good thing I'm pregnant and cranky and saw this for what it was right away, because another day, another time, I might have been fool enough to participate in this craziness out of politeness. And then I would have been kicking myself for weeks. See? These hormones are good for something besides growing babies!


Anonymous said...

How blessed you are to live where there IS a bus. My county doesn't have one. Our 'public transportation' is stick out your thumb and wait till someone you know comes by as you're walking.


Lori said...


if you just wrote a book (you know in between cooking, cleaning the house, doing laundry, carpooling kids, and having babies) you'd be able to afford gas !!
You make me laugh out loud !!


Michelle said...

Although I don't think you should have given him gas, I disagree that a car is a luxury. Most Americans need a car to get to work because bus service just isn't available.

Now, what kind of car we pick is our choice. Is the car paid for? Is the car a gas guzzler?

Where does he live? Outside the bus service area? Within walking distance of work?

I don't think many people are doing much about their lifestyle, except complaining. As for me, I'm trying to think like my grandmother who was a girl through the depression. Can I use something I already own? Do I really need it? I have a feeling we will need to get a whole lot thriftier before we're done with this "crisis."

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

OK, I'll grant that in some places a car is a necessity for some to get to work.

However, that is not the case where we live. There is excellent bus service from all but the most rural (rare around here) areas, and we are even on the Metrolink to the San Fernando Valley and downtown Los Angeles.

I may have seemed heartless in the post and I assure you I am not. I never look down my nose at someone in true need. However, I have recently become quite irritated with people who want things easy and aren't willing to make lifestyle changes to achieve it. I couldn't possibly accurately read a person's situation in five minutes in a gas station, but on that day this man came to represent all those people to me and I simply got mad.

(Plus, his car was a great deal nicer than mine which was a further irritant--not that I am wanting a nicer car, I'm just saying...)

NinjaPrincess said...

I've heard that there are people using AAA to get free gas. AAA members get 1 or 2 gallons free gas delivered if they run out. Some are taking advantage of this and purposely running out of gas each day in order to get the free gas!!