A few days ago I had an interesting reminder of how economically privileged I am. See, I couldn’t quite figure out the gas pump.
I drive lots of miles and buy gas at least twice a week. What I usually do is simply swipe my credit or debit card, pump my gas and leave. Well, on this particular Saturday, I wanted to buy a couple extra items inside the store connected to the gas station. So, I thought to myself, how about I pay for my gas along with the other purchases?
That was my trouble; I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I pressed the button to pay inside but the machine wanted me to pay inside then come back out and pump the gas. But how would I know how much the gas would cost?
I wasn’t interested enough to see if there were some other option so I just paid at the pump then went inside and bought the other items separately.
It was only then that I realized how long it’s been since I’ve had to decide to buy gas based on how much it was going to cost instead of how much I needed for my car. There’s a big difference between those two thought processes.
I look for the lowest priced gas and when I find it, I simply fill up the tank. Until I finished grad school I always bought gas based on how much I was able to spend. Often that $5 or $10 but sometimes it was $3.50 or even $2 on a couple occasions. Now that’s never the way I make decisions about gas. Really, I don’t even think about what I’m doing enough to describe it as decision making.
Many of the folks I saw in line Saturday had a very specific amount of money to spend on gas and make decisions based on that reality. I had to have a reminder that there are even those decisions to be made.
How fortunate am I?
2 thoughts on “Driving with Blinders”
Absolutely. I think about it at the grocery as well. Sometimes I buy one brand over another because of the price or a coupon, but if I want black beans, I buy black beans. I don’t leave the store without something because of its cost. How lucky are we? Thanks for the reminder.
One of the reasons my family likes going to the grocery store is that every time we go we get what we need. Sometimes we get what we want too. Hell, sometimes we get things for other people!