Note to my daughter: I was not saving gas when I told you to walk home from Courtney's house the other night, just walk, start walking already before it gets dark!
I was busy formatting the type on your brother's homework; sorry, when you ask a sixth-grade boy for something called an "anthology," he'll need the tiniest bit of assistance. The tiniest bit.
You think I'm cheap, I know. You think we're poor, we're not. Lazy, not poor. I'll spend four bucks a gallon all day long.
But is the stuff I do worth that kind of scratch?
Like dropping a prescription off, coming back in 20 minutes, like they said, then another 40 minutes because it's never ready in 20 minutes.
Like picking up pizza so you won't have to tip the guy. Like driving your kids to school when it rains, even though they have perfectly good raincoats that they just refuse to wear.
Admit it, you drive to a gym to use the treadmill. Crazier still, you drive to a park to run.
I can spend $70 a week on gas without ever leaving Carrollwood.
A relative (I won't say who) used to do her weekly grocery shopping at three different stores, depending on what they had on sale. Chicken at Kash n' Karry, potatoes at Publix, onions at Winn-Dixie.
You'd be insane to do that now.
Remember, when the kids were babies, you'd take them for a long, slow ride to put them to sleep?
Remember driving aimlessly through neighborhoods to look at houses? Looking for garage sales on a Saturday morning? Going to the mall without feeling guilty?
I would like to think the high cost of fuel was taking traffic off the road, but so far I see no evidence of that.
Just a few more bicycles on the road, and drivers behind me leaning on the horn when I stop to let them cross.
I'm not poor.
But I will not sign my kid up for a music program that takes me to the University of South Florida campus one afternoon a week in rush hour. I doubt I'll take the dog to the beach.
We have a swimming pool in our subdivision, tennis courts next door and every computer game known to man hooked up to our television.
Grandma lives around the corner; the kids can walk there. The dog can play in the garden hose.
I'm not a tree hugger either.
It's just feeling like a good time to pull over and turn off the gas.