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Gas Don't Grow On Trees

Being that I originally conceived this post in June (exactly 3 months to the day) when gas prices aren't what they are now what I have to say won't be as personally painful as it originally was.

But it's still relevant given the economy.

If it were up to me, my car --- a relatively fuel efficient 2006 Rav4 with most of the bells and whistles --- would sit on the street in front of my apartment collecting dust. Between the car payment, insurance premium and gas, my car is my biggest bill after the rent and a little less than half my rent.

I needed a new car back when the baby was born. I was driving a '95 Civic that was breaking down on me every other week. The car seat we had barely fit in the back and practically filled the rear window. It didn't have a LATCH system and to round out the safety hazards, my dachshund had chewed through most of the rear seat belts.

By myself I've managed to reduce my driving down to barely three miles a day, which has also kept down my maintenance expenses. For anyone who doesn't know, regularly scheduled maintenance on a new car (that thing that keeps you from worrying about your car breaking down) is not cheap.

Enter my wife. Forget all the dents and dings and chips out of the rims (neither here nor there at this point, there are so many) I discover whenever she's used it. She seems to have perfected the art of putting as many miles as she can in as short amount of time as she can while running gas out of the car as fast as she can. Many a week I've celebrated driving only 50 - 60 miles from Monday to Friday to be horrified by Saturday afternoon when the odometer shows that 200 more miles have been driven and the tank is empty. The thing of it is, I know where she goes and it doesn't take all that distance or gas to get there, so other than her lead foot I don't get it. I just don't get it.

This weekend we were rained in on Saturday and I thought we were clear until the evening when she asked: "If the weather's nice tomorrow I'd like to take the kids to Coney Island." I cringed on the inside and gave as unemotional a response as I could muster for my wife's sake. Coney Island, Brooklyn might as well be the end of the Earth based on where I live in Westchester. By the end of night yesterday, my tank was empty and my miles for the beginning of this week have already reached my end week quota. But the place is closing down for good and we had a good time, so I'm not...that upset.

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