Sunday, May 04, 2008

Feeling a bit blue

Anyone who knows me, face-to-face at least, knows that I love my car. I mean seriously, love it. It's the only car I ever bought after seeing a picture and review of it in the paper and saying, "I want that!" It's the only car I've ever spent tons of time and money customizing. It's the only car that brought with it not only the pleasure of driving it, but a whole host of friends and social connections I never would have found without it.

But it's beginning to cost me way too much to drive. PT Cruisers are great looking (to me anyway), comfortable, stable on the road, have a huge cargo capacity, and more, but they get crappy gas mileage. My car has a turbo-charged engine (220HP if you're interested in such things) and thus needs premium gasoline to run at its most efficient level. With good driving habits, I can get around 18MPG in city driving. On long highway trips, I've managed to get 30MPG. Not great.

Since I got laid off from a middle-management high-tech job in 2003, I've managed to maintain myself by working part time, mostly from home doing transcription. Along the way, I picked up a couple of other part-time jobs that are crazy fun and help to supplement the income stream. However, both of those jobs require driving, sometimes quite a bit of driving.

When gas was under $2 a gallon, that wasn't a problem. The work brought in enough money to offset the fuel costs and still give me a profit. But now, with gas -- especially premium gas -- at close to $4 a gallon, it's starting to look like I'm working to pay for gas. Not a good way to balance a budget.

So, I've started trying to deal with the fact that I may need to sell my car. I know it may sound silly, but it makes me cry to type that. Seriously.

But right now, I'm spending $120 to $150 a month on gas. And it's going to get worse -- a lot worse -- and not just because prices keep going up. This is the slow season for my casino party job. In the fall, when it picks up again, I could be working several nights a week for that gig, and each job requires that I drive some distance, sometimes across town for a 40 to 60-mile round trip. Like I said, it's going to get expensive.

So if you see me and I seem a bit sad, it's because I'm contemplating a transportation change. And for me, it's like losing a family member. My cat and my car are my kids. What can I say?

Yeah, I know there are a lot more serious problems in the world. This is just the one that's making me blue right now.

Sorry, no knitting content today.


Judy said...

I can understand how you feel, I think, being sort of obsessed with my own car. I'm really sorry. :-(

Sharon said...

It sucks when you have to sacrifice something you love. I'm sorry this is happening.

yvonnep said...

I have had the same, once, with a Renault 5 Turbo, a small monster. Succes with the blues.

Shelly said...

I'm so sorry you're having this loss right now. Sometimes there just are no good choices and we have to let go of what we love. Hugs.