Gas prices in the York area have been dropping in the past week, with Monday’s average at $3.36 for regular, according to AAA.
A commenter on the York Daily Record/Facebook page remarked that even $3.25 a gallon for regular is “still outrageous.”
Which, I suppose, it is. But for 20-somethings who’ve never seen gas prices below $1.50 — and have been paying upwards of $2/gallon for most of their driving lives — it’s starting to feel like the new normal.
When I got my license in December 2004 (yes, I know, I am a baby), I paid $1.87 a gallon to fill up the monstrous tank of my used Jeep Cherokee Sport. Granted, this was in southwestern Connecticut in a town where gas prices are notoriously higher than its neighbors’. But that’s what I remember as my starting point.
When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, I remember gas prices spiking up to $3.35/gallon or so. For a high school student, it hurt quite a bit. But it was momentary, and I remember still driving all around the county on Labor Day weekend to hit several yard sales.
There was one year in college — 2008 or 2009, perhaps — when gas dipped down below $2/gallon at a few stations in Harrisonburg, Va., and I was so excited (and surprised) that I took a photo of the sign. There was a stretch — shortly before, or shortly after, I suppose — where prices hovered around $2.20/gallon and station owners ran out of the number 2 for their signs.
When gas snuck up closer to $4/gallon last summer here in York County, I gritted my teeth. It’s only three miles from my apartment to my job, so I consider myself lucky I don’t fill up the tank too often. And in my parents’ town, they cleared the $4 mark and kept going another quarter or so, so I know it could’ve been worse.
But there was a mental block for that $4 mark — it felt ridiculous.
Of course, that feeling passed. As prices crept back down again, I became accustomed to the mid-$3 range. I haven’t known much else in the past eight years other than these prices — fluctuations, sure — but I’m not part of the generation who ever filled up their tank for $10.
Sometimes I wonder if $3.50/gallon will be a quaint memory by the time the next generation rises up — or if gas-powered cars will even be around.
What’s the lowest you remember ever paying for gas? Leave a comment and let us know.