When I was a kid my grandfather struck me as always being almost comically upset about the cost of things. He would shout stuff like, “FIFTY CENTS?!? FOR A NEWSPAPER!? THIS WHOLE WORLD HAS GONE MAD!!!” Back then I giggled at his rants and thought he was a bit crazy, but you know what? I’m starting to think he wasn’t so crazy after all.
Recently Heather and I went to San Francisco to attend our friends’ awesome wedding and stayed at the Marriott in Fisherman’s Wharf. When we pulled into the hotel I noticed a sign posted that read: “Overnight Parking: $48.50.” After doing a double take I asked the valet, “And how much does it cost to park for hotel guests?” He told me that WAS what it costs for hotel guests. I turned to Heather, red-faced, and shouted, “FORTY-EIGHT FIFTY?!? TO PARK A CAR!? THIS WHOLE WORLD HAS GONE MAD!!!!”
Later, in our room, I tried to order a movie and discovered they were charging SIXTEEN DOLLARS!!!! FOR A MOVIE!!! And it wasn’t even one of those movies. I told Heather I did not want to live in a world where it cost sixteen dollars to watch “Mr. Poppers’ Penguins” three months after it came out.
The final insult came upon checking out. In addition to the parking charge of $48.50 per night, there was also a “daily parking tax” of $8.50. So all together it cost us $57 a night to park. Thank goodness the room was free. (Just kidding… it was expensive too.)
Until now I have sort of watched inflation happen and accepted it as normal. But lately it has started to strike me as getting out of control. (Did I mention movie theaters now charge $8.50 for a stinkin’ hotdog?)
Of course these feelings may have something to do with having bought a house recently. Money becomes a much bigger concern once you have a mortgage to pay – so much so that I’ve found myself walking around the house turning off lights like a real live Dad.
But it can’t be just that. I’m not crazy to think the cost of things is out of control, am I?