The first time I became aware of inflation was when the price of a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie jumped from 25 cents to fifty cents. I loved the pies when I was a kid, and I especially bought alot of them when I was visiting Georgia and lived right down the street from a corner store. It was easy enough to scrounge up a quarter, and I had a snack that lasted for the afternoon.
But 50 cents? That’s a little harder to come by. It’s like the difference between a $1 lotto ticket and a $2 one- I sometimes found myself with an extra dollar in my pocket and would play for the hell of it. But $2 is much more of an investment. I rarely have two lose dollar bills at the same time, and it seems like a foolish choice to break a five, or God forbid a ten, to play a game I’m virtually guaranteed to lose. Similarly, I just never seem to have two quarters at the same time.
These are innocuous examples of inflation, the bane of all our existence. Our homes and cars all cost more, and we don’t seem to be making enough money to keep up. I find myself looking at apartments for the first time in over a decade, and I’m genuinely surprised at how expensive decent housing is. I want to get a car soon too, and I can see that I’m going to be squeezing every penny to try and make those things happen together in a short period of time.
A friend of mine remarked on how expensive oxtails had become recently, reflecting general increase in food prices too. The pandemic seems to have kicked inflation into overdrive, and while the causes may be short term, it seems unlikely that these price increases will come all the way back down in the long term. The only somewhat positive outcome from the changes is that I can now legitimately say that things were cheaper “back in my day,” without sounding ironic about it. As a writer, I’m always looking for new phrases I can use.