Gas Shortage

I’m not going to feed into any of the rumors or try to interpret the news media regarding the gasoline and propane gas shortages that Mexico has been experiencing. That’s because I would probably get some of it wrong, and then my editor would have to wade through the Annoyed Reader letters. She already seems to keep herself busy, so I won’t add to her workload.

I’ll just say that my husband would greatly appreciate it if the propane gas could please be more abundant now, because his wife has had the household on the level of Super High Alert. That means that each person has been ordered to be prepared, at any moment of the day or night, to launch him/herself out the door and run down the sidewalk, arms waving desperately, should a gas truck turn down our street. Even if we just put some gas in the roof tank last week. Even if it’s not her favorite company (I’m not naming names, but orange, blue and white are my people).

Perhaps you wonder why I am so concerned about the gas shortage. Some folks were pretty relaxed about a crackers and cheese Christmas dinner. Others wrote about the joy of trying a new restaurant every day. Still others said they really wished for a warm shower, but were just waiting it out. Because hey! We are in Puerto Vallarta and it’s 29 degrees Celsius every day!

Ok, but no. Guys, everyone has a list of Dealbreakers In Life. Everyone’s list is different, and at the tippy top of mine it says: I MUST NEVER BE COLD AGAIN.

I can’t bear cold water. There, I said it. Please don’t tell Canada or they will revoke my passport (probably). The very idea of waking up in the dark to get ready for work, turn on the shower and have freezing cold needles of water hitting my poor skin, well that just makes me want to put on a pair of fleece pajamas and sit on the beach.

During the Vallarta “winters” (for lack of a better term for a place that is never colder than sixteen degrees Celsius), I rarely go in a pool. We went on a Day Pass to the Holiday Inn Express last week and I almost wept real tears over the Jacuzzi. Everyone else took a dip in the pool, but my hands couldn’t be pried from the sides of that little tub of balmy bliss (they tried).

Yes, I suffered when I lived in Canada. During the months of November until about May, I couldn’t warm up. I was cold outside, certainly, but even inside my warm home I was cold. When I was offered a job in Vallarta, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I could conceivably be warm all year round.

And in case you’re wondering, my kids don’t mind being chilly as much as I do. However, they are very attached to their hoodies all “winter” and only enter the Costco freezers on a dare. They have only been to Canada in summer, but spend chilly evenings in Winnipeg bundled up in blankets and jackets while their Canadian cousins sit around in shorts and t-shirts, trying to enjoy the fleeting season they refer to as “summer” (even though the nights can go into the single digits).

The only person who embraces the chill is my Mexican husband, who doesn’t understand my deep dismay over the possibility of running out of gas. Warm showers are nice, but not essential to him. His idea of bundling up is a toque with his tank top and shorts.

But he loves me, so he’s chased a gas truck or two this month. He does it for me and he does it for his children and he does it for all of us who coexist alongside these teenaged children (if they don’t shower, what will become of us all).

I hope you are all doing well despite the gas shortage, although I am sure the end is in sight. I am impressed with the kind, patient, and good-humored spirit of everyone here who has experienced this challenge. Most of all I’m grateful for this wonderful place, where we can just step outside and warm ourselves in the beautiful, bright, Mexican sun.