Now before you read too deeply into this, no, there isn't any gas station currently at $3 per gallon. But that did get you excited at first, which directly makes the point as to why this is a problem.

After gas prices skyrocketed to $5 per gallon over the past few weeks, New Jerseyans have been strapped tighter than ever. I'm sure I'm not the only one who cringes every time I have to fill my car.

Recently, however, gas prices seem to be trickling downward. And that's great news for all of us, consumers and businesses alike. Not to mention a huge relief for truckers, who play a critical role in keeping our economy humming along.

In fact, as of the date of this article, I saw a station at $4.85 cents per gallon and it made me feel better. Not better because of the price, but better because it wasn't at $5.29 per gallon, the highest I've seen at this particular station.

Dennis Malloy photo
Dennis Malloy photo
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And if this slow trickle downward continues, we're all going to feel a little better. Instead of our fuel-efficient cars needing $60 to fill the tank, it might only cost $55, or even $50. Doesn't that sound refreshing?

But keep in mind that it wasn't that long ago gas prices were between $3 and $4 per gallon. And not long before that, they were between $2 and $3 per gallon. Just saying that gives some good vibes imagining gas at those prices.

Now, remember, we got anxious again when prices started spiking back above $3 per gallon. I remember seeing when $3.50 per gallon reared its ugly head once more and it was depressing to have to fill up at that price.

Then I remember that one morning when prices spiked to $3.99 per gallon. We thought that was expensive, but boy we had no as to what was coming next.

Diesel Price 5 Dollars a Gallon
Laura Gangi Pond, Getty Stock / ThinkStock
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So here we are in the $4 per gallon range and we're all trying to find any way possible to minimize the impact on our wallets. Some of us might only be filling half a tank at a time. Others might've cut back on luxuries such as going out to eat.

Now that we've hit the $5 per gallon mark, it suddenly feels like a relief that gas prices finally reversed direction. Who knows how long the downfall will last, but let's take what we can get.

Townsquare Media photo
Townsquare Media photo
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Here's where the sad truth lies. We're all going to get conditioned into thinking gas in the $4 per gallon range is normal, and we'll just accept it. We won't like it at first, but over time we'll get used to it.

Think about it. That's what happened with $3 per gallon gas, which is why it felt like such a treat when we fell back into the $2 range. Didn't matter if it was the high twos. The fact that the first number was a two was enough to make us happy.

And now, that's the feeling we'll all get if and when we ever see $3 per gallon gas again. Unfortunately, $3 gas is becoming the new $2 gas. At least in perception, it is, and it's very unfortunate.

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