Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snowpocalypse in a Hippy Town

Growing up, snow days were these mythical moments that happened to other children, but never to us. If there was a dusting of snow, we'd maybe get a late start at school and once every five years or so, they would cancel classes because of black ice. Looking back on it, I'm pretty sure that school was only canceled during those days because they took pity on our hopeful little souls. Because lets face it, when children are given the possibility of a snow day and then the board of directors takes that dream away, a child is going to act as if someone just locked them in a closet with nothing but bread and water.

The point I am making here is that I grew up in a town without snow. The occasional dusting was about what we would received. And then, this year happened. This is our second winter storm that has hit us. The first one, back a few months ago, blanketed the city in fluffy white snow for close to three days. It was gorgeous. Over the past two days, we have received a second helping of snow, but this time it was accompanied by freezing rain. Now, that does not sound appealing at all but picture this. Every single tree that you can see is frozen solid, encased in glass, icicles hanging from their tips. The world outside is this soft bluish white and for once, this town that is so concerned about whatever they can protest next, is finally calm and quiet. It is more than beautiful. It's a rarity and an opportunity.

Unfortunately, we also live in a world of social media and so I have become painfully aware that apparently this natural act of beauty is an inconvenience to people of apocalyptic proportions.

It is amazing to me how people have reacted to these two days of weather. Yes, we got a foot of snow and yes, the ground is icy. Is it safe to drive out there? No. Hence why most businesses closed down. Never mind the fact that back East, they live with this type of weather for a few months out of the year and still manage to survive, my town was about ready to start burning furniture for warmth and pack up and head for the hills for safety. Because, you know, nothing says serious apocalyptic situation of hatred like two days of snowy weather.

So before people call me out on a few things, let me make it clear. Of course it is dangerous out there. People are without power right now, it's cold, and there were some unfortunates (like me) that still had to trek into work during all this because their bosses didn't want to lose out on the day. I know people who have had trees fall on their homes these last few days, on their children's swing sets, and across the front of their yard. In my apartment complex, we have caution tape in some areas because trees are coming down as the ice starts to melt. It is dangerous. And, if the people who had these things happening to them were the ones complaining or the ones saying how much they hated this weather, I would agree with them. They're not though. No, the ones who are complaining are with power and are simply bored at home and grouchy that their life got inconvenienced. I don't know if the icy roads made it so they couldn't go get their non fat caramel machiato with no whip or work out at the gym for twenty minutes or if they're simply mad because
they are stuck inside the very place they work their asses off to keep on a monthly basis, but the complaining this time around reached a crescendo that would make even the tortured souls in the special level of hell, raise their brow.

There have been several different variations of the sentence “I hate snow” on Facebook the last forty eight hours, my favorite being “Snow... ug!!!!1”. There have been comments of boredom, or how cold everyone was, and about how the snow needed to go away “NOW”. A few individual's, when they received no likes or comments on their generic statement of hate, proceeded to repost a variation of their previous status every
few hours, sometimes with cute little gifs they had found to accompany them. If that wasn't enough, people starting cursing out Mother Nature in such a way that has lead me to believe that they don't understand how weather works. In my experience, cursing natural occurrences like this doesn't do anything but add to your frustration. After all, I curse my time of the month all the time and yet it still happens with a vengeance.

Yes, people came together these past two days and had a bitch fest where they all stated how miserable they were in the safety of their own homes, with their power, and their electronics running at top speed so they could post their woes on to the Internet.

The people who have had trees fall on their possessions? They all posted status updates filled with humor while they poked fun at their misfortune. One person posted an open letter to the people working in these conditions, giving thanks for the power that they worked so hard to return to the city. A friend of mine took humor in everything and dubbed these two days snowmageddeon and treemadeddeon, and a man who is a co worker of my boyfriend, posted on Facebook that him and his friends, after work, would be going around the neighborhood and helping cut up the fallen trees. That, all of that, should have been the overwhelming response of the last two days; humor over an unchangeable situation and kindness towards others.

So you're bored at home with no power. If you have children, it is the perfect time to light every candle you have and drag out the board games. It is the perfect time to build a fort in the living room and have a camp out and teach them how to roast marshmallows over a candle flame. You have the opportunity to make a fun memory that you otherwise might not have gotten because you were too busy and tired from work or your kids were too busy with their video games or their friends. Read them a story. Hell, sit down and read a story yourself.

Don't have children and you're snowed in? Whether you have power or not, this is the time to take advantage of the fact that you can't go anywhere. Nothing can serve as a distraction right now. Cuddle up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, and talk. Spend time having a conversation that isn't hindered by phone calls or the television. Don't want to talk? Fine, there are other activities that you could be taking full advantage of given the fact that it's cold and you're bored

By Caitlyn Tendick
Or here's another one. Go on a walk. Actually look around at the snow. Notice the beauty of it when it hasn't been disturbed yet. Listen to the way it crunches beneath your feet or watch the snow falling from the trees and the plume of white dust it makes as it falls to the ground. Go to the park and no matter how old you are, be a kid again. I spent two hours the other day playing on a swing set and slide because I could. Just because you are an adult and have the adult stresses, doesn't mean that you can't be childish when the time is right. Call up a friend. Walk to them. Have them walk to you. Sit on the phone with them and chat for a while. Go out on the streets and see if anyone needs help out there. Enjoy the fact that it is a rarity that the trees become encased in ice like this and we are practically living in a movie setting.

Then, when it's all said and done, go home. Sit with your loved ones or sit with your animals or yourself and just stop for a minutes and remember that life is absolutely crazy and is a whirlwind of good and bad times. Bad weather shouldn't be looked at as bad weather, it should be looked at as an opportunity to take a deep breath and rediscover yourself and your family. There will be plenty of times in the future where you will be running around like a crazy person in perfect weather. Next time it snows, hopefully these people that have viewed these last forty eight hours as the end of their world will either take it to the extreme and go all Walking Dead on people, or will calm down and remember that days like this can actually be fun if you'd just calm down for a minute or two.

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