I promised myself I wasn’t going to do it anymore. Dawn broke this morning with white flakes falling from the sky and the host of locals performing the typical Chicken Little dance of wintry, whiny woe. Looking out the window at the new snow, I sighed, gritted my teeth, and swore I was not going write a post about it…again.
I can’t not do it. I have to write one more thing, because I’m just tired of the foolishness. Every time enough flakes of crystallized water join together, fall from the sky, and gather collectively on driveways, houses, yards, and roads around here, it has to be a full-blown event. As soon as one of the local meteorologists utters the word accumulation, the entire Greater Cincinnati suddenly turns its complete focus on the impending White Death with laser-like intensity. The Second Coming could be at hand and yet people would still be, “hold on, hold on, the weather dude said it’s going to snow. Man, we better get some milk. I better not go to work tomorrow.”
Look, people. Here’s the thing: You. Live. In. Greater. Cincinnati. We have actual winter here, and pretty much always have. This should not be news. In fact, according to my rather lazy, hastily-performed, completely un-referenced internet research, you can expect an average of somewhere between 15 and 20 inches of snowfall every year. What that means to us is that winter in these parts isn’t often going to look like this:
You can, however, rest assured that occasionally, it will look like this:
What gets my dander so quickly and thoroughly riled about this business is the whining, complaining, and apparent debilitating fear of the occasional 3, or even 6 (gasp!) inches of snowfall. It’s as if the entire world has to stop and pretend there’s nothing else of interest happening anywhere because of the Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, Snowtastrophe, snOMG, or whatever we’re calling it this time around.
In early February of 2004, I spent two weeks in Minneapolis. Admittedly, they do their winter a good bit more hardcore than we do around here. Still, the fact of the matter is that it snowed every single day I was there, and no one freaked or rushed out for bread and eggs. In fact, for the most part, no even mentioned it. Well, except for the guy from India with whom I was training. I’m pretty sure he believed the world was about to end. Otherwise, though, everyone went to work regardless of when or if a plow was seen in the area, nobody did live TV reports from the side of roads or inside a grocery store, and the world continued turning. In fact, I don’t believe I even saw a salt truck the whole time I was there. The roads were pretty much snow covered perpetually.
It was then that I realized we might, maybe, perhaps, kind of overreact around here, a little.
My advice to all the otherwise lovely people in the Greater Cincinnati area dropping Alka-Seltzer tablets into vodka tonight and chain-chewing Tums in fear of another potential inch or so of snow tomorrow is simple: consider moving. It’s okay that you’re afraid of snow, no one is judging you. But living in a place that has, you know, winter, with your type of condition is kind of silly. I’m afraid of spiders the size of my hand, but you don’t see me charging through ancient catacombs in search of priceless archeological artifacts, do you? No. You don’t want to move, though? You’re afraid you’ll die without Skyline chili and you say “please” when you didn’t hear someone? Fine, I guess you really do belong here. In that case, buy yourself a nice four-wheel drive vehicle and go for some snow practice in a empty parking lot for a couple of hours. Eventually you’ll figure out that driving in the snow like a type-A Hollywood producer with a new Benz and a lead foot is bad, that the brake pedal is bad, bad, bad, and that down-shifting is your friend. Trust me, you’ll thank me eventually.
So, could we please all stop acting like we need to put our lives on pause just because some frozen precipitation is falling from the sky? I promise that once you figure that out, the idea of a touch of winter snow will start to seem like a whole lot more fun again.
It’d be shame to let the kids have all of it without us.
You may now continue your regularly-scheduled Winter Snowfall Panic Ball. Enjoy the punch, I’m pretty sure it’s spiked.