It’s a problem when I hear that we’re slated to get 10 to 16 inches of snow and my gut reaction is bitter resentment. It’s also a problem when I don’t enjoy the sting of snowflakes in my eyes as I walk down the street.
A winter memory: waking up at 6:45 in the darkness of an early morning in February, swinging my legs out of bed, rubbing my eyes with the heel of my hand, switching on the bathroom light, wincing, brushing my teeth. My mother, bleary-eyed, auburn hair tied back, still wearing her PJs, muttering something or other “school closed … back to bed.” What? WHAT? Bless your heart, you silly woman! Bless that color-stained Folkfest ’89 t-shirt. Bless the sink! Bless the skylights caked with inch upon beautiful inch of God’s dandruff! Bless that mysterious and nebulous body of adults, debating long into the waning night whether to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a snowflake! Bless their capitulation to that amoral white powder that falls from the sky (the SKYYYYY!!!!)! Running, jumping back into bed, wrapping myself up tight as sushi in my comforter, waking up hours later, grabbing a sled from the garage, running, sprinting, running across the empty street to the hill, sledding down and running up and repeating until I became light-headed and sweaty, racing back home while dodging snowballs. The day ends in long johns and a T-shirt, burning my tongue on hot chocolate while my mother rubs my damp head and neck with a towel.
A winter memory: waking up at 8:30 in the glaring February morning light that filters through my curtain, snoozing until 9, swinging my legs out of bed, rubbing my eyes with the heel of my hand, dragging my feet to the bathroom, showering, getting dressed. I take an evaluative glance at the snow on the ground outside. Groaning as I pull on my boots, walking to class while blowing snow out of my mouth, trudging and sliding back to my room, rushing through the reading for my next class. Class. CLASS. Work. Climbing into bed, and the day is done.
There are people who have never had a snow day.