Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Storm of the Day (or, "Speaking of dramatic, watch me call out every GW student who has ever complained about snow.")

This is a kind of overly sarcastic (but well-meaning) rebuttal to Daniel Wolman's post earlier about his Angeleno take on local complaints about weather.

Dear Daniel (and the west coast/southern GW population as a whole):

I think I see your problem. You're hanging out with too many weaksauce New Englanders. The way I can tell this is that they allowed themselves to be "snowed in," as if that's a real thing that actually happens to people. When the roads aren't clear enough for motor travel, those are your prime fort-building/snowball-fighting/sledding/general-winter-frolicking hours. Feeling lazy? Well, if you're in New England, and it's winter, and you didn't stock up on hot chocolate and firewood beforehand, you have no one but yourself to blame. Point is, you can't waste your heavy-snowfall time with complaining, though I guess there's no way for an LA kid to know that. You probably don't even understand why I've been checking the two-week weather forecast for back home, hoping for below-freezing temperatures over spring break. It's called skiing, and it's awesome.* (side note: Okemo and Stowe are looking reasonably promising, though Mad River is probably pretty much done for the year.)

The truth is, you don't even have weather in Southern California. You just have "warm" and "hot." Coming from the humid, sweaty, polluted armpit of America as you do, though, I wouldn't expect you to know that in normal places, we have, what's the word, seasons. 65 degree days in December aren't so great; in fact, they're useless. I get plenty of those in the spring and fall. Plus... when do you ski?

In Western Massachusetts, most people get excited about the first snow, and are disappointed if the weather warms again and it melts away. Yeah. We get sad if the weather rises above 32 degrees. How is this possible? It's called "layering," and only some situations call for it - maybe this will help you put in context the snide comments you may hear from us northeasterners about you and your over-tanned brethren as you all brave nearly 40 degree temperatures with nothing but a thick down jacket, a heavy sweater, and big black waterproof boots to protect you from an inch of slush on the almost 2-block journey from dorm to classroom. Also: in winter 1996, I was 6 years old, and about four feet tall. We got 5 and a half feet of snow. Did your childhood at any point feature freaking awesome snow tunnels to everywhere, that you could travel through standing straight?

(Also, as a final note, I think you may have mistaken the nature of the complaint of your friend and my fellow Western Massachusettsian: the problem with DC snow is that it's too freaking WARM here for it to be enjoyable. See, when snowfall is immediately preceded by t-shirt weather, it melts on contact with the unfrozen ground. Hence, "disgusting, cold, wet white crap.")

*You know, even if you're kind of mediocre at it, like me.

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