Last winter, I developed an addiction that I’ve spent the past year trying unsuccessfully to fight.
It’s actually a really big problem. It has managed to eclipse my shoe addiction, my shopping addiction, and my Bruce Springsteen addiction. The good news is that it is far cheaper than all of those addictions. But living in the DC area, this addiction is much more frustrating than even my love of the Redskins.
I’m addicted to snow.
No, that’s not a veiled drug reference or a new brand of shoes. I'm talking about actual frozen precipitation that falls from the sky and results in the cancellation of school.
I had forgotten just how addicting snow is. Because DC doesn’t get snow very often. Most winters, our precipitation comes in the form of rain, freezing rain, sleet, ice, hail, locusts, brimstone, frogs, and other general weather phenomenon that remind us that God is angry with us and plans to smite us soon.
Which is how you can tell that God (or whoever it is that controls the weather) is a Democrat. Washington DC only gets real snow storms in years when a Democrat is in office. Like last winter. We had snow in the winter of 1998-1999, in 1996, 1993, and 1979 (which was before my time). When Republicans are in office, the weather just punishes us.
Of course, if you don’t like snow, you could assume that it’s actually the other way around. But as a teacher, who gets paid to NOT go to school when it snows, trust me. I know of what I speak.
But last winter provided us with change that we could believe in. And it was glorious.
Well okay, walking Rosie in snow that was taller than her sucked. Although it was pretty funny when she’d sink all the way into it and just bark for me to come rescue her. But not being in school for those nine snow days was wonderful.
The problem is that last winter ruined me for all other forms of precipitation. And when we have a situation like we did this week, where literally the entire rest of the country gets snow and we get a lukewarm rain, I feel very angry and cheated.
Prior to last year, I never spent much time thinking about snow. Yes, it’d be nice when we got it. But it was in small quantities and only gave us a day or less off of school. If it was in the forecast, everyone shrugged it off. Even if the local weathermen said there was a 100 percent chance of snow, we paid about as much attention to it as we pay to the crazy guy on the corner who tells you that he’s wearing a foil hat because it keeps the government from being able to listen to his thoughts.
This year, that crazy guy seems a lot more plausible.
Which causes some major problems.
For example, if anyone even whispers the word “snow,” everyone immediately stops what they’re doing and checks their weather service of choice. Don’t believe me? Try it. Say the word “snow” in a crowded place. Everyone who hears you will immediately whip out their cell phones, ipads, laptops, divining rods, grandparents with arthritic joints, groundhogs, or any other variety of weather predicting equipment and begin comparing the percent chance of snow and the accumulation expectations from all of the different sources.
And if even one of those warning elements says there will be snow, it causes an immediate panicked riot that makes those Egyptians look like quitters as Washingtonians flock en masse like brain-starved zombies to buy as much milk and toilet paper as they can before any snow can fall.
I’ve never understood this. If weather.com, your grandpa, and your groundhog are predicting a quarter inch of snow, why do you need 970,863 rolls of toilet paper? Like do you think that they’re going to stop making it? Because I feel like toilet paper is going to be around for a long time.
I can almost understand the rush for milk. It seems stupid, because if you live around here, you’re just going to lose power as soon as more than three flurries fall from the sky, but you can, in theory, stick all that excess milk outside in the snow to prevent it from going bad while you spend the next month waiting for Pepco to get their acts together.
But despite the riots and the resulting world-wide shortages of milk and toilet paper, nothing makes me quite as happy as when Sue Palka, Bob Ryan, Doug Hill, a Ouija board, and a groundhog all agree that snow is heading our way.
Unless they say it’s coming on a weekend. In which case I hold the local meteorologists personally responsible for any disruption in my plans.
And unless they all say we’re going to get snow and then they’re all wrong, causing mass hysteria and milk and toilet paper shortages for no reason.
In fact, that may be what’s ACTUALLY going on in Egypt right now. I’m not saying it has nothing to do with the people wanting the freedom of a true democracy. I’m just saying that it doesn’t snow in Egypt all that often. I’d be pretty pissed too if I were living in a country where it didn’t snow and where the government cut off my internet access.
Not because I’d be using it to organize riots—because without internet, I can only rely on my grandpa and the groundhog to predict the weather. And that isn’t enough to accurately analyze the chances of having a snow day.
And trust me, Egypt. Put a Democrat in charge. It’ll snow. I mean, you’re pretty much the only place in the world OTHER than DC with documented evidence that random crap other than snow falls from the sky when God is mad.
And if you have a real democracy, no one will shut off your internet, granting you access to meteorologists around the world.
Unless you have Pepco. In which case, your internet won’t do you any good because you won’t have electricity for 97 percent of the year.
But that’s still a fair trade off if it means that you get snow days. Trust me. I’m a teacher.