Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow Day Dilemmas

Dave-el here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the Polar Vortex of the Internet.

As you could probably discern from yesterday's post, snow has fallen upon the El Family Fortress of Ineptitude and also on the moderately significant surrounding suburban and metropolitan environs. A lot of snow. Well, for us. 

I live and work in an area of North Carolina known as the Piedmont. Piedmont is derived from two words: "Pie" which stands for "pie" and "D'mont" which is French for "Are you going to eat that?" For us, a lot of snow is about 3 to 5 inches. 

Up in New Hampshire where my employer has an office, they laugh in the face of 3 to 5 inches of snow. That's what they call a Tuesday. That's what they call a dusting. Of course, they have a lot more practice with snow as it begins snowing in New Hampshire some time after Labor Day. This winter has tested even their fortitude with several especially cold winter storms dropping snow that could be measured in yards. 

Where I live in North Carolina, snow is a less frequent occurrence. Even the appearance of a half-inch of, scratch that. Even the appearance of flurries sends everyone scurrying to the grocery store for milk and bread. That's a big thing around here when a winter storm or I should say "storm" comes around, the going forth and the purchasing of bread and milk. It's such a panic here that even the rye bread and that all organic crap milk disappears from the shelves. 

I've had this happen of a couple of occasions where I've really needed milk in advance of an approaching snow thing. I feel compelled to explain to total strangers, "I am not panicking in the face of what will likely be a mild atmospheric disruption; I am truly out of milk."  Wednesday night was one of those times. As the cashier rang up the milk, she said, "Getting ready for the snow storm, huh?" I have a daughter who loves milk, just loves it. She would mainline it right into a vein if she could. The only storm I'm preparing for is when my lovely angel discovers we're out of milk. 

Just as schools have to make decisions to keep schools open, start late, leave early or close down, yours truly has to face the disturbing dilemma of what to do about work. It seems like every damn company but mine is scrolling on the bottom of the TV screen with word of cancellations or delays. But not mine. 

Don't misjudge me, I like my job and where I work. Indeed the problem I have on snow days is not "Should I go to work?" but "Should I stay home?" Can I make a compelling case that snow has fallen into deep drifts of life threatening doom? My threshold for not going to work is, "Will doing this kill me?" If I can't justify that the conditions on the ground could do me mortal harm, I go to work or otherwise stay home in a pool of overwhelming guilt. Particularly when I find out that everybody else in my department made it in, including people who live near my fortress. If they can get out, I can get out. 

The major source of friction on this "Should I stay or should I go?" debate is my wife Andrea. When it comes to snow and ice, she is...oh, how can I put this politely?...a freakin' lunatic! For example, we had some places to be Wednesday night after work but Andrea wanted to go straight home and stay there. Why? BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO SNOW, THAT'S WHY! 

OK, let's do some math. From my wife's job to our fortress is about a 20 minute drive and she leaves work around 5:00. Now compare that piece of information to this factoid: the snow wasn't expected to hit our area until after 9:00. But she felt she NEEDED a 3.5 hour window of safety between her and the winter weather.  

To be fair, she once got stuck in what I would admittedly describe as nightmare-ish scenario. One winter many years ago, she got stuck on a road with a line of other cars that were not moving at all. The snow was coming down hard. Visibility was poor, movement was minimal. There was no clear, safe option to turn around. But here's the thing: from where she was stuck on that road, she could've walked to our house.*

*I later realized that I could've loaded up some provisions and walked from the house to the car to keep her company or even take her place while she walked back to the house. But this thought did not occur to me until later. Much later. This very moment, approximately 17 years after the fact. Yes, ladies, sometimes men are THAT slow.  

So I went to work and nobody was there except 3 people. All 3 of them live near where I live. I wonder if the same thought goes through their minds, "If the others are there, particularly that dufus David, and I'm not, that will not look good." I think I should approach them sometime and agree to a pact, that we all stay home for the next storm. 

OK, I've babbled enough about snow. I think a lot of people are tired of snow. Below I have a list that provides...

The 8 Stages of Snow

  1. WOO-HOO!!! SNOW!!!!
  2. Woo-hoo!! Snow!!!
  3. Woo! Snow!!
  4. Snow! 
  5. Snow. 
  6. Yep, snow. 
  7. Snow, snow, snow.
  8. Is the snow gone yet?
Before I wrap up today's post, here are some classic Calvin and Hobbes by the great Bill Watterson on the topic of snow and the clever things a sociopathic young boy can do with it. 

So that's all for today. I'll be back tomorrow with another post. Until then, be good to one another.

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