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How Long Have You Lived Here?

As we speak, I’m looking out of my third story office/spare bedroom/turtle room window watching the snowfall and the wind blow.

Apparently, according to the weather gurus, it is going to be quite a whopper of a blizzard here in New England. They’re predicting 2 feet plus for where I live, and a widespread foot of snow all over the region.

Like many of you, I find snow very polarizing in my life. I like the idea of getting paid days off from work because of the snow. I especially like it now that I work at a private school that doesn’t do make-up days unless things get out of hand. On the flip side, snow is such a pain in the ass to deal with. It makes even the simplest tasks more difficult. My poor little dog even refuses to go outside and take care of business because of the snow. And this storm has the added uselessness of happening on a Saturday. So I don’t even get the bonus of a day off from work.

That being said, I’ve lived my entire life in New England. I’ve accepted the fact that my parents decided to settle down here, which means I’ve dealt with snow my entire life. It looks like I am locked in to stay here for at least the foreseeable future. The snow isn’t going away anytime soon.

But there is one thing about the snow that I’d like to get rid of altogether. That is the way people react to it.

For a week beforehand, the meteorologists on TV go through the daily temperatures of January, and then say something like, “We are tracking a potential IMPACT WEATHER EVENT coming up later in the week.” This gets all the boomers that are still watching local news for some reason worried and locked into the weather every evening after their 4:30 early bird special. It brings up dust covered memories of the famed Blizzard of ‘78, and they can’t stop ranting and raving about it for days on end. Typically, it turns out the storm either goes out to sea, it rains or nothing happens. We younger folks know not to worry too much about the forecast until, at most, 2 days before the actual storm.

Then there are those times when the predictions seem to be accurate. The meteorologists are confident in their guesses and we end up getting a significant amount of the white stuff. The local weather guy isn’t the problem at that point. The real issue is how people react.

Everytime there is a sizable snow event predicted, for some reason people panic. There are lines a mile and a half long at the grocery store with people buying all of the “necessities” they think they can’t go without during the storm. You see middle aged ladies with carts full of bread and milk, old folks with big supplies of their many pills, young families with snacks as far as the eye can see and guys with both arms stacked with 30 packs of their favorite light beer.

There’s really no need for this in 2021.

I understand that there have been a few times in history where the snow shuts down stores and the power goes out for a few days. But if you look at it, that was either 50 years ago, or when the weather people got it wrong. In the worst case scenario possible, we lose power for 5 days or so and a few people can’t charge their phones or take a shower. The snow isn’t going to be falling for all 5 of those days. The roads will be cleared no more than 24 hours after the snow ends, and if people are really out of something they need, it will be possible to go get it elsewhere. The world isn’t going to end.

“But Blind Owl,” you say, “That’s why we go get that stuff, in case the power goes out. We will have enough to survive!” Let me get this straight, people buy milk and perishables in case the power goes out? Seems smart right. And I’m sure if the power goes out, these same people wll be dumb enough to leave all of their cold stuff in the fridge and let it spoil. When a smart person, like me, knows that cold stuff can easily be moved outside into the cold weather and be fine. Not to mention the fact that if you don’t have enough food and supplies in your house to survive a couple days without power, you’re doing something wrong.

And guess what? I understand the fact that there are some people whose plumbing doesn’t work without power. So it may be a tad uncomfortable not being able to go to the bathroom inside. Listen to me, if you have to use the bathroom that badly, you’ll be able to do it outside. As a matter of fact, it might save you some money on your water bill.

“Yeah BO, but what about drinking water?” you ask. In response, I’ll ask you one question. What do you think snow is made of? Nothing is stopping you from filling up a few water bottles or buckets with snow and having it melt. Or better yet, do it before the storm. It’s not that hard.

People are ridiculous.

What makes it worse is when the southern states get a rare few inches of snow, and these same people talk shit to the southerners. They say things like, “We know how to deal with it up here. How can they shut down schools for a couple inches?” The answer to that question is that it doesn’t typically snow in Atlanta, or Charleston, or Charlotte. No wonder the rest of the country hates us.

The title of this blog bears repeating. How long have you lived here? I get it if someone moved up from Arizona or something. I’ll give them a pass for a year or so. It’s the people that have been here for 10, 20, 30 or even 50 years that need this verbal berating. It’s snow, get used to it. It’s not going away. Have a drink, shovel your driveway and stop panicking like it’s a snow-pocalypse. You’ll live. Have a drink and throw on another sweatshirt. It’ll be done tomorrow.

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