Sometimes, in the wintertime, it gets cold. This is a thing I have learned after 24 years on this earth, and also as a recent transplant from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to York, Maine. Except up here, it’s more like always, every winter, it gets very cold.
But I digress.
I wanted to write this to comfort all of my family, friends, and ex-boyfriends in the South, since I know that Winter Storm Helena is stirring up trouble.
Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia are among the states slated to get snow over the next few days and people are understandably freaking out. They deserve a break, since there’s not really a protocol for snowstorms that far South. During the great Snowpocalypse of 2014, the entirety of northern Alabama shut down for like, 72 hours, and my family was stranded in Birmingham Children’s Hospital watching cars hydroplane off of the freeway from our room’s window. Later that month, my university canceled almost three weeks’ worth of classes due to 2 inches of snow. I was okay with that.
I’m not laughing at you, Alabama. I know my place, I remember my roots, and I get it. Snow is scary, man! We don’t have fancy things like ‘snow plows’ or ‘ice scrapers’ or ‘salt’ down south. We just have fear and handmade blankets stitched out of university Comfort Colors t-shirts, neither of which can protect us from the cold. Driving gets hard since ice is slippery, and walking gets hard since our shoes aren’t snow-proof and our toes get all cold. It’s terrible, and you don’t deserve it.
So I wanted to give you my hard-learned steps for dealing with the frigid, bitter cold, and surviving the cruelty and wrath of Winter Storm Helena’s predicted 6 inches of snow.
Steps to Surviving the Snow for Southerners:
Snooze your alarm at least four times. It is cold outside of your bed, very cold, and your boss/professor cannot fault you for being late on this evil morning. In fact, they’re probably going to be late, too. Go ahead and snooze it a fifth time.
Finally crack your eyes open. Groan.
Cocoon yourself up in all of the blankets in your bed, including both sheets (top and bottom). Maybe trap a pillow in there for extra insulation.
Shuffle to your bathroom. If you have hardwood floors, hate yourself for having hardwood floors. Your feet have never been colder. Wonder how easy it is to get frostbite. Wonder how many toes you really need for good balance. Wonder how realistic that scene from Mr. Deeds was.
Turn your shower onto medium-hot; wait for the first signs of steam before rapidly shedding your outer layers. Waste no time before clambering into the slower. Try not to slip. Slip a little.
Shower. You’re not an animal. You don’t need instructions for this.
Turn off the shower and stand in the steam for a long stretch of silence. Think about what waits for you beyond the curtain.
Try not to cry.
Step out of the shower. It is cold. Your nerve endings are screaming. There are not enough towels in the world to free you of this suffering.
Rapidly re-dress in your outer shell of blankets. Look out of the window. There is snow. Remember a time when the sight of snow was magical and exciting. Mourn the loss of your innocence.
Fail at Step 8.
Get dressed. Prepare for the day. Cram breakfast/pour coffee into your mouth. Finally wear those gloves you got at Target because they were cute even though you knew you’d never use them.
Go outside. Stare at your car. It is covered in snow. You don’t have the tools for this. Stare at your gloves. They are soaked through from the snow. Your fingers are frozen. It is difficult to hold your keys.
Turn around. Go inside. Bolt the door. Give the snow the finger. Call out of work/email your professor. Settle onto the couch beneath your mound of blankets and turn on Netflix. Know that you tried.
Smile out of the window at the magical, exciting snow. Be at peace with the world.
For an irreverent take on important trivial matters and more from Grace Treutel go to howtolearnyourtwenties.com