It’s supposed to snow here in New England tomorrow.
Now, if you don’t live in New England (or the mid-West, or, strangely, parts of Georgia), or if you don’t have eyes or ears or skin, or if you’re under nine years of age (in which case, you really shouldn’t be reading this), you might be thinking, “Ah, yes, snow! That sparkling loveliness that falls softly to the earth like angel feathers on Christmas morning.”
However, if you are in possession of any one of the five senses, you know that snow is not wonderful. In fact, I have it on good authority that snow is orchestrated by the devil.
Think that’s going a bit too far? Let’s examine the evidence.
Before I moved to New England, I lived in Florida. I wore sandals every day and was blissfully ignorant of this instrument of icy hatefulness plaguing the rest of the country.
Five years ago, I made the catastrophic mistake of leaving palm trees behind in order to experience grey skies and 4pm sunsets, polar vortexes and sleet that falls horizontally to most efficiently pierce your eyeballs.
(A tip: If you happen to live in Florida, congratulate yourself for your good fortune and then run out and invest in a burial plot down the street, because you should really never leave. Ever. Even your corpse doesn’t want to experience this.)
Winter in New England has a way of taking things that sound awesome and making them horrible.
For example: snow days. This sounds fun, I know, because who doesn’t want to skip out on work or school?
False. You’ve missed work only to sit in a freezing cold apartment (having already lost electricity due to the apocalyptic winds pistol-whipping the power lines), unable to get out your front door because when you open it, you are met with a perfectly created (by the devil) door-shaped Wall of Snow. And besides, even if you could gnaw your way out, your car looks like a snowy loaf of bread baked for a giant.
I’ll give you a second to picture that.
At this point, maybe you’ve managed to stay inside, playing Solitaire with actual cards the way the cavemen did. Or, maybe you have a pet. Because you’re an idiot.
(I’m not talking about cats here. We all know that cats don’t do anything except eat, sleep, and hate you.)
When you have a dog during Winter in New England, and it’s too big to fit in your purse, you have to take it outside. (Of course, if it does fit in your purse, obviously it can just pee and poop in there. Problem solved.) Dogs are not bothered by how much snow ruins your life. In fact, they seem to revel in this life-ruining, laughing at you as they prance through dirty black street slush.
This is how I look before I take my dog outside in winter:
This is how my dog looks before I take her outside in winter:
Okay, so against all odds and reason you’ve made it outside, abandoning your meat locker of an apartment to watch your canine defecate. You make it down to the street only to discover that the street has disappeared, and in its place is an endless sheet of ice so hateful that it turns completely invisible, making each step a game of Russian Roulette (but only if you play Russian Roulette with a bullet in every single chamber).
Before you can make it a block, you’ve fallen repeatedly on the Invisible Death Ice and sustained multiple injuries and severe internal bleeding. Your pup, however, has never been happier. And of course, if there is frozen, nondescript animal feces anywhere within a fifty mile radius, your dog will inevitably try to use it as face lotion.
And yet, you must venture on. You do this because A) your dog is selfish and B) to turn back and retreat to your apartment is inviting sure death, because one more second alone without electricity to power your Don’t-Kill-Myself light and you will be unable to resist the ever-increasing urge to just stand outside naked and end it already.
(Basically, every single day of Winter in New England is a struggle to not kill yourself. Just when you think the sun can’t possibly set any earlier and the sky can’t possibly be any darker and your socks can’t possibly get any wetter inside of your “waterproof” boots, they do. And you think “Well, I’ve lived 28 years. What more is there to do, really? I’ve had a good run, and now I think I’m all set.”)
Which leads me to one more New England phenomenon of which I was previously unaware: everyone has a drinking problem.
Oh, I’m serious. I mean everyone has a drinking problem. Me, you, your neighbors, the guys you work for, the dude that delivers your mail, your mom, your cat, the voices in your head. They. Are. Drunks.
And here’s why: In a world where we throw around terms like “polar vortex” (which is obviously some sort of terrifying sexual reference, by the way. You’re not fooling anyone, Weather Channel) and every other day the skies open up to spit in your face, what else is there to do, really, but drink? Think about it: it’s 3:45 in the afternoon and inexplicably the sky is pitch black. You’re not at work because it’s been buried under the projectile-vomitous snowfall. You have no power, no heat, no television to numb your depression. Also, no electricity brings the added bonus of a sudden need to eat/drink everything in your fridge as quickly as possible before it all turns to cheese.
And so, you gather your resources. You venture into the world (or at least into your kitchen) and you find alcohol. You get into your sweatpants, you get under seventeen blankets, you look out your window at the swirling blackness shitting down from the sky, and you drink.
And you don’t even give your dog a bath. Maybe you’ll start using poop as moisturizer, too. Whatever.