You might have heard that the south got a little snow this week. And you probably heard all sorts of stories about the fall out from the snow. Depending on which side of the Mason Dixon line you fall, you might have also said some really stupid things that annoyed me. Well, actually, anyone on any side had an equal chance of saying something stupid and annoying me. Your location just determined what kind of stupid. Now that the snow is melting and we’ve all had a chance to calm down I want to help you realize what a jerk you might have been. And, you know, maybe avoid being one in the future.
If you’re in the south:
I’m a lifelong resident of the south. I get it. We don’t get a ton of snow. It’s still no reason to lose your s#!t. It’s just snow. It will melt. It always melts. The melting is actually part of the problem. (And I’ll get to that in a bit…) Go outside. Grab that sled you bought that’s been used never and have a little fun. It’s not going to last very long!
Try to actually prepare for bad weather before it actually happens. We all look silly when you clear out the bread, milk and eggs from the grocery story at the first flurry. We get weather reports. Use them to plan ahead. Hear that some snow might be coming in a few days? Pick up a little extra at the grocery store in case you get stuck at home. Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t buy things you don’t need. Just, you know, try to have some food in the house that you can eat if the power goes out.
If you work at a TV station (or know someone who does) can you pass along the word that we don’t actually need wall to wall snow reporting? A crawl along the bottom of the screen will work just fine outside of regularly scheduled news reports. There has to be a balance somewhere between making sure everyone knows how serious a weather situation might be and creating so much hysteria that people start to think of those every five minute updates as the boy who cried wolf.
Have kids? Try to remember when your school system gets overly cautious about scheduling and closings that they’re not doing it to ruin your life. They’re trying to take care of the kids. Annoyed that you had a snow day before any snow actually fell? I’m sure those parents whose kids were actually trapped at school overnight would happily trade places with you.
If you’re not in the south:
Stop making fun of us. Stop telling us that we’re stupid for closing up shop and staying home over two inches of snow. Try to understand that the snow we get is completely different than the snow you get.
Don’t tell me you can drive in the snow. I don’t care. You probably can. I own a 2 wheel drive Civic. I can’t. It’s not something that even becomes an issue more than a few times a year. I don’t have the practice. We also don’t have arsenals of snow plows and salt at the ready. (Yes, we do have plows and salt. Just not in the quantity that can take care of the roads as quickly and expediently as it happens in areas that get regular winter snow.)
Appreciate that we get a lot of ice. No one can drive on sheets of ice. (And unless your car is a Zamboni, no, you really can’t.) You see, in the south things are warmer than they are in the north. We get snow. Then the sun comes out and melts the snow. It turns to slush. Sure, some evaporates. Some doesn’t. Then overnight temperatures drop below freezing and all of that water and slush freezes. That, my friend, is black ice. And it’s dangerous.
If you can do all of this for me, I promise I won’t taunt you on Facebook with screenshots of my weather app when you’re digging out from three feet of snow and it’s a delightful 62 degrees where I live. So, now, can we all just play nice and be friends again?