snow happens

What is it that makes people drive like morons in the first snow?

Even in regions where every year, it snows.  More than a little.  More than rarely.  Did they forget how to drive in the snow in just 8 to 9 months?  That doesn’t seem plausible.  Are we all just skating the edge, running against the clock, trying to get in under the wire and with the first snow, we are still in denial of the change that makes us need to adjust what “leaving in time to stop at the store on the way home” means?  This has my vote, this or something like it.

In some ways, I think the first snow could be seen as like the onset of a new symptom in a chronic illness, or the return of a troubling one which you had hoped was gone but knew probably wasn’t gone for good.  You over do it.  You don’t accommodate for it, not initially.  You still try to run run run and get everything done.

And then you hit the gridlock, hell, you become the gridlock.

In addition to the first snow denial that was in full effect for this evening’s commute, there was also the not negligible effect of the cities and towns not being prepared for actual accumulation.  Why should they have been?  The weather forecasts predicted dustings only.  And here I sit, watching three to five inches pile up outside and wonder “will I get out in time to get to the doctor’s tomorrow”  and when I get there, will it be worth having raced to get there in time?

Probably not.  But I’ll try anyhow.  Otherwise, I may as well just crawl into a cave for the duration.

On the bright side, at least with winter, we know approximately when the symptoms (chills, unsteady gait, limited range of motion, risk of falling, and overall slowed activity and metabolic levels) will abate.  And on the other bright side, ok the slightly tarnished by the sort of misanthropy of this sentiment “bright” side, there is a sort of “ha! now you know how I feel every day!” aspect for me here.  Thought of getting up and out fill you with dread?  How will you get to your car?  From your car to your office?  Will you end up sweating into your work clothes from the exertion of simply trudging to the bus stop?  Welcome to my world.

On that note, to my fellow drivers in the “first” snow, I say buck up, accept reality and slow down a little for the love of god.  You’re not helping anyone, including yourself, if in your haste to deny the new constraints of your environment, you end up crashing.

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  1. R. G. Maines

     /  December 22, 2010

    I’ve often wondered this too… we get snow in the North East every year, sometimes significant accumulation, yet people seem to act as if they’ve never seen snow before, when that first big snow fall happens.

    I also get fed up with people complaining about the snow, they have lived with it all their lives if they’ve lived here, they know it’s coming, it’s a fact of life in North Central PA.

    I also appreciate what you’re saying too, about ‘welcome to my world’, that so many people complain about how the weather effects their bodies, but we live with these effects all year round.

    “Snow Happens”, so deal with it! 🙂

  2. queenofoptimism

     /  December 27, 2010

    I’m a transplant to snowier lands so I used to be one of *those* people. Now, when we had our first snow 5 weeks ago, I pushed on to work and it took me 2.5 hours to get there for all of the reasons you stated above.

    Glad to know you can finally get some physical relief.


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