December 4, 2009
Well folks, it’s finally happened. Hell has frozen over. Okay, so maybe Texas isn’t technically “Hell”, but if you came to visit me in August and got to experience the pleasure of stepping outside and immediately trying to dodge a flying cockroach and a giant red ant mound, while simultaneously having your make-up melt off and your hair frizz up like Bozo The Clown, you might think so. Anyway, it is snowing here in Houston today, which causes native Texans to go a little crazy. Steve got to come home from work early to avoid “the severe weather” which in Texan means a light dusting of slushy, wet snow. Some parents were even picking their kids up from school early so they could experience “the joy and wonder on their faces.” Let me tell you something: If the school doors are unlocked and Ethan isn’t projectile vomiting, he’s going to school and he’s staying at school. After growing up in Missouri, then living in Chicago, I am used to the snow. Actually, while living in Chicago, when we had a sunny, snowless day, people would pick their kids up early to experience the joy and wonder on their faces. As much as it is hot and miserable here in Texas, it was that cold and snowy in Chicago. But at least there we had Oprah and Chicago style pizza.
I must admit, though, that I have enjoyed the snow today. The way I enjoy snow is by snuggling up on the sofa in my yoga pants and fuzzy socks and watching it out the window while I watch Top Chef and Real Housewives of Orange County. I want absolutely no contact with the snow. I do not like to be cold, or wet, so winter activities are really not ideal for me. Of course, when I was little, I liked it just as much as everyone else. We used to build forts and attack each other with snowballs, form “sled pyramids” and slide down my neighbor’s hill, and make lots of snowmen and snow angels. One year we even made “snow bunnies” and had the ingenious idea to spray paint them with food coloring. Unfortunately we made a bad choice and picked yellow. We could have gotten the same effect by peeing on them, but we were still proud.
I absolutely loved the snow until sometime in my teens. Actually, I can be much more precise with the date: It was December 1988. It was a cold and windy Saturday. The news said there was “a chance of snow”, and you could kind of smell it in the air, but being that I was 17 and I had important Saturday night things to do, I ignored the warning signs. My best friend Crystal and I decided it was as good a night as any to pull the old “I’m spending the night with Crystal, I’m spending the night with Patti” trick. Our friend Dennis informed us that his parents were out of town, so we decided that we would spend the night at his house, as would our boyfriend’s. Now, I have to pause here to tell you the first bit of proof as to how stupid I was: My dad was a very popular teacher/coach at my High School, and EVERYONE in town knew his SUV. Which I was driving that night. Which I parked in Dennis’ driveway all night. Which was directly across the street from the house of my 2 step-brother’s and their dad. Who obviously knew my dad. But I had important partying to do, and that never crossed my one-track mind, or to be more specific, my two-track mind: track one being boys, and track two being beer.
So anyway, our plan was pure magic. We had an awesome night with our friends, and even got in a few hours of beauty sleep. The next morning we woke up, stretched, smiled, and felt ultra-satisfied with ourselves and how amazingly sneaky we were. Until we looked out the window. Unfortunately, we woke up to about a foot of snow and ice. We knew that this would pose a small problem, since neither of us were particularly good at driving in slippery conditions, but what could we do? We had to get to Crystal’s house early, to keep our story on track. My boyfriend backed the truck out of the driveway for us, because we couldn’t even manage that. Once it was in the street, I took over at the wheel. Unfortunately, I only made it two houses down, at which point I slid and ended up deep into the front yard of a High School football player, whose parents were less than thrilled. So basically, I had to make an unpleasant phone call to my dad so he could come and pull his truck out of the yard of one of his student’s, and the jig was up. That is why I hate snow.
Still, my son seems to love it, and he was very excited when he got off of the bus today. I actually witnessed that “joy and wonder” on his sweet little face. He immediately started playing in it, and he and Steve even made a snowman. Although, for a short time my son was having fun, I soon realized I had another reason to hate snow: It turns my son into a huge whine bucket. Every 5 minutes he opened the door to whine about how cold and wet he was, and when he came in he whined until I peeled all of his clothes off and made him a warm bath. Now he’s whining just because he’s on a roll and can’t stop, I guess. So I realize now, more than ever, that snow is bad. Snow has it in for me. Snow wants nothing more than to make me unhappy, whether it be by getting me grounded or giving me a whine-induced headache. So snow, we are not friends. You ruined that relationship back in ’88 and it can never be repaired. We had a good thing going up until then, but it’s over. I choose my summer’s and my Houston heat, my ants, alligator’s and flying roaches. Summer may be hot, but summer never got me stuck in someone’s yard wearing last night’s clothes. Well, except that one time in ’89…
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