The snow began softly falling on schedule today at 1 p.m. I say softly, but there was sure a lot of it softly falling at once. My shift ended right around then, and so did Kiran's; he didn't have his car, so I offered to give him a ride home.
Here's the thing. This part of the world gets snow. Sometimes a lot of it. We scoff at Southerners who shut down entire cities when one flake of the stuff falls from the sky. But if the truth were known, we don't really handle it too well either. Here we have been hearing warnings about this snowstorm (and the one coming up later this weekend) for the last two or three days. So you would think that all these seasoned snow warriors would just hunker down wherever they were for a couple of hours and wait until a few plows had been through, and then head home after that. Leaving the roads clear so those of us who had already worked a full eight hours and had stuff to do in the afternoon could head home among the first couple of flakes. Er, snowdrifts.
But no. Instead, everyone completely freaked out (or took advantage of the situation) and left work/school/the gym early, so that probably the entire county (minus the four people who were still working at Starbucks) decided to converge on Park Ave and Main Street all at the same time.
It was nice having someone to talk to in the car for the first two hours. Unfortunately, I was on my own for the last three. I'm not going to go into the part about how when I finally got home, I had no place to park and got stuck in a drift twice and had to dig myself out both times--and then dig myself in, as it were. And how that was kind of upsetting. (Or at least, I was kind of upset.)
But I do have a theory about why "my people" up here are so silly about snow. This batch of snow really is quite beautiful. It's soft. It actually shovels pretty well, yet it's also not too bad for making snowballs. (The best part of the commute today was when a car-full of college students scraped some snow off their own car and pelted it at mine.) But here we all are--poor us--having spent our childhoods making snowmen and going sledding and having snowball fights in our ill-fitting snowpants. And then we grow up and suddenly all we have time for is shoveling and trying not to skid into somebody else's car on the way to work. It's a let-down. Snow wasn't meant to be so mundane, I don't think. It certainly wasn't meant to take five hours to go ten miles in it. I think we were all just supposed to stay home and enjoy it.