Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The white stuff makes me sneeze.
At the ski resort, I’m the one dressed up in the colorful sweater, who’s really into the après ski. With a heavy emphasis on the après. I’m the first to cast a vote for hot cocoa with plenty of those teeny-tiny marshmallows. But I’m also going to be the one who doesn’t need the infusion of warmth because I haven’t been outside all day.
I fear I have a phobia.
When other children were out building snowmen, and pummeling each other with snowballs from behind ice-fortified front yard forts, I was usually inside with a book. Snow ice cream? Never interested. Frozen slushies made out of the stuff my Dad knocked off the bushes out back? Not a chance.
After all—what if the neighbor’s dog had been there before?
Oh, yes, I always did the Snow Dance of Joy with my sister and my friends when the school district cancelled our lessons because of inclement weather, but I just wasn’t too keen on the concept of playing tag in the drifts that surrounded my front porch.
I’ve always maintained that snow paints a pretty picture, as each flake falls from the sky. Mother Nature puts on some of her best shows in the dead of winter. I’m just not all that interested in coming into contact with those pretty particles of frozen precipitation.
I can trace my Snow Phobia to a couple of incidents from my wayward youth.
The afternoon I took the lead on a 3-person toboggan, and slid right into the back of a house, comes to mind. And the morning I was waiting at the bus stop—let’s see, I must’ve been all of 7 or 8—and my neighbors Jimmy and Mitch started pelting the crowd of grade-schoolers with ice-hard projectiles. I took one for the team that day, right in the left temple.
My slippery relationship with snow continued into adulthood. In my 20s, I had the great fortune to score a trip to a posh South American ski resort. There I suffered a severe case of altitude sickness on the way up a precipitous lift, and wretched all over my cute ski bunny outfit, my equipment, my lift partner…you get the picture. I continued to lose my cookies all the way down the mountain with the ski patrol, and the bus on the way back to town had to stop every 15 minutes or so, in order to let me Call Ralph.
And now, as a Mom with kids at college, I continue to suffer. My girls both go to school in the great State of Wisconsin. I dropped in for a visit about this time 2 years ago. The Badger State was, at that time, in the throes of the worst winter weather ever recorded. I think we saw snow six days out of the seven I was there.
I borrowed my daughter’s Honda Civic—we call it the “Midgetmobile”—one day. Of course, snow started coming down in great gobs while I was running errands. The plows were out in force, and had everything “scraped down to pavement,” as my Hubby likes to say, right away. Trouble was, the snow kept falling, and the drifts kept rising.
Let’s just say I had a lot of trouble parallel parking that snowy day. The wheels on the little car spun and spurted and then, finally, stuck. We weren’t going anywhere fast. Two nice men—by the size of ’em, from hearty dairy farmer stock—happened along and offered to dislodge the car. I asked if I could help them push.
“No problems,” the younger man said. Then he and his partner picked up the Midgetmobile and lifted it back onto the pavement.
Like I said, the white stuff makes me sneeze. I think I might be allergic.