Sunday, December 9, 2018

Not Washing My Hair with Snow

What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?
~ John Steinbeck

Not to sound like sour grapes of wrath or anything, but I got your winter cold right here, mister.

Oh, sure, I can accept an early snow day for the beauty of the big, soft flakes falling when I wake up. I can even make the most of it on my walk by ensuring that my route takes me by Nate's Bagels, where a handwritten sign on the door warns that they'll be closing at noon due to safety concerns.

As the woman who takes my order explains, pointing outside, "If it's that bad on Cary Street, how bad is it on the side streets?" Pretty nasty, I tell her, having just walked two miles on side streets.

Fortunately for me, it was only 11:34 when I got there and they weren't yet out of everything bagels, so at least my effort wasn't in vain. Actually, it was the shortest line I've seen at Nate's since they opened, but even so, the walk home felt even wetter and colder than getting there had, but maybe that had to do with seeing a guy in shorts walking down Main Street.


Although I was optimistic enough to clean off my car once I got back, it was completely covered again within two hours, so basically it was just some additional cardio I did.

And although I happily looked out my windows dozens of times today to admire the falling snow, I'm really not a snow day kind of a gal. I don't have a fireplace and I don't drink hot toddies. I'm not going to go sledding or build a snowman (or, as is more common in J-Ward, build a snow penis). I'm not going to eat gingerbread or sip tea, either.

Any moment now, I expect the walls to begin closing in on me. The occasional cup of hot chocolate aside, I'm really pretty terrible at celebrating snow appropriately.

So I did the only logical thing: I worked. I edited a piece I'd been working on so I could submit it early, then wrote up the artist interview of the exhibit I'd toured yesterday. I worked out, baked cookies and cleaned the bathroom.

I watched as one of my Clay Street neighbors did periodic snow measurement updates and posted them online so I didn't have to wonder how deep it was outside. I read my Washington Post from front to back, ogling photographs in the travel section of Nevis and the British Virgin Islands, pictures that felt like a tease compared to what's outside my door.

And I realized as the day progressed and the snow kept falling that while I could get by today, tomorrow is going to be a wash. Already, businesses and institutions have announced that they'll be closed. There goes tomorrow's road trip, as well as my plans with Lady G for tomorrow night.

It's doubtful I'll even be able to work since there's no telling if anyone will answer my emails if they're not at the office. Le sigh.

My only hope is that the VMFA with its policy of being open 365 days a year will open tomorrow, allowing me to trek through this mess to be culturally entertained for as long as possible. But being a state institution, I'm not counting on it. Absent that life line, my sole shot at escape would be Movieland if they choose to open.

It's not like I don't have a stack of reading material to dip into. But much as I love to read, it's just tough to get conversation out of even the best of books. It's not the snow I mind, it's the cessation of social life.

Just because there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there isn't a bored extrovert inside.

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