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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Snowmageddon... or, the winter wonderland (a rant)

Edmontonians have some truly bizarre habits.  And today is a living example of one of these habits; our truly baffling relationship that we have with the weather.

It's snowing.  Yes, a LOT of snow.  Yes, it just keeps coming and the weather warning is out and OH MY GOD apparently we are all GOING TO DIE based on the level of conversation on twitter, generalized panic, marshmellow-shaped outerwear, and people leaving work early to beat the so called "rush" when the rush is actually a slushy crawl no matter where you are headed.

Despite the fact that this happens every single year, it seems that Edmontonians are unable to wrap their heads around the fact that it is indeed SNOWING.  Disregard the fact that we all, in some way or another, have chosen to live in what is eight months of the year a god-forsaken hell hole of frozen death, and have miraculously survived every other apparently unsurvivable winter up until this point.  The end is clearly nigh, as the photographic evidence will tell you:

You should probably just make your last will and testament now.

I have some theories about while we all collectively crap our pants (and forget how to drive) the first time we get a heavy winter storm.

#1. DENIAL
Maybe if we keep talking about how awful the weather is, it will go away.  That works with people after all, therefore it must also work with the climate.  I think a good number of Edmontonians are so far into denial about the fact that they are staring down the barrel of EIGHT MORE MONTHS of this shit that they think they can wish the weather away by acting like this is as bad as it has ever been or ever will be.  These people are wrong... and clearly in denial about not only winter's arrival but also about the fact that February will be INFINITELY WORSE.  In February (AKA the month that lasts forever, despite having the fewest days,) there is no Christmas to look forward to, and the snowy scene above will have been the mainstay of our lives for the last FOUR MONTHS.

#2. AMNESIA/POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Is it possible that everyone just forgot that winter existed over the course of the summer?  Was the memory of soggy boots, frost-bitten fingertips and cars perpetually trapped in snowdrifts just too bloody painful to deal with?  How is it that we get caught by surprise by the first snow storm literally every single year?  Nobody puts on their goddamn snow tires, or finds the car sweeper brush so that they can clear a spot bigger than two pee-holes in the snow from which to see while they drive.  And then the snow comes and we act like this is the first time this has ever happened.  Are we actually so traumatized by the dark, cold depths of an Alberta winter that we forget them once the sun pops out in the spring and the trees start to bloom?  Probably.

And then there is the DARK.  I'm not actually going to go into the dark because it's unrelated to the snow, but in December when your UV lamp is on overdrive and you can't get out of bed because you're stricken with seasonal affective disorder and/or a lack of vitamin D, you will look at the snow and justifiably feel like crying.

I'm not saying we should never piss and moan about the weather, because I for one am obviously all about the pissing and moaning.  BUT. We should not be collectively freaking out every year when the snow comes.  It is a fact of life.  It will snow and be shitty hell outdoors for the next eight months.  DEAL.  Or, move to Vancouver, if you want to see what a city of people who are ACTUALLY terrified of snow really looks like.

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