This is New York State? You donít say! And itís winter time? No kidding! Guess that would explain the snow, huh? Couldíve fooled me. With so many crocodile tears being shed about how unexpected and unfair the weather has been around here, I figured we must be in Miami (which I was beginning to think was overrated).
Because whining in South Florida is understandable if thereís snow, slop and ice falling from the sky regularly (Hell, itís justified if any falls there at all). Just imagine if it was winter-like for a couple weeks, or even months in that part of the country? Where itís near tropical. Their world would be turned upside down Ė especially because Miami fashion is founded on pastel colors, which donít work in a climate that flatters plaid, or so Iím told.
Us here Ė weíve got no excuse to sing the blues. Our home is smack dab in snow country. It always has been. Nothing new. For five months Ė nearly half a year Ė winter is practically all we know. Itís a fact of life. Between November and April, itís nasty Ė and itís supposed to be. Yet people still act shocked when four or five inches of snow falls in mid-January. In some parts of the country, four or five inches in January is a dusting! Here, itís a ďWinter Storm.Ē Complete with winter snow advisories, watches and warnings. Networks send out what is todayís equivalent of an air raid siren across the television screen. And everything shuts down. States of emergency. Closed roads. School closings. Evening events postponed.
Up until a few years ago, the weather didnít seem to matter so much. Everyone just sucked it up Ė the wind, sleet and snow Ė and pushed through. Our everyday schedules werenít interrupted unless we literally couldnít go anywhere Ė snowed in.
Now, we donít even wait for the weather to get bad before we cancel or close anything. Itís all done pre-emptively. The whole day winds up hinging on a weather report, rather than whatís actually going outside. And this year, there hasnít been much of anything going on outside, it seems. Even when the weather has been ďbad,Ē it hasnít been that bad. Aside from a few isolated storms, winter hasnít seemed nearly as long or grueling. Still, the first word of snow and everything grinds to a halt Ė education, commerce and occasionally, government. Whether it true or not (The Weather Channel spreads panic quicker than the Dow Jones). Weíre better off hinging our days on horoscopes.
Whatís the point? Next winter, we have to hibernate or get off the pot. We either accept this season as part of our lives and deal with Ė no complaining, no cowardice Ė no matter how mild or harsh it is. Or we sleep for five months Ė save some time and cancel everything way in advance (whoís with me?). But no more of this willy-nilly attitude toward the snow. Get tough or get sleepiní. Hanginí halfway wonít make winter any easier.
But you donít need me to tell you that. And you donít need to watch, be advised or be warned by anyone how crappy winter is. If you do, maybe itís time to move to Florida.
McGuire is one of three people in the world without a MySpace page. His column appears Thursdays.