A friend recently mentioned snow after I posted my 5 reasons why winter is worst. At first I was shocked I somehow failed to mention it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized, I’d subconsciously done so on purpose. Because snow sucks so badly, I needed to feature it in its very own low point post.
Snow, you bastard.
I hear a lot of people in Utah getting all excited about snow. They’re sick, sick people. Also, they’re into winter sports, and if there’s one thing Husband and I really don’t participate in on any level, it is the winter sport. I love the outdoors … until it becomes late fall/winter, and then I avoid it as much as possible. Unfortunately, going outside is required of me to remain a functional member of the human society, but one of these years, I’ll probably throw in the towel, sign up for home delivered groceries, join Amazon Prime, set up an account on WebMD, and never leave the house again.
My distaste for snow began when I was a kid, which I realize is when most people really enjoy it, but when you live in the Pacific NW, any images you may have of fluffy, bright white snow are completely killed because what you get is a hard, almost icy snow, that rarely sticks to anything, and when it does, it turns muddy and slushy awfully fast. Our relationship (mine and snow’s, of course) was damaged even further when I was fourteen and nearly broke my spine on a church snow tubing trip on Mt. Hood.
I could regale you with that whole story, but it would take too long. Suffice it to say, it involved a knife, a wooden board, bad walkie talkie reception, and a trip home listening to 80s music, which at the time I despised (I’ve since gotten it together, don’t worry).
And yet despite all those things, when I was choosing a college to attend for four straight years, I didn’t even consider places like California, Arizona, or ANYWHERE OTHER THAN UTAH because Mormons. No, seriously, that’s why I came here. I needed other Mormon kids to play with. And I got them in spades. Thousands and thousands of them. It was actually kind of freaky and a real cultural experience for me, but here I am back in Utah, surviving, so perhaps that was like a pre-apocalyptic prep course. But I digress.
There’s something about a northern Utah winter that is different than winter in the rest of the state, something of which I was unaware (or perhaps I was extremely aware and decided to kid myself and deal anyhow because, again, Mormons). My freshman year wasn’t too bad, and for the most part, I’d say that was God blessing me with a mild(er) winter because I didn’t really have friends or good grades (okay, I’ll admit, I was on the Dean’s list first semester, but I did fail a few quizzes, which for a 3.9 GPA high school graduate was thoroughly traumatizing) or even an enjoyable first semester.
But then my sophomore year came.
Four feet of snow. Blizzards. Classes in session, regardless of all the things. It is really horrifying to walk to class in four feet of snow WHEN YOU ARE 5’1″. There was one afternoon where we jumped out of our kitchen windows about six feet up into the piles because there was no way we’d hurt ourselves. That was relatively fun-ish except for the cold, wet parts.
Fast forward to 2008, when my roommate and I were literally stuck in our apartment for three solid weeks, taking time off work without pay, and almost missing Christmas, because both our cars were snowed into the parking lot and there’s no road clean-up in the entire state of Oregon. We would walk to Costco for fun. One day, we even trekked a mile to Fred Meyer just to shake things up a bit, but of course we didn’t buy anything because we couldn’t afford it. That we didn’t kill each other in those three weeks is remarkable, not because we didn’t like each other (on the contrary, she remains one of my closest friends) but because three weeks in 950 sq. ft. with another human person is taxing.
And here’s the thing about snow. It is merely glorified rain. People can’t seem to complain enough about rain (especially non-Pacific Northwesterners, and I know, I know, this is the point when you remind me I’m a hydrophobe, but I’ve been taking medicine for that, and I’m pleased to report that I can tolerate it now without panic attacks), but then they get excited over snow? You realize when it melts, you’re going to have cold, nasty puddles … like when it rains … right?
People tell me I have to start doing winter sports (Ski Utah!), but I remain completely unconvinced. I mean, almost becoming a paraplegic from a snow tubing accident can kind of kill the magic for you, plus skiing takes coordination and leg strength, and snowboarding looks like skateboarding, which I attempted once and was then required to wear a helmet the rest of the afternoon. Just in case.
Snow also ensures that you’ll have to bundle up before stepping outside (seriously, when I was in college, my nose hairs froze. MY NOSE HAIRS. I didn’t even know that was a thing.) because it’s below freezing (I know, I’m a scientist), but you can certainly expect to be hot, sweaty, and really gross upon entering any location that is not also set at a balmy 34 degrees Farenheit. So snow can muck things up even when you’re inside, not even touching it.
So all you crazies who think snow and winter sports are great, go ahead and live in your delusions. Enjoy the chapped lips and potential frostbite and frozen nose hairs. I’ll be inside, cranking up the furnace, wearing several pairs of socks.