It’s over 40 degrees and sunny in Seattle, which seems surreal since most of my Facebook feed is about the blizzard that’s supposed to hit St. Louis later today. Like every time a winter storm is predicted, the grocery stores are raided for bread, milk and toilet paper and the gas stations are ringed with lines of cars, and everyone I know complains about it.
And they’re right – the stores and gas stations really are piles of human garbage scrambling to overreact at the last minute – but aren’t they kind of…I don’t know, part of the problem? You can bitch and moan about the pre-storm craziness all you want, but you also failed to go to the store a day early. You also chose the busiest shopping day of the week to get shit done. You also act outraged that everyone else in the city has the same agenda as you. I understand that it’s a pain in the ass and all of the chaos probably isn’t necessary (it’s a foot of snow, not the apocalypse), but could you please save your complaints for when you’re not contributing to it?
Jeez. Just come to the understanding that people are animals who act on panic and the inability to foresee completely predictable annual events (weather, holidays, etc.) and plan accordingly. I promise, it works out pretty well.
We might not get much snow in Seattle but I use the above logic to never ever go to the grocery store on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Mornings are actually okay since nobody here seems to wake up or leave the house before 10am. So if you can wake up early on a weekend and get to the store, you’ll find it mostly deserted and shopping will be a joy. But if not, you’ll have to wait until around 8pm to run your errands, as between the hours of 10am and 8pm, every yahoo in the city is trying to do the same thing and none of them know how to navigate parking lots or store aisles. Which is pretty funny in a stabby kind of way, since I live in a rich hippie neighborhood where everyone puts Peace and Love-type bumper stickers on their Subarus but can’t seem to apply that attitude towards other human beings on a daily basis. If I want to return home without shaking from murderous impulse, I’ve learned that I have to get things done early or late. There is no in-between.
If Seattle was bracing for a snowstorm, I would have already done my shopping (but screw the milk, bread and toilet paper, I’m going for beer, chips, and gummy vitamins) and would be hunkered down at home, waiting for the city to shut down. Because it does. This isn’t the Midwest where snow is something that happens every single year. Snow is rare here and the hills are steep, so we can’t depend on things like plows, salt trucks, and being able to leave the house. Which would be fine, because my mother’s Christmas gift came in the mail yesterday. One of the presents was bajillion-piece puzzle of an aerial view of my old neighborhood in St. Louis. I spent a couple of hours last night trying to organize the pieces into labeled sandwich bags like “St. John’s” and “Bevo Corridor” and “Industrial Area.” In addition to the house where I grew up (the center of the puzzle, and the piece is shaped like a house), two of my former apartments are also in the image, so “Old Neighborhood Bates” and “Old Neighborhood Ghetto” are labeled, as well. I’m not one of the puzzlers in the family (is that what they’re called, or is it puzzle enthusiasts?), so this will likely take me way longer than it should. And in a snowstorm, that’s exactly what I’d need.
She also sent two huge – I mean huge – books that contain the autobiography of Mark Twain:
See? They obscure my head completely. And I’ve got a big fucking head.
I like Twain just fine but I’m no superfan, and while I am not ungrateful, I can’t really imagine sitting down and reading these just because. But my family does this weird thing with prophetic dreaming sometimes, so it’s possible that my mother has foreseen a near future in which I am snowed in or maybe bedridden due to paralysis, and in both events I would find gigantic volumes written in old timey American humorist verse to be useful. Probably.
But with today’s plans of napping, late night grocery shopping and more puzzle organizing, I don’t think I have time for a snowstorm, anyway.