I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends on the mainland who are experiencing a whole lot of winter this year. People who don’t really know the South personally don’t understand our reaction to winter weather.
Look, we know it seems ridiculous to those of you who are used to white winters. We have no problems laughing at ourselves. We get a kick out of the cartoons and the YouTube videos, just like the rest of you. This is one of my favorites:
But sometimes people in states where it habitually snows seem to be a little smug and condescending to their brothers and sisters below the Mason Dixon line. As my friends are preparing for another round of winter, I was reminded me of a post I wrote back in 2010 (during one of the rare but occasional and short-lived periods of times I actually blogged consistently). I wrote a letter with my friend Tiffani trying to explain why we do the things we do when The Weather Channel even hints that something less solid than rain may fall from the sky. This is the letter I wrote to those of you who don’t understand the panic happening in the southern states this week:
Dear Snow State People,
You know who you are. You were the ones who rolled your eyes at the Great Potential Winter Weather Emergency of 2010. You laughed when our school systems cancelled school before nary an ice crystal touched the ground. You snickered as we packed Walmart to buy provisions in a way that retail stores haven’t seen since the big Y2K preparations. You make fun of us when we speak in wind chill temperatures when your actual air temperatures are even lower. Sometimes you border state dwellers even report your temps to us in Celsius so we’ll know you’re so far north you’re almost in another country, eh? Well, while you’re laughing at us from your states that come fully equipped with snow plows and sand trucks and seat warmers in your car, we want you to think about something…
We don’t have all that stuff.
See, we may be from the South, but Whimzie lived in New England twice. She’s on to you and knows your snow secrets. We don’t have any fancy scraper things that attach to our pickup trucks. We don’t have snow blowers. Most of us don’t even have snow boots. You know what we have? We have those plastic bags that the newspaper comes in on rainy days. We put those on over our socks with a couple of rubberbands and wear our tennis shoes to play in the snow on the rare times that we get it. If we can’t find the mittens we bought five years ago during the Great Almost Blizzard of 2005, we just might wear mismatched socks on our hands. We scrape the ice off our car windshields with the spatulas from our kitchen drawers and the driver’s licenses from our wallets. We don’t know how to drive in snow, or walk in it for that matter. We freak out and wreck and fall. Most of us haven’t had enough practice. And while we know that your children’s safety isn’t compromised because your school bus drivers could drive their buses over Mt. Everest with ease, ours, however have had no such training. We aren’t willing to put our children in harm’s way while Edgar the Bus Driver white knuckles the wheel because he doesn’t know what “turn in to the spin” means. All we’ve been told and know for sure is that we’re supposed to go get milk, bread, and toilet paper. We’re not even sure why we do it but it’s been passed on to us just the same as which college football team we’re going to cheer for on Saturdays every fall was.
And before you get cocky about just how much better you all handle the snow and frigid temperatures than we do, we’d like to issue a little challenge……
We double dog dare you to survive a summer day in August here in the deep South. We bet you wouldn’t make it past 10 a.m. Yes, 10 a.m., because it’s not uncommon to wake up to a higher temperature here than you’ll see all summer. You haven’t really lived until you get ready for the day–hair, makeup, freshly ironed outfit–only to have your face melt off and fall in your lap when you get in your car to go to work. You don’t know summer until you’ve suffered second degree burns on the backs of your thighs when you sat down on boiling hot vinyl car seats. When you’ve kept your arms at 90 degree angles from your body so that your deodorant would dry and not superglue your arms to your sides, then you can talk about who knows how to handle weather. Talk to me with a mouth full of gnats and mosquito bites the size of a saucer up and down your extremities or have a swatting battle with a ginormous, winged unidentifiable bug, then you might have an eaten-up leg to stand on.
I’ve heard you gripe about humidity in the summer. People, please. When it’s summer in the South, we can chew our air it’s so humid. Breathing in August air is like trying to breathe a brick through your nose it’s so heavy. When you can wring water out of your clothes and you haven’t been anywhere near water, you can talk to me about humidity.
So, we’ll see your winter and we’ll raise you a summer.
With all the love and southern hospitality we have to bless your little hearts,
Tiffani of Bears and Belles and Whimzie
So, stay warm my friends!