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It's Snowing… Must.Go.Shopping.

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2011-03-07


As I write this, supposedly we are in for another huge snowstorm. I never pay attention to the weather reports, because by the time I hear them, they become corrupted. Two inches turns into 12 inches, with gale force winds. Frequently, the “storm of the century” is two inches of snow plus some freezing rain.

Winter storms stopped being fun a long time ago. I fondly remember the Blizzard of ’78. That was a great time to be a kid. That was the year I was home schooled, so I had plenty of free time, but there was a somewhat adventurous feeling about the blizzard aftermath. My brother dug a tunnel out of the drift that bisected our back yard. My mom took our Flexible Flyer and walked to Kroger’s to bring back provisions. And my home school teacher didn’t make it to my house for quite some time.

Now, of course, if a blizzard hits, no snow days for me. I’m an adult now, and I have to go to work. But I’ll never understand how people react to storms. The Fort Wayne residents who have lived here for years seem to forget how to drive as soon as the first snow hits. And a forecast of a snowstorm has people raiding the grocery stores like the apocalypse is going to hit. Do people really not have a couple days’ worth of food in the house? I went to the store too, and spent $67, but to be honest, the only food items I bought were a bag of chips, a bag of Hershey Kisses, and a bottle of cranberry grape juice. The bulk of the bill came from the dog and cat food, the soap, the nail polish, the toilet paper, the paper towels and the two pairs of pants that I couldn’t resist. When I thought about it, I realized I had at least two days or more of popcorn, pop, soup, frozen fish, frozen shrimp, veggies and frozen meals. Not to mention enough hot chocolate and tea to see me through for a couple of weeks, if not more.

I suspect the rest of Fort Wayne has “enough” food in the house, but not enough junk food. No one wants to gorge on soup during a snowstorm.

After one of the massive “storms of the century” we were supposed to get this season, I looked out the next morning and, just as I suspected, saw perhaps two inches of snow. Since I didn’t want to leave the house in the hopes I’d get something done in terms of cleaning, I didn’t feel too guilty in getting Chinese food delivered to the house. And what would I have done if the weather had really been bad? I would have gotten along with what I had in the house.

The food delivery guy told me 10-16” were on the way. My gut said no — three inches tops. And I predicted grocery store profits will be up several percentage points between now and the end of the week.

But I was wrong. Days later, there’s 12” of snow on the ground, my driveway is a trap, it’s zero degrees, and my car is in the shop, stalling out for no apparent reason. I made it into work the day after the storm hit, quite proud that my three cylinder Geo got me there, while approximately 35 of my co-workers called off for the day. It was an interesting change of pace, as hardly anyone came to shop, and I got to sit in front of a space heater for the last part of my shift, which was quite pleasant indeed.

The next day, it was business as usual. However, it makes me realize how chicken we all are. Do we really think we’ll be snowed in for a week? Is it necessary to buy $100 worth of food for just two people the instant a snow storm is announced? Next time you go to the grocery store, buy enough soup and other non-perishable foods, like crackers, tuna and macaroni and cheese for three days, just in case a storm does hit. If it does, you’ll have food on hand and there will be no need to rush out and join the crowds fighting over the last package of hamburger and bag of Doritos.

But with those shoppers who wait until Christmas Eve to buy gifts, running to Kroger/Scott’s at the first notice of a winter storm warning is like a tradition. And if the big one (and I’m talking Blizzard ’78 big, not this minor thing that just came in) hits and you DID go to the store in anticipation, well, you’ll have bragging rights. “I spent $300 just to make sure we had enough in case we were snowed in,” you’ll say. “And if the power hadn’t gone out, we could have had all that frozen pizza and ice cream I bought. It was the soup and crackers and beef jerky that got us through.”

Shop carefully, Fort Wayne.

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