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Junk food and shorts: here comes the snowstorm!
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
It's January 5, 2014 as I write this, 2:41 a.m. According to the forecast, we're supposed to get hit with a ton of snow and incredibly cold temperatures. As someone who experienced the Blizzard of '78 firsthand, snowstorms don't scare me. I'm beginning to sound like a jaded old person whenever people freak out about a prediction of 6-8 inches of snow. You young people don't know anything about REAL snow! Why, when I was your age …
And here I go. Because when you experience the ultimate wet dream of a snowstorm come true as a child, dire predictions of less than a foot of snow just make me roll my eyes. People empty the store shelves, and when all is said and done, two inches of snow falls and life goes on. Don't worry, the $300 worth of junk food you bought should keep for a while.
But as I write this, we're supposedly facing a lot of snow. Ten feet, ten inches, 60 below zero, hell, I don't know. It's all the same, isn't it? At least it is, if you lived in Indiana all your life. All I could think was, “haven't we learned yet?” Apparently not. At work yesterday was a lad in shorts. SHORTS. It's below freezing, and there he was. The average Hoosier doesn't know how to dress for the weather and must not have anything in the cupboards at all. It's zero degrees out? Guess I'll wear my flip flops to the grocery store to show off my new foot tattoo.
What about food? The average Hoosier must not have anything in the house. Not a few cans of soup, or beef stew, or any hamburger meat, or bread and peanut butter. Not even a box of crackers. Then, when any amount of snow is predicted, people go nuts. They panic. I can understand if you live in a rural area, at the corner of Middle Of and Nowhere, that you would want to stock up on food. County roads are notorious for blowing, drifting snow. But if you're me, and you live in a subdivision in the city, stocking up seems silly. The Blizzard of 1978--now THAT was some serious snow. My backyard was bisected by a six foot snowdrift. My brother dug a tunnel not quite the length of it, and I played in it for quite a while. Unless we get anything to top that, I'm not concerned. Once in a lifetime snowstorms don't happen very often.
On Facebook, lots and lots of people are complaining about the weather. Not me. I know what it's going to be like for the next couple of months: lots of snow, bitter cold. Then, two days of 50 degree weather, and 24 straight hours of driving rain. Then, a plunge to 10 degrees. Black ice covers the streets. More snow is predicted. The grocery stores run out of junk food. More panic. The temperature rises. More rain. Flash floods. It gets cold. Hey, look at that idiot wearing shorts. There's a mid-April snowstorm. Then a slow rise in temperature. A plunge back to 30 degrees, then June hits and it's 90 degrees all of a sudden.
And the whiners and complainers? Well, you can move south if you really hate the weather here. I'm sure the higher cost of living and lower-paying jobs is totally worth working two full time jobs in order to enjoy your one-bedroom apartment in the Hurricane belt. I know there's no point in complaining about the weather—I've lived here long enough to know the score, which makes me an absolute freak. I dress for the weather, slow down when it's slippery, and I ALWAYS have something to eat in the house. It may not be exactly what I want to eat, but there's enough canned goods to get me through a brutal 24-hour period of horrible snow and cold. I'm so over the wacky weather and people's OMG reactions that I can't wait until … spring?
Naaah. I know better.