I feel like there has been an injustice circulating the interwebz, and I'm here to remedy that today.
It's about Minnesota, and winter.
For any non-Minnesotan reading (are there any of you? Sometimes I wonder) you may have seen dozens of Instagram photos being posted on Sunday with captions such as "Yay!" or "So pretty!" or "winter wonderland!" .... blah, blah blah.
But the thing about Minnesotans, is, there's a bit of a jekyl and hyde syndrome going on.
Sure, we love
the idea of winter, snow is pretty, all that rainbows and sunshiney goodness... but then you put that Minnesotan behind a car on Monday morning after that first big snow of the season? and they want to MURDER. EVERYONE.
Here's a short list I've compiled for your edification on some of the less talked about parts of a Minnesotan winter.
1. Grandma ethel, who drives 45 miles an hour in GOOD conditions is now going 10 miles an hour. On the freeway.
2. You WILL get your car, or your significant others car towed at some point in your lifetime due to a snow emergency. -->This happened 2 years ago for me. The morning of my Civil Procedure final. They declared back to back snow emergencies (despite no new snow), nobody knew which way was up, and my Saturn (that I had literally been given the NIGHT before) was held hostage by the city of Mpls. impound lot. They towed my car from a plowed street, and dropped it in a snowbank in the tow lot. Then, they drove me back to my car, tossed me a shovel, and had me dig it out. That's not very Minnesota Nice, now is it.
3. Unless you wear skinny jeans tucked into boots all winter, you will at some point suffer from the traumatic, "soggy pant" syndrome. You get out of your car and walk all unassmingly to your destination. You sit down. As you start to regain feeling in your legs, you notice it. The chill in the bottom of your pants is actually snow, that is now melting all over your socks and ankles.
4. #3 results in #4: soggy SOCK syndrome. Which is actually worse than soggy pant. You know that perpetual cold you have all winter? It's from your soggy socks ruining your life. Srsly. Oh, "wear boots" you say? DOESN'T MATTER. that sneaky bastard snow will find a way into your boot. Through the bottoms, OR if you're lucky and traipse through a high enough snow bank, right down the top.
5. -----> THIS.
6. Speaking of #3, MnDOT (MN Dept. of Transportation.. our pals who "plow" --yes, the quote are intentional). This year, MnDOT has dropped the ball in a big way. The streets in downtown Mpls (and EVERYWHERE) resemble a post apocalyptic wasteland. There is a 2 inch layer of rock solid snow, with craters down to the pavement. It feels like you're on a goddamned safari trying to get to work. When my wheel falls off, I'm sending MnDOT the bill.
7. We'll wrap up this list with the 3 stages of grief whilst trying to drive home from work in a Minnesota winter:
You leave your desk. You're happy. "work is done! time to go home!"
You're optimistic about the road conditions. "Oh, it hasn't snowed since Sunday. and I know it still took me an hour to drive 4 miles yesterday but not today! Today will be better!"
You're cruising through downtown, hitting stop lights, "See! I knew it! woo hoo!"
aannnndddd THEN you see the entrance ramp to 394 is backed all the way up to the street. The entrance ramp that is, in and of itself, a MILE long...as it weaves through downtown. "SON OF A ^!%@%#, MotherF$#%^, ARRARAGHHHH!!!"
(10 minutes later): hit steering wheel once for good measure to let off steam.
(an hour later): if you were to look into my car-- or any other of the cars around you-- you'd see a hollow shell of a human being. A vacant expression on my face. My foot automatically moving on and off the brakes without registering what it's doing. You look over at that car stalled on the shoulder because their little Mazda couldn't handle the stop and go. You feel sorry for them, but you must leave him behind.
(10 minutes later): you're still next to the fucking mazda. You look over. He's on his cell phone playing games, reclined in his seat. Suddenly, pulling over to take a nap sounds like a pleasant alternative. Just wait it out on the shoulder! You're so delerious you consider it for 2 whole minutes before moving on.
FINALLY, a break in the traffic! You're home! an hour and a half after you started.
and this, my friends, is what Instagram does NOT tell you about a Minnesota winter.
The good news is, I'm not always so surly about it. This has been therapeutic.
Also? Today was my building's holiday breakfast!
and who can be mad when they start their day off with that.. right? ;)