Point of No Return: Winter visited a little early. Now, leave. Now
Fall is a cruel temptress.
She comes in at the end of each summer with the promise of wide-open streets at the beach, changing colors in our natural splendor, community events galore and the satisfying, comforting taste of sweater-weather on her lips.
Then she flips us the bird, knocks down all our leaves and has us sitting in a frozen car, waiting for the heater to do its one and only job.
What happened? One minute I’m sweating through a T-shirt while sitting 27-deep at a red light on Route 26, and the next I’m trying to train my chattering teeth to perform the Marine Corps Hymn. It seems like there used to be six solid weeks of crisp, 50-degree days that featured football, children in scary costumes and the crunch of leaves under our feet.
Now we get two days of mild weather, kids staying inside to watch Disney+ while they drink hot chocolate and me sliding up and down the sidewalk like Dorothy Hammil after she just got off a Tilt-A-Whirl.
Google her, kids. You’ll be impressed. I mean, the haircut alone stirred a cultural phenomenon that...
But I digress.
I’m not ready for winter. Heck, I didn’t even know I was supposed to be getting ready for winter. I would have worn warmer clothes when I went to work on Tuesday. I would have started squirreling away money for my rising heating bill. I would have, well, not gone outdoors.
In the interests of full disclosure, I did hear people suggest that snow on Tuesday was a possibility, and also that temperatures were expected to drop. Yes, this is an undisputed fact. I did hear those things.
But I hear the word “snow” several times a year around here, and usually I end up seeing some rain, a few big gusts of wind and schools getting delayed for two hours because somebody thought he or she saw a snowflake outside their window at midnight. You get kind of numb to it after a while. It’s like all those people who tell you that if you keep drinking Irish whiskey you’ll eventually lose your memory and, um, some other stuff I don’t remember.
Regardless, I didn’t pay attention. I felt like “falling temperatures” meant, you know, it would be like 45 degrees outside. Not 1. With a wind chill of I’m-an-idiot-because-I’m-outside-in-this degrees.
But that’s what we had. Probably. I didn’t look. I couldn’t look. My eyeballs were frozen to my glasses and they dried out because I couldn’t blink and the next thing you know I was at the gas station trying to wipe down my eyes with a Squeegee so I could make it the rest of the way home without my retinas turning into a cloud of dust.
So, that’s how my Tuesday evening went. How about yours?
Obviously, this is not a call-to-action column. I’m not trying to convince somebody to do something about this weather, because, well, who does one call? Seriously. Who? If you have any ideas, I’ll make the call, but I kind of feel like there’s only one guy who can honestly change the weather for us, and He has a lot on His plate.
Famine. War. The continued extinction of species that He created in His image. The big guy has a little more to worry about than the fact that my nose is chilly. Besides, I kind of need His help this weekend with the Ravens game.
Editor’s Note: That was a joke. I know perfectly well that the Ravens don’t need divine intervention this season.
So, if this isn’t a call-to-action piece, what in the world is it? A concerted effort from yours truly to bond our community together through a shared experience of a cold-weather snap, instead of watching us just shred each other to pieces over politics?
Ha! No. No, it is not. You’re giving me too much credit, friends.
This is about me whining about the cold because I wanted to whine about the cold. Was it Sigmund Freud that said that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar? Well, sometimes a whiny, do-nothing-for-anybody column is just a whiny, do-nothing-for-anybody column. And, as evidence, I present this to you, my loyal reader (Hi, Mom!).
To borrow a theme from the recently-run-its-course HBO phenomenon, Game of Thrones: Winter is coming.
And, on Tuesday and Wednesday, it came. It punched us in the teeth, gave us a collective wedgie and left us crying in a trash can. Or, maybe I just had a flashback to the seventh grade.
Whatever. It’s cold.