Supposing you’re one of the hip young people, you need to be able to act like you’re an old pro at everything. In the icy grip of February, long after winter break has ended and the holidays are a distant memory, you need the ability to be casually dismissive of snow. Perhaps it’s your first winter in the northeast, and you grew up in Texas. Perhaps snow is familiar to you, but not quite familiar enough for snide condescension. Not to worry, you’ll be intolerable in no time.
Step 1: Deny the beauty of snow
This past Tuesday, I was walking back from work through a shower of large snow flakes, the type you see depicted on unsigned paintings in your grandma’s house. I looked up, and beheld the SciLi, crusted with fallen snow. I caught myself thinking, “You know, that doesn’t look half bad at the moment,” so the snowfall was aesthetically miraculous. However, if you want to be over the snow, you have to envision the weeks ahead, in which the once beautiful precipitation transforms into piles of concentrated grey misery on the sides of the roads. T.S. Eliot was off by one; back in Buffalo, where I come from, March is the cruelest month by far. It’s a monument to a hideous winter that has overstayed its welcome. Once this month is upon us, the idea of a winter wonderland will connote all the grace and beauty of a stubbed toe.
That lucky bastard Caesar got to duck out on the 15th.
Step 2: Think about the time invested in travel
I don’t know about you, but I find walking to be my favorite method of travel in Providence. Unfortunately, the recent storms have made traveling on foot through Providence untenable. Want to walk to Stop & Shop to get some groceries? Fuck you, go to Whole Foods and double your bill. After a few days of trying to navigate all the narrow old roads of the surrounding town only to find that, whoops, this sidewalk is also not clear, looks like you’ll be turning around again, you’ll be hating winter like a 10-year veteran.
Providence seems perfectly designed and managed to facilitate this nonsense. It seems to me a bit mean-spirited to hold the city’s design against the Puritans; they couldn’t even wrap their heads around the concept of fun, so city planning was clearly beyond them. (For a modern example of this problem, take a gander at Camden.) The Puritans left England because they thought the fun police weren’t strict enough. England was where you went when you’d lived on Continental Europe for a few years, grown tired of joy, and decided you’d rather have rain than baguettes. The Puritans would’ve outlawed thumbs if they could manage (you don’t need them to put you hands together in prayer!), but someone pointed out that Martin Luther would’ve had a hell of a time nailing up his 95 Theses without thumbs, and while he was too soft, he was better than the Papists. With the knowledge that the thumb had freed them from Rome’s opulence and thinly veiled paganism, the Puritans grudgingly allowed the digit. Flashing a thumbs-up would still send you straight to hell, though. But I digress.
Step 3: Hit the gym and become insufferable
What’s all this snow still on the ground for? You’ve got a summer bod to show off. (You. I’ve got ice cream to eat.) Once you’ve got your 6 or 8 or whatever-multiple-of-2 pack (can you tell I haven’t studied biology in several years?), the thought of wandering around bundled up in multiple layers will be anathema to your pride. Your resentment for the snow will be first-class. Bonus points for being tanned in late March.
Still seems a bit cold for all that, David.
That’s all I’ve got for you. Remember: the more you think about it, the faster it’ll go by! April is just around the corner.