You’re Doing Snow Days Wrong

It’s a habit that is developed early in life and never seems to fade. From that first winter in Kindergarten (even though Kindergarten is fun, much more fun than a full-time job, and those kids have no right to complain), we learn to wish for the magic of a Snow Day. Some have a dance or a chant, while others rely on the power of prayer. “Oh my God, God, please don’t make me go to school tomorrow.” But for every flake of snow or drop of freezing rain that is forecast, we are united in the common hope that we can have one blissful day of sleeping in and wearing pajamas and not having talk to a single person.

And along with these habits of hoping come the rituals for compulsively checking if your dreams have come true. Thanks to the internet, you can easily check your status online, hitting refresh repeatedly until something changes. Or better yet, just wait for a text, tweet, or email alert. But back in my day there was a little more effort and stress involved.  You could watch the news, hoping to see the name of your county scroll across the bottom of the screen – your breath catching in your chest as each new name appeared and your heart dropping when you saw one repeat, meaning the list had come and gone without your school on it. Or maybe you’d call the inclement weather hotline, which was faster, but still full of suspense. They always started with the date. Ok blablabla we know what day it is, cut to the chase! Then they’d state the county, “Montgomery County Schools are…” and you’d analyze the tone of the recorded voice. “Oh yeah she sounds like it’s serious, she is enunciating like she has really important information to convey, we are totally closed,” or “Oh no, she sounds so nonchalant and a little dismissive, like we are idiots to even be calling because obviously schools aren’t closed. Crap, we are so open.” And then there is that long pause right before the one part you really want to hear, like when Ryan Seacrest announces who didn’t get enough votes on American Idol, because I guess they are under the impression that people are patient and like to wait for things – because that is what America is about: delayed gratification. In any case, the moment of truth is upon you. “Schools are…”

And then finally, the verdict: Closed. And your heart soars, trumpets sound, confetti flies.

But not for everyone. Apparently there are people who couldn’t be bothered to check the weather and just show up to work on time every day like fools! Yesterday, my office had a two-hour delay due to snow. When I arrived at work, I overheard a woman explaining that she had no idea there was a delay and arrived first thing in the morning. My immediate reaction was,

No idea? Lady, when you wake up and see snow outside, you check for closings! Fact. That is the first thing you do. Even if you think, “No, they couldn’t possibly close for this!” Yes, yes they could. Are you new here? They have and they do and they will again. It doesn’t take much. That is the beauty of it. I mean, I didn’t even SLEEP that night because every 30 minutes I asked myself, Do you think they’ve decided yet, should I check now?? I basically lost 8 hours of sleep wondering if I’d be getting 2 extra. But I at least knew what was going on.

Then today, the forecast was for snow in the early morning. Like any sane person, I went to bed planning to wake up, check the internet, and go back to bed because obviously, everything would be closed. But my sweet snowy slumber was interrupted by a phone call from my boss letting me know that the office was closed. This was very nice, but buddy, when there is a day off of work at stake, I make it my business to know. I may have had grilled cheese for dinner every night for the past week, but this? I’m on top of it. I don’t mess around with Snow Days.

Advertisements

‘Tis the Season…

…to be forced into buying crappy gifts for people just to fulfill an obligation. Fa la la la la la la la.

Before you get your Santa suit in a twist, let me say, I love giving someone a gift I know they will enjoy and appreciate. What I hate is spending time and money to buy something…anything…for an acquaintance, even though they will probably hate it, because it is part of a “fun” gift exchange or because they are getting me something so now I have to get them something, only to be filled with the satisfaction and joy that their inevitable look of poorly stifled disappointment brings:

Credit: fusepilates.com

Credit: fusepilates.com

That just warms your heart.

My gut reaction to that look is, “Okay, fuck you then. You get nothing!” Although, I don’t entirely blame them. They are trying. It is just very, very difficult to pull off the perfect ‘I don’t like this at all but I am going to look so genuinely excited and grateful that you can’t tell’ face. You have to be quick on your feet – if you show even a flash of disappointment before painting on a smile, it’s over. But, in your rush to show excitement and appreciation, be careful not to overdo it – that is also an immediate tell. Your level of excitement must be proportionate to the gift. If someone buys you an ugly pair of Christmas socks, you can’t use excitement to cover up your true feelings. Saying, “Yes, socks! I can’t believe it, I love love love these, OMG this is amazing! I have to Instagram these right now,” could only be perceived as sarcasm.

Yes, there is a lot of thought and skill that goes into pulling off the perfect fake response. I myself can’t do it. I fight a constant battle between not wanting to be rude and not wanting to lie, and this internal conflict manifests in my face. The attempted smile is always pulled back by the ‘Yeah, I don’t want this crap’ face and it ends up looking like this:

Photo credit: amorsthoughts.wordpress.com

Photo credit: amorsthoughts.wordpress.com

How about, instead of buying each other shit we don’t want… we do nothing! Let’s just exchange season’s greetings and call it a day. How about you take the money you were going to spend on me, and buy something you actually want, and I’ll take my money, and buy what I want, which I’ve actually been doing all year, because I am self-sufficient and don’t depend on casual acquaintances to buy me things.

Some might argue that a gift card is a way around the gift exchange dilemma. But at that point, why bother? A gift card is almost like giving someone cash, but with the caveat that they can only spend it where you say so. So it is actually worse than giving someone cash because at best, you’ve exchanged bills out of your wallet, and at worst, you’ve exchanged those bills for a plastic card that you can’t use.

A friend of mine was forced into a gift exchange at work, specifically a gift card exchange.  I consider this to be the height of stupid. They are literally going to stand in a circle and trade $25. Why is that fun? “You’ll never guess what I got at work today – after paying $25, I got $25 back!” You don’t even get to unwrap it, and we all know that is half the fun of presents. I did a lot of online shopping for myself last week and I’m very seriously considering wrapping that stuff up just to open it Christmas morning. Maybe taking this gamble with a gift card exchange is fun in the way that Russian Roulette is fun, but instead of not getting shot in the head, your rush of adrenaline comes from not getting the Olive Garden gift card.

Photo credit: knowyourmeme.com

Photo credit: knowyourmeme.com