The 3 Stages of Snowbound
STAGE 1: Exponential Laziness
Maybe you woke up on Friday morning to a school cancellation, got let out of work a few hours early, or just decided to screw it and call in sick. But whenever your snowy weekend began, stage one is the same for everyone- UTTER SLOTH. Gifted with an unexpected 3-day weekend and incapacitated by the weather to the point where completing even the simplest tasks like laundry and jogging are completely off the menu, it becomes your duty to laze harder than you’ve ever lazed before (sweatpants- ENGAGE!).
Personally, I slept until noon, and then did New York Times crosswords in bed until after 5. I probably got up at some point to pee and/or eat, but it’s all kind of blurry.
PRO TIP: If you don’t know how to drive/have a car, then you don’t have to shovel- EVER.
STAGE 2: Unbearable Boredom
Friday was a piece of very lazy cake, but by the time Saturday rolled around, I was feeling trapped, crazy, and pretty much ready to freak out and start throwing elbows (except for the fact that I was alone in my apartment). I had run out of crosswords puzzles, eaten all of the Oreos, and watched last week’s episode of Downton Abbey two times. Eventually, I resorted to cooking (pink bean hummus, cashew mac & cheese, and some very poorly wrapped Thai fresh rolls), and perhaps even more tragically, CLEANING.
A blizzard is really just an episode of the Twilight Zone. It seems like everything you ever wanted until you realize that you’re out of scotch, and there’s a 6 foot snowdrift blocking you into your apartment making you feel bad about not being more productive. Sure, there’s no better time to file your taxes or match all you socks than when you’re trapped indoors by the whims of mother nature (and her less than stellar arsenal of “Finding Nemo” jokes). But, pay no mind to the incessant nag of guilt and undone dishes. It is exactly this brand of stir-crazy, claustrophobic energy that you need to harness in order to head out into the breech and have yourself a snowy adventure. (Don’t forget your mittens.)
PRO TIP: As it turns out, putting Hannaford bags on your feet DOES NOT make last year’s busted boots appropriate for this year’s blizzard. At best, you’ll get sweaty feet. At worst, you’ll have total bag failure and get sweaty, cold, and damp feet. At absolute worst, you’ll get invited over to someone’s house on a first date and have to explain why you have sweaty grocery bags on your feet (don’t judge).
STAGE 3: Plotting Your Escape
PRO TIP: The sidewalks of Portland are never consistently clear until at least 2 days after a big storm. Unless you enjoy having a bunch of snow fall down the back of your pants (and maybe you do) as you hurl your body over a 3 foot snowdrift, skip the pedestrian walkways, and walk cautiously in the street.
Forage for Food: If there’s a grocery store in your walkable vicinity, I recommend wandering there at the height of blizzard conditions. Not only will there be fewer people in the line than during the proactive pre-blizzard rush, but this is also prime people ogling time. Something wild and sinister drives people to the supermarket in the middle of a snowstorm, and gaping at the panicked masses while they shove their carts full of boxed wine and creamed corn is almost as good as going to the movies. You really learn something about humanity when you see what they’re willing to risk their lives to buy (mostly booze and snack cakes).
Hit the Video Store: The only thing worse than daytime television is WEEKEND daytime television. There are only so many episodes of “Pawn Stars” that one person can watch before they are compelled light their neighborhood on fire and run off naked into the sunset (or at least start making a lot of really inappropriate “Best I can do is $5″ jokes). Beloved Videoport stayed tough and stayed open through the entire storm (AND let people off the hook for snow-day late fees). Imagine how many Crietrion Collection movies you could watch while you collate your sock drawer!
Love Thy Neighbor: When your car is buried under 2 feet of snow, but you desperately need human contact that doesn’t come with a built in “like” button, troll your block (or easier yet, your building) for viable signs of life. Have your building-mates over for boozy cocoa, or better yet, GO PLAY OUTSIDE! If you don’t have a sled, repurpose an oversized baking sheet and head to the Eastern Prom, tailbone be damned! To the guys I saw snowboarding down Salem Street on Saturday night- probably not the safest option, but way to embrace the spirit of snowstorm adventure by the cojones!
When in doubt, BOOZE: Your karate lessons might have been canceled, but you local bar is pretty much guaranteed to be open and filled with other stir-crazy folks hoping to become too drunk to shovel. The level of solidarity that comes with blizzard conditions is something that we only get to experience a few times a year. So, throw back some whisky, shake your fist at the elements, and EMBRACE IT.
We may not have another 2 foot monster headed our way any time soon, but winter is sadly far from over (so keep your Hannaford bags and cookie sheets at the ready). How do you survive being snowbound?