“Soon-to-be-nasty” weather advisories are probably the one thing that the news warns you about that’s actually relevant to your life. If you live in Nebraska you’re not going to be blown up by al-qaeda and you’re not going to get robbed by a mentally unstable man who bought a legal Uzi at a gun show, but you might get snowed in. That’s real. And it’s really interesting watching people’s love/hate relationship with bad weather.
Kids love bad weather. Unless it somehow kills them or their parents, kids love snow. They love tornadoes, hurricanes, and sandstorms. I did, and I don’t think that I was all that unusual a child. (Sure, my imaginary friend kept telling me to eat squirrels, but that’s normal, right?) No matter which type of natural, potentially dangerous event that is scaring their parents, the kids will find a way to turn it into an adventure.
Adults are more easily scared. We’re scared of everything these days. Weather is, and has always been, like I've said, something actually worthy of our fear and awe. I love watching Georgians freak out at the grocery store when the local meteorologist predicts that five snowflakes might be heading our way tomorrow. We run to the store and stock up on bread and milk. Why is it always bread and milk? Who’s picturing a power outage and a feel-good moment around the first fire you've even built in your fireplace, roasting slices of plain Wonder bread over an open flame? Bread milk? It might as well be raisins and Clamato Juice. Why not Gummi Worms and Nyquil? But no, we always think of “the staples” when it comes to planning for inclement weather, and apparently, no two food items are more fundamental to our survival than bread and milk. That’s what we do.
What else do we do? We fear for our pets. We’re afraid that these little tamed beasts that we've turned into mildly retarded semi-humans who are much more evolved evolutionarily to deal with winter than we are won’t be able to handle it. For God’s sake, they've got fur.
I guess it kind of fits into the basic scheme of how we've been treating our pets lately. Anything that we buy sweaters and strollers for is something we should worry about when the weather turns bad.
We worry about the possibility of losing power. (That’s such an easy fix. Bury the power lines. They've been doing that up north for a while and it’s just common sense.)
Power outages are realistic fears. We’re so used to electricity that we do freak out when we lose it. We revert to the emotional state of children, except when it comes to protecting our own children. I still like making snowmen, even snowwomen (and why some feminist hasn't demanded that we add more breasts to our round, roly-poly, snowpeople is beyond me). At this exact moment I’m planning the defenses on the snow fort that, so far, only exists in my mind. It’s a really cool fort. It’s got a snow moat, snow turrets, snow cannons, and a snow drawbridge.
We have a weird relationship with weather, especially snow. What do you do when it snows?