The weather forecast for the second full day of the blizzard can best be summed up with one word: BOHICA! The wind and snow have been otherworldly for the past 40+ hours, and it’s starting to make things weird.
Note: “BOHICA!” stands for “Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!”, and is a phrase with which I became intimately familiar during my time in the military.
Being originally from northeastern Ohio, I’m not really a novice when it comes to snow and the characteristics of winter weather. In fact, my hometown area averages more snowfall per year that my newly adopted home in Green Bay, WI.
The duration and intensity of this mid-April blizzard is truly impressive, though. In addition to the feet of frozen precipitation (in one form or another), the sustained winds of over 30-mph (gusting to over 50-mph) have not ceased since before dinner last night and are scheduled to continue until well after I go to sleep tonight.
That level and amount of howling starts to mess with your head after awhile.
My girlfriend, for instance, is unraveling. Yesterday morning, she told me she couldn’t make it less than one half mile to the tax office because “the wind was hurting [her] physically and emotionally.” It had been a particularly emotional morning for her in general, because she’d intended to purchase coffee at a nearby coffee shop which was closed like almost every other store and restaurant downtown.
This is the same girlfriend (I only have the one) who hilariously crumbled approximately 8 hours into a 30-day dietary challenge recently.
“Almost?” you ask? Yep. Only the most essential buildings were operating. Like the copy store where I work, for instance. No walk-in customers, no phone calls, just me and Pandora, wailing along to Florence + the Machine while making copies. Who cares that the local news station announced that they’re afraid to take their “stormchaser” vehicle out? People need pamphlets!
A coworker mentioned to me that it might be silly for the store to remain open, and I then subtly mentioned to my boss that it had been mentioned to me. He knows that I live less than a mile away, though, and, as he put it, “There’s still stuff that can be done, though.”
I called my mom, eager to relay information about the harrowing weather situation. I was one partial sentence into my rehearsed speech when she interrupted with, “Oh yeah? We’re taking care of a baby goat.” Even a cretin like me knows that baby goats trump blizzards, so I abandoned the phone call at the first opportunity.
For whatever reason, my attempts at self-consolation manifested in the demolition of several bags of pistachios; now I’m stranded and poor. Mentally, though, I’m fairing better than my partner.
I noticed the warning signs last night. When I got home from making the ever-important copies, she admitted that she hadn’t moved from under her blanket on the couch for several hours. A better man would have taken up her slack and gotten our small apartment in order. I’d be lying if I said the dishwasher didn’t still need run when we got up this morning.
This morning, though, facing our 40-somethingeth hour snowed in with 16 more hours of weather on the way, she’s dialed the crazy up to whole new level. She first declares that her only planned activity while she’s trapped inside for the day is to cut the fur balls off of the cat. Five minutes later, she chirps in a voice that sounds like it’s bordering on hysteria that she’s bookmarked SIXTY-ONE Medium.com articles to read today.
Sounds like I need to make my way to the store to make some more copies in a bit.
As the morning progresses, the conversation gets weirder. She starts out with a needlessly complex and lengthy soliloquy about her reluctance to drink a full glass of water in the morning. I tread cautiously when she wants to discuss the merits of the parachute activity in elementary school gym class (because “you can’t lose at parachute”).
I even try to sympathize when she alleges that the animals (a golden retriever and a house cat) are “hulking over [her]” while she lays on the floor. However, it’s when she philosophizes that the dog probably thinks that we (her owners) control the weather that I really start to get concerned. I wonder if her chosen pescatarian diet will ultimately keep her from eating me.
Since moving to Green Bay, we’ve attempted to espouse the Nordic philosophy of “hygge”, but I feel like we’re not quite doing it right. I consider lifting my face out of my pistachio bag long enough to mention this to her, but she’s now knee-deep in her 61 bookmarked articles, and she literally hissed at me when I tried to be enthusiastic about how many weather records were currently being broken.
As I gaze out the window at a stranded car trying to pull out of the heated, underground parking of which my girlfriend and I are so proud, I realize that these are the times we’ll remember together. Then I hope we remember them more idealistically. We’ve both inexplicably let our hygiene deteriorate during the storm, and no one likes a “gamey” memory.