20 Years of Snow

January 29th, 2010

I went to Costco today with Julie, and frankly, either one of those things on their own (a visit to Costco OR a visit with Julie) is swoon-worthy and enough entertainment for an entire week, but in combination, hoo boy, it was practically the perfect storm of wonder and delight. Witty banter! Towering 80-packs of K-cups! Giant packages of pregnancy tests placed strategically next to the condoms! A remarkably funny woman to give me a tour! A four-pound container of brownies that my husband has been complaining about all night! (“I wanted ONE brownie, Jonna, not NINETY.”)

See? Perfection. Delight! A BLT for lunch marred only by a briefly choking infant! And then I got in the car, where all hell proceeded to break loose, for it started snowing rather, uh, heavily, shall we say, and just as suddenly, to the point where I couldn’t see the road and my eyes were going all buggy from trying to focus on anything but the snowflakes hurtling toward the windshield. In fact, my eyes are quite literally crossing at the memory, and my heart rate has now elevated to 30-Day Shred levels (speaking of, my right knee is about to stage a coup). I pulled my trembling self to a gas station, where I had a serious conversation with Adam about whether I should stay in the Ho-Hum Motel (note: actual name) until the following day, because I was certain that death! destruction! torment! were all that lay ahead, and we’d NEVER MAKE IT HOME.

And apparently I was RIGHT, for before I knew what was happening, traffic (three cars, whatever) came to a total standstill amid the terrifying whiteout (the LAST THING YOU WANT, as no one can see your stopped car), because there were at LEAST seven cars all skidding off the road, and the next thing I knew there were sirens! stretchers! People ON the stretchers! Crunched cars! Three ambulances! Two fire trucks! POLICE.

(None of the cars were ours. Beebs and I were fine, although one of us was more fine than the other, perhaps because she slept through it.)

And then: sunshine. No snow. Smooth sailing. Whatthefuck. I mean, thank GAWD I didn’t stay in the Ho-Hum, because … HO HUM, you know what I’m saying?

(That line was genius, that. It’s a real shocker that I didn’t make it on Jeopardy, isn’t it?)

Occasionally, like, say, driving in a blinding snow squall, I look back on our years in Florida with a warm, golden affection, and imagine raising Sam near the Gulf of Mexico in a land where it never snows and sixty degrees is considered “cold.” The fantasy is fun for a few minutes, until I am slapped back to the reality that while yes, there is warm sunshine, there are also torrential downpours and lightning close enough to singe your face off. And the grass! Sam would never be able to sit in the grass, because it’s hard as a pile of razor-laden straw AND it is fraught with fire ants that would gladly eat your face off faster than a Fatburger.

And the ocean is great, right? Great, yes, great. It is also teeming with sharks — real ones — and wearing silver is inadvisable during the warmer months, lest you be mistaken for a mackerel. It is also true that shuffling your feet is a necessity from May through October because, oh ho ho HO! it’s stingray season, oh happy day! And what Floridian fantasy is complete without elderly drivers being wheeled away on gurneys as they got in yet another traffic accident at a six-way stop as you sit in traffic, your face melting directly into the pavement? And GAWD, we haven’t even talked about the threat of hurricanes, which is a constant source of anxiety throughout the season, because even if you aren’t hit with one, the weathermen are perpetually full of doomsday predictions about whatever clouds are swirling in the Caribbean on any given day.

Yes, I will take snow squalls and warm fireplaces, thank you very much. Frankly, if not for the driving, I am a winter person. I love winter, so long as I’m properly dressed for it, and have no problem throwing Sam in her snowsuit, packing her into the Ergo, and heading out for a tour of downtown and some errands, no matter how cold it is. Mmmm, cold weather. Snuggly!

To close the loop on the Costco excitement, I walked out with 168 Kirkland diapers, and have high hopes, despite their lack of whatever that little comfort flex thing was on the side of the Pampers that made them seem … comfortable and flexible. (See? Am marketer’s wet dream!)

And in housekeeping news, I will likely be a little on the sparse side next week and the week after, as I finish several LOOOOOOMING deadlines on projects that are due at or near the middle of February. Most of them are not thrilling at all, but one is VERY THRILLING, at least to me, and involves something that people! like you! and my parents! can buy! in a place called a BOOKSTORE! And you can read all about it HERE.

Have a wonderful, fabulous weekend.

*Regina Spektor

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Entry Filed under: Beeber McSteebs,Diapergate,General jackassery,Nuttin',Vermont

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jamie  |  January 28th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Some day I will tell you all about how I got unforgivably drunk at my best friend’s wedding in south FL, then stepped onto the grass at the (gorgeous) reception site and looked down briefly to find fire ants warming my legs, making a quick break for Ladyville. A whiter touchdown-get-these-farking-ants-off-of-me dance was never before seen.

    And that was embarassing, of course…until 20 minutes later, I was vomiting into a gift store bag in the back seat of the shuttle-slash-stretch hummer.

    and SCENE.

  • 2. Jamie  |  January 28th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Umm, swarming. AND warming. UNINTENDED PUN. Am genius.

  • 3. Jennie  |  January 28th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    You are totally and completely allowed!

  • 4. Raven  |  January 28th, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Did you perhaps see the lemon crack? LEMON CRACK. I can’t allow myself to buy them anymore for I will eat the entire bucket of little lemon cakes and their 1 billion calories in one day.

    OMG. I buy SO MUCH CRAP at Costco that we have an Executive Membership. I think Eddie Izzard would be proud.

  • 5. cindy w  |  January 28th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Funny, because I was just thinking on your last post that your experience with Pampers Cruisers was EXACTLY the experience I had with the Costco Kirkland diapers. They sucked, I bitched, they gave me my money back without a receipt. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did – who knows, maybe they’ve improved them since 2007.

    Your husband is crazy. Ninety brownies would be AWESOME.

  • 6. NGS  |  January 28th, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I had a similar experience here in Minnesota last week. I had to drive out of the Cities (insert music of doom here) about thirty miles. As I was attempting to come home, ICE covers everything in sight. I crawl along and manage to go five miles in half an hour. Suddenly, flashing lights, red taillights, and LOTS of cars in the ditch. I crawl by, drive for another twenty minutes at ten miles an hour, and, then, magically, just outside the city limits, the roads are clear and the sun starts to shine. Because god loves Minneapolis.

    I was unscathed.

  • 7. Jess  |  January 29th, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I LOVE Costco. We do almost all of our grocery shopping there and it is AWESOME. We have significantly reduced our monthly grocery spending since we started carefully shopping there. Plus, our Costco has tons of organic stuff. Meat and dairy and produce and random things like organic olive oil and organic ketchup.

  • 8. Erin (Snarke)  |  January 29th, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Word. On the Costco and the loving winter and the whole sure it’d be nice to have warm sun a lot but the side effects of that climate su-huuuuuck!

    The last time we went to Costco we found Otis Spunkmeyer frozen cookie dough! Yummmmm. Fresh Otis Spunkmeyers whenever we want (which sounds TOTALLY dirty but is not how I meant it at all)!

  • 9. Shana  |  January 29th, 2010 at 2:48 am

    I love the way you write. It plays in my head like a cross between a rant and the crazy excited stream-of-conscious way I talk with my jr. high best friend, only, er, calmer and more entertaining. (In a good way, naturally, if it didn’t come across. I know it’s not the kind of thing a writer dreams of hearing…. Snork.)

    New diapers! Woo. A diaper’s probably not the most comfortable option anyway (so says the superhumanly attentive no-diaper hey-man-whatever-hold-her-over-a-bowl crowd), but the tabby things probably made a very small difference, and hey, she could be wrapped in burlap, like…the adorable, chubby wee 19th-century girls? (I think my grasp of diaper history is the thing of which I’m most proud.)

  • 10. Shana  |  January 29th, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Shoot. Winter: never live in (or even visit) Oklahoma. Nobody can appreciate it at all, and there is nothing but bitching. We got a little freezing rain today and everything’s shut down, with everyone and his brother wailing about how terrible it is, whatever will we dooooo? Sack up, people. Happens every year. How do you not appreciate this? How can you possibly speak fondly of the 90+ degree temps that sit over this hellish plain of fire like a blast furnace all interminable summer? SHUT UP AND LET ME ENJOY MY WINTER OMG. (Might need to move back home.) The local newspaper’s site allows readers to submit photos, and there are things like A WELCOME MAT WITH THE LIGHTEST DUSTING OF SNOW THAT BLEW IN THE OKLAHOMA WIND ONTO A FRONT STEP! CALL THE NATIONAL GUARD! Northern New England, will you marry me? *sigh* I’m glad you appreciate it for those of us who can’t. :)

  • 11. AndreAnna  |  January 29th, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I don’t mind winter insomuch as I mind the stuck-inside feeling. My daughter will go outside and play in a tundra, but my son hates the cold and wind and just sits down and cries. Snow? He’s apoplectic.

    So inside we stay or we go shopping. Neither good for my sanity nor wallet. Indoor playplaces used to be fine and dandy and now LO! The flu! H1N1! Snotty germy kids! I’m not afraid of the germs and my kids getting sick so much as it sucks for everyone – especially a household with two working parents.

    wow, I totally digress.

    So yeah basically by March we’re all staring wide-eyed at each other wondering who will make the tastiest cut of meat.

    And this year, I’m moving from NJ to Iowa. What. The. Fuck.

  • 12. Swistle  |  January 29th, 2010 at 9:06 am


  • 13. Paula  |  January 29th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I HATE FLORIDA for all the reasons you mentioned, plus the lousy health care, lousy education system, iguanas and palmetto bugs. Is it true they have a pedophile wrestling an alligator on the state flag?

  • 14. Kader  |  January 29th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I see the truth now. Start posting multiple times a week again. And then disappear. Cold turkey. Crack dealer.

    Also, why are your drives home so nightmarish? Perhaps you need to have a *not fun* play date so that you can drive home safely?

    Best of luck on your deadlines…can’t wait to hear! Very exciting.

  • 15. Shelly  |  January 29th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Whiteouts sound horrifying. Glad you guys made it home safely.

    And can’t wait to hear about your projects!

  • 16. Jen  |  January 29th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Holy crap BOOKSTORE! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    Yes, I was sitting inside during that snow squall yesterday enjoying the coziness of the house. The sky got weirdly gray right before everything went white and then about 10 minutes later, the sun was shining. “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a few minutes,” right?

    I did not know that silver is not a good idea in the ocean! Learn something new every day! Guess that means whipping out a silver lamé malliot is not a good idea this summer. HA! (Malliot totally reminds me of Jessica Wakefield in Sweet Valley High. Anyone? Bueller?)

  • 17. heels  |  January 29th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I have used the costco diapers for moth my son and daughter and have never had problems with them (unlike huggies and pampers), for what it’s worth.

  • 18. Kristin H  |  January 29th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Okay, so….this does not bode well for our upcoming spring break trip to St. Augustine. We’re camping (!!!), so I was already feeling trepidation about spending a week on the floor of a sandy tent. But sting rays! And sharks! And hurricanes! Alllll righty then. I’m guessing you don’t count the Florida tourist dept. among your clients, hmmm? :-)

  • 19. anne nahm  |  January 29th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Yikes! And whoohoo bookstore!

  • 20. Christine  |  January 29th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Jealous of hanging out with Julie!

    Not so jealous of the whiteout. We drove home in terrible conditions, but not a white out, when we had that one terrible storm here before Christmas. Here being Philly, it was the first time I’ve seen over a foot of snow since forevah, but wham! two feet! while of course we were driving home from Atlantic City, because per the Tonester: It doesn’t look so bad.

    And dude, Florida? nice for visiting, after my 8 months there? totally not for me.

  • 21. Katie  |  January 29th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    This is weird, but I have actually STAYED AT THE HO-HUM. I used to coach debate in Rochester, NY, and we would go to the University of Vermont for a couple of tournaments a year, and the people that own it are (shockingly) willing to make a deal to sell 20 rooms at one time. So it was cheap and we stayed there a lot.

    Things of note about the Ho-Hum:
    – Since we’d get in late at night, the owners used to just leave the keys on the desk for us to pick up (for twenty rooms, with no care about any potential problems).
    – None of the rooms have a clock of any kind.
    – The water system cannot possibly handle having 50 people who all need to leave at the same time take showers. I think by the third night we had to work out a system.

    One of the dudes who I used to work with SWEARS that the Ho-Hum is the best motel in the whole state. (He’s a weird dude.)

  • 22. Wendy  |  January 30th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Big old WORD to you whole post.

    I love Costco and love the Kirkland brand diapers…hope they work for your little one.

    I am a transplanted Arizona person living in Iowa, where we’ve had over 50 inches of snow and several ice storms. My biggest workouts this month have been driving and trying not to have a heart attack at the same time.

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  • 25. Pauline Inman  |  May 19th, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Huggies has been great to work for, and I actually use their products, so I felt okay about it. Nay,

  • 26. Belinda Dodge  |  May 1st, 2013 at 5:43 am

    I HATE FLORIDA for all the reasons you mentioned, plus the lousy health care, lousy education system, iguanas and palmetto bugs. Is it true they have a pedophile wrestling an alligator on the state flag?

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