Don’t Be An Icehole

scarlett

Another emblem of Southern drama

Well, it snowed this week in the South. I guess you’ve heard about that by now. Yesterday we chiseled our car out of the ice and attempted to leave our home like modern-day Lewises and Clarks, and for a second I forgot all I had learned from living in Chicago through five winters. Living in a warmish climate will do that to you: the instant snow falls, you assume the Chicken Little position and convince yourself that the sky itself is coming down with it in the ultimate show of Southern dramaticism. There’s nothing quite like being in Target the day before a storm along with all our clansmen and buying basic provisions such as garlic naan and Twizzlers to sustain us and our broods into the coming months.

That was this week for us. My husband has been home from his job as a college instructor for the past three days and he just got word that classes are cancelled today too because the roads around his rural commuter campus are still as slick as a politician at church. Everything from the schools to the libraries to the local coffee shops are closed, and let me just tell you: we’re all freaking out, y’all. Southern snow is like TPing your Sunday School teacher’s house when you’re twelve in that it’s fun and absolutely terrifying at the same time.

While we perhaps make a bigger deal out of snow than we should, and while I’m just as weary of being stuck inside with a toddler and a husband with no class to teach as any normal human would be, there is something that annoys me much more than the snow that has dictated my every move for the last few days.

The Icehole.

I probably dislike Iceholes so much because I used to be one. Growing up in Memphis, we received at best one dusting per winter, and each time, the town collapsed in a collective swoon that could be heard all the way to Atlanta. We could not be troubled with the little issues of school or the opening of the roller skating rink (the latter of which was very important to me as a out-of-school third grader) because of the icy film that Satan himself sent to coat our roads. By the time I moved to Chicago as an adult and saw the things that they would continue doing even when there is three feet of snow on the ground, I started to wonder whether my hometown was being just a tad bit ridiculous. People in Chicago don’t usually put on coats until they are barricaded into their homes by fifteen foot snow drifts, and even then they perch a pitcher on top of the walls of ice once the clouds part and make sun tea. There are no school closures.

funny-snow-north-south-school

Source: the whole freaking Internet.

When you see how life goes on in the North during the snow, it’s easy to become an Icehole and start making fun of the poor hapless Southerners who don’t know that you can scare the snow back into its dingy hovel simply by purchasing a $2.50 thing of Morton’s table salt. Watching everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line try feebly to cope with snow and then making fun of their inadequacy is like mocking a baby for lacking the skills to prepare your taxes.

Being in North Carolina for the past few winters has teased the Icehole out of me and made me realize that it’s maybe a cheap shot to make fun of others’ unpreparedness for this kind of weather. Do you know why we melt into pools of our own ineptitude when the snow hits the pavement? It’s because it was 60 degrees two weeks ago. On Monday, I took my daughter to the park and we had to remove our coats because we got hot. My town will invest in a snowplow when you get so tired of us screaming about sleet that you donate the funds in a fit of meteorological benevolence.

Until then, let’s all lay down our arms and come together as true Americans. Let’s join hands and admit that although snow may be the Achilles’ heel of the South, not a one of us – Northern, Southern, Midwestern, or anywhere else in between – could survive without Netflix and Starbucks.

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108 comments

  1. Oh Emily. You are so flipping priceless. <3

    1. Awwww, fanks :D

  2. So funny. So true. So full of witty phrases :)
    Excellent post.

    Also, I’m originally from South Louisiana. Didn’t see real snow until I was 26. After close to 9 years in the Virginia mountains, I did find the reaction of my Louisiana peeps to sleet amusing. They seemed to find it amusing that our roads were covered in white stuff and I was taking my son to school, though. :)

    1. You daredevil, you :D

  3. So funny. So true. So full of witty phrases.
    Excellent post.

    Also, I’m from south Louisiana and didn’t see real snow until I was 26. Having lived in the Virginia mountains for close to 9 years now, I found the reaction of my Louisiana peeps to sleep a bit amusing.

  4. So true. I was telling my husband, who still went to work on our “snow” days that they just were not as fun with a toddler around.
    We’re just not equipped to deal with the ice down here. Very funny post!

    1. Toddlers have a way of sucking the fun out of things. C hates it that I have to carry her to the car because our steps are covered in ice and I’d rather not her slip and get a concussion. She lets me know of her displeasure by screeching.

  5. This is like the west coast vs. the east coast of Canada. One inch of snow can shut down Vancouver. I both loved and hated it at the same time when I lived there. I loved the excuse to not have to go to work, I hated witnessing the wimpyness of fellow Canadians. I wanted to tell them all to grow a pair and get out there with their kitchen brooms and sweep already.

    1. eschudel · · Reply

      So true! I’m from Saskatchewan and now live in Victoria – bunch of wimps out here!

      1. Ah, the land of “newlyweds and nearly deads.” I can see how the white stuff could be an inconvenience. Victoria gets a pass :-)

    2. I didn’t know there was a Canadian version of this! You mean to tell me your entire country isn’t the Yukon? ;)

      1. Oh to have the simplicity of living in igloos!!!!

  6. When I lived in Raleigh in 1999, if there was even a chance that it might snow, they closed everything down and people trampled each other at Food Lion to get squished white bread and pork rinds…it was crazy. Then we had a hurricane type storm and the world or Raleigh went CRAZY – (the after affects of that storm were far worse than the actual storm however b/c livestock had died in the water supply…and well, you can imagine what that would cause)…but we thought the same thing – everyone is FREAKING OUT and we got maybe 2 snow flakes…

    Sensibly, I stayed home and read a book. No white bread.

    1. That doesn’t surprise me at all. Also, white bread is overrated. Bring on the pita ;D

      1. hee hee – right! it was always squished white bread that was left – then people fighting over squished white bread…

  7. Memphis was the furthest North I’ve ever lived and I froze! I really liked “as slick as a politician at church.”

    1. Thanks, Andy! Good ol’ Memphis. Little known fact: Elvis shook his hips to keep warm.

  8. Our school system sent kids home early on Tuesday because of the ANTICIPATION of snow… really. Didn’t see a flake until 5:00 p.m. We cope in my neighborhood by gathering at one of our houses with all of our food and alcohol…. A snow day is like our suburban version of St Paddy’s Day! This was so funny, my favorite is the “icy” parking lot picture!

    1. They did the same thing here! My husband didn’t have to go in on Tuesday and it didn’t start snowing until 6. Pays to be prepared, maybe?

  9. The analogy of the baby and taxes is spot on. Why would communities who are already struggling to meet the needs of citizens allocate precious resources to something they’re not likely to need. Like buying a hair dryer for your hairless dog.

    1. I bet Paris Hilton has a hair dryer for her dog. Maybe she would be willing to provide the plows ;)

  10. Sadly , I remember a lot of people in my area saying the same sort of things about Hurricane Sandy when it hit up north. Weather patterns are just that, patterns based on history. We can’t predict everything.

    Though I am born and raised here, I am a little of an icehole because I used to have to go to work no matter what the weather. My complaint is just drivers who don’t know what their cars can’t or shouldn’t do in the weather.

    1. That’s not being an icehole. That’s being logical. It amazes me how people think differing weather conditions like snow or ice or rain shouldn’t alter the way they drive.

    2. Oh man, ABSOLUTELY! That is one very valid complaint. Since my town has been sheathed in ice, I cannot count the number of jackholes I’ve seen on the roads who still insist on driving like lunatics. People who should know better. I got cut off on the right by some giant honkin’ truck and it was really alarming because my daughter was in the car with me. This was on a road that was extremely icy still. It makes my blood boil.

  11. This piece is a triumph of analogies.

    And iceholes are the same people who I raged against for laughing at those of us who ran to the store for mild and eggs. Well, SUCKERS…I had delicious french toast and you did not. I think the winner is clear here.

    1. We should run for office on an anti-icehole platform ;D Through one blog post at a time, we will win the hearts of a nation, Kels. You can be president.

      1. Um, while I so appreciate your faith in me, I wouldn’t touch that job with a ten foot pole. Unless you meant president of just french toast. Because I’d be down with that.

  12. I was going to be an “Icehole” until I read Melanie’s post on “This is My Corn” about all the people stranded in Atlanta. I think if I had just watched the news, I would still be mocking the situation. There was something about reading a first-hand account on her blog that knocked the icehole right out of me.

    1. I need to read her piece!

  13. Almost Iowa · · Reply

    At a retirement party last week, the retiree asked where he was going to live. He said, he was going to drive south until someone pointed to the snow in the back of his truck and asked, “What’s that?”

    1. That is awesome. I want to be like that when I retire.

  14. Perfectly written! :)

    1. Thank you! This is the first one in a while that I was pleased with :D

      1. Oh, Emily, why? You’re doing great work! I always read your stuff when it shows up in my reader (can’t say that about everyone I follow).

        I’m working on something for the Back in the Day (or whatever it’s called ;) ) Blog Hop – walking in my grandfather’s shoes. I can’t wait to share it, but it isn’t quite ready yet. It will be my first stab at anything fiction (although it’s loosely based in fact). :) I hope you’ll give me your opinion once I post it. That would mean a lot to me.

  15. Perfect! I love it. I grew up in snow, but now I’m in Atlanta. I had guests from northern Missouri in the office Tuesday, and they got the biggest kick out of the panic, until they sat in traffic for over five hours. It made it easier to explain our two-day shut down to our snow experienced coworkers.
    By Tuesday night I went from laughing with everyone to getting defensive about what was happening. This whole thing has made me a reformed Icehole. Love that term!

    1. I need to read your post that you wrote about it! I keep such a steady finger on the pulse of the nation that I didn’t even realize Atlanta had experienced such a tremendous meltdown until Thursday.

      1. I’m sorry, but I am laughing so hard at your choice of the word “meltdown”. Hahahaa! That happened today when we had what we are much more used to – sunshine and 50s. I totally needed that smile and it came from the most unexpected place. :)
        I actually wrote two posts on the Corn blog. “Snowlanta” was right after I got home and as I was finding out what other people were going through. “The Atlanta Ice Rink” was what I saw on my walk the next day. It was crazy! And now I’m full blown hands in the air at people calling us fools and whatnot.

        1. OMG, that was COMPLETELY unintended. Paging Dr. Freud….

          1. I know it was unintended. That’s what made it so awesome! I’m glad it’s there. It really did make me smile, a good smile.

            1. If you could see my right now, you’d see that I am smiling too :D

              1. :)

  16. As a native Atlantan now living I Colorado, I am a confirmed Icehole! I talked to my sister in Atlanta on Wednesday and she shared the stories of the horror of a city paralyzed by 2″. Meanwhile we’ve gotten about 9″ this week and life goes on. Great post, Emily!

    1. When I was a teenager my family used to go skiing in Vail occasionally for Thanksgiving, and I remember falling on my bottom about 900 times a day when we were there. That was by far the most snow we ever saw growing up!

  17. A notable Chicagoan who moved to DC commented on our dramatic reaction to snow. Not long after, an ice storm brought the city to its knees, more than literally. The infamous Washington Beltway was jammed with wrecked cars; people abandoned their cars and checked into hotels or went back to their offices and slept for the night. Some who made it home reported nine and ten hours for a drive that normally takes half an hour.

    Ice is horrible, and as someone pointed out, we have drivers from all over the world, many of whom have never experienced snow or ice. Hope you’re safe and warm.

    1. Ice storms are so dangerous. When I was a kid, a freak ice storm came through Memphis around Easter and the schools were closed for almost two weeks and power wasn’t restored around town for nearly as long. I remember taking hot showers at the local athletic club my family was a member of. As far as road conditions, my mom took us to the movies one day and the drive was ordinarily about 20 minutes, but during the storm it took about an hour and a half!

  18. Don’t feel that bad. In the DC area, we get snow usually about a couple of times a year, and people still don’t know what to do. Half the population is, “This is nothing! Everything must remain open!” The other half is “OMG! It’s the apocalypse! Close everything and stock up on toilet paper!”

    1. It’s so crazy to me how these camps pit themselves against each other! It’s almost as fervent as the abortion debate.

  19. Love it! Very Funny! As someone who has always lived in the Midwest, I would love to experience the South’s winter-less winters! I am really sick of the cold and the snow!

    1. Those Midwest winters can certainly get tedious! When I lived in Chicago, people would go to Lake Michigan in their bathing suits when it was a balmy 55 degrees ;D

  20. Hahaha, love this. I wish we had off of work more like we used to when the city was mostly unprepared for 2 inches of snow. BUT we did have off 1 day this winter and you’re right, Netflix saved the day!

    1. Netflix is my favorite eveeeeer. I’ve got a date with it tonight ;D

  21. The people up here (Cincinnati) were laughing about what happened in Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta during my formative years and once laughed for an entire week in middle school when the entire state shut down for 4 inches of snow. It happens so rarely there that they don’t invest in snow-removal equipment. Driving on untreated roads is a completely different animal than salted and plowed roads.

    I completely understand why it affects the south differently than the north, so I don’t really say anything other than…THEY HAVE NO WAY TO TREAT THE ROADS DOWN THERE!!!

    1. One of the most terrifying experiences of my entire life was when I got caught in a tremendous freak snowstorm in Chicago one year on my way home from work. It came down so thick and so fast that there was no possible way for the plows to stay on top of it, and I seriously thought I might actually die because my car (and my driving skillz) left me so completely unequipped to deal with it. I really should blog about that…

  22. “Icehole”–Haha, great term. :) But I don’t have Netflix, and I don’t go to Starbucks. I feel so out of the loop…

    1. You may feel out of the loop, but you also likely have a lot more money in your bank account than I have in mine because you don’t have a dependence on them ;)

  23. What about us Canucks? Can we make fun of you? 😄

    1. Sure, because you guys have Bieber. ;)

      1. Ugh. Yeah. Seems like a fair trade

  24. Also, many Southern states don’t own their own snow plows and salt machines. Why? It doesn’t make good sense to spend tax payer money on objects that may or may not be used every five years or so. I realized this when we lived in DC. First sign of snow, the plows come out, salt is laid, and life continues on. Not so here. Snow comes down and turns into ice (which is what we’ve actually been dealing with down here…the “glare ice” under the snow), and there is no snow plow or salt layers to come in and clean up the roads before morning traffic hits. I took for granted that I could wake up every morning in February in DC and the plows had already come through and taken care of everything so I could be on my way. The next winter we were in North Alabama and hit with several inches of snow (on Christmas Day, no less!!) and ya know what happened? Everything HAD to shut down and our local governments had to BORROW snow plows and whatnots from other states who get snow regularly enough to own those things. Being an Icehole is a beautiful indication of ignorance. Like someone from Malibu coming to Wisconsin and teasing people for not owning surfboards. Like, omg, how backwards these landlocked people don’t surf. How quaint. *rolls eyes* Why don’t people get that we don’t really have a reason to own snow plows and salt machines down here? I challenge any and every Icehole to wake up one morning this winter and imagine NO one having snow tires, NO one up before dawn shoveling sidewalks, NO one clearing and salting the roads, and yet EVERYONE still trying to carry on with their lives despite it. Use your imagination, Iceholes. Maybe I’ve just lived in too many different states and countries to see the point in being douchey about regional differences, but it just seems ignorant to me.

    1. PREACH, SISTER, PREACH! It’s just another cheap way to be exclusionist (is this even a word? Fairly sure I just made up that word) and “I’m better than you because I have some arbitrary skill that relates specifically to my set of circumstances.” Iceholes are kind of like hipsters. (Plus they both probably wear scarves in the middle of the summer.)

      1. I think the hipster comparison is spot on, Em. Think about it: how sad is your own life if you get pleasure out of the problems of thousands of people several states away? Ya know…I’ve lived through my share of hurricanes (spent a lot of time on the east coast) and tornados (because of living in the South). Down here in the South almost everyone owns a tornado shelter, or has a friend/family member who does. What if a ton of tornados tore through the North East (Delaware, Maine, New York, ect) and left millions of people without homes, family members, friends, and more, because no one owned a tornado shelter? How incredibly cruel it would be for Southerners and those in areas known for tornados to say, “OMG, like, why didn’t they all just go underground. Derp! Silly Yankees.” We have tornados here regularly, so we have tornado drills, sirens, shelters, and protocol established down here. It’s all about perspective. And I’m sorry, but anyone who proudly claims to be an Icehole is just showing how very unaware of the world they are and how inconsiderate they are to the plight of others. Do people not realize that there were missing people because of this? Do they not realize that people go hurt? A FREAKIN’ BABY HAD TO BE BORN IN A CAR ON THE HIGHWAY OUTSIDE ATLANTA. How can Iceholes just laugh and feel so smug about all this? This isn’t funny. This is sad. And yes…they probably do wear scarves in the middle of Summer.

  25. I think I have every right to be an icehole given that we’ve had twice our regular snowfall this winter. However, everyone in our city has collectively just said “eff it, we’re not shoveling anymore” so our roads and everything are not so much better than the south right now. The only difference is that we have winter gear readily available in most stores. So I don’t think we have a high horse to be on. Instead, I will join you in your salute to Starbucks and Netflix. If only Starbucks delivered, everything would be alright.

    1. Also, can I move in with you? I would like to live in a place where snow is a novelty and no one knows what a block heater is.

      1. I hate to ask this, but what’s a block heater? If you tell me I will tell you about Dixie Caviar.

        1. It is a basically a heater for your engine that you have to plug in at night when it gets too cold. Modern engineering has reduced the need for them, but I have many fond memories of driving away while your car is still plugged in, electrical cord trailing behind…

    2. See? That’s another problem. The stores are already stocking bathing suits and pool toys here. I can’t even. Pass the Starbucks.

      Oh, and Starbucks NEEDS to deliver. I would pay for that shiz.

  26. I have to admit to being completely stumped by all the cars on the freeway in Atlanta. Why? What the fuck? It was two inches of snow, for Christ’s sake. That’s the same as 70 degrees around here, as you well know. I’m trying to be compassionate (even thought we should lend y’all some plows) but, really, why is it such as big deal to get a little snow? I’m serious here. What’s the problem? No salt? No plows? No sand or kitty litter? I’m on my 54th winter (I was born in Texas, so no winter there). I’m pretty sick of it, but what are ya gonna do? The kids would kill us if we moved away from their friends. Wimps. I think we moved five times before I was seven. Spoken like a true Chicagoan.

    1. Bingo. No plows and no salt. Our schools are barely funded, so you can imagine how well it would go over if taxpayer dollars were allocated for a storm that may not actually occur for another ten years.

  27. The second I saw the title of this post, Emily, I knew you were going to hit this one out of the park. Hilarious! I even shared it with Godsend over here at The Grind. We LOVE the pictures of snow in the South vs snow in the North. Ironically, temperatures could climb close to 50 here in the NYC. My evil elf side was so hoping that there might be a Super Bowl blizzard on Sunday, but I do welcome getting the feeling back in my fingers again and not having to wear a coat that could double as a sleeping bag.

    1. Thanks, V. The instant the term “icehole” came to me, I knew I needed to flesh this one out before the snow melted and all my brilliance along with it. I can’t take credit for the picture, though; I found it floating around a bunch of times on my Facebook over this week and it cracked me up every single time. I heard that it is going to be like 40 degrees for the Super Bowl this weekend, so no sports fans will be keeling over from frostbite just yet!

  28. “in the NYC”. Oy.

  29. The icehole. I LOVE it. So hilarious. Going to share on my FB page now. You’re the best. Seeing as I grew up in TX and I KNOW how difficult it is to deal with snow down there, I try really hard NOT to be an icehole now that my life is more like the first picture.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad I’ve lived in both climates too! I didn’t mention it in the post but the winters in Korea are awful as well, and there were so many times I thought I may actually freeze while I was there.

  30. I wish I could just get a chance to be one. EVERYBODY in the South has had a turn except Memphis! We are being punished by an angry Old Testament God or something!

    1. There is still time yet! Do you remember the Ice Storm of (I think) 1995? That happened around Easter!

      1. I’m trying to be optimistic…sniff!

  31. I can relate to this. Being from California (and living in California) complaining about cold weather sounds like I’m being a total wimp to most anyone further north or East, but especially right now, since it seems EVERYONE is in this polar vortex EXCEPT California. Here, I’m wishing, praying for rain because everyone’s freaking out about running out of water. Go figure.

    I’ll admit that I was a little amused when I saw photos of what Birmingham was like with the snow this week (I have a friend who lives there and was stranded away from home for 26 hours), but I know in California, a lot of us would be the same way, because we NEVER get snow. But I wish it would snow. Because then at least it would melt eventually and there’d be a lot more water. It’s supposed to be getting colder, but still no snow or rain.

    So, TL;DR is that I’m a winter wimp because I’m Californian and I enjoyed your post, it made me laugh. :)

    1. I heard about the drought that California is experiencing right now and I really wish we could send all this precipitation your way. You need it a lot more than we do!

      Doesn’t it stay pretty cool around the Bay Area and N. California?

      1. Bay Area, on the coast especially, is pretty stable, it doesn’t get too hot or too cold. But where I live there’s microclimates, and the temperature, precipitation, etc. fluctuates like crazy. It’s been known to snow in the town I live in, but not the one I work in (which are about ten minutes apart). It’s usually rainy in January here, but it’s been like 70 degrees for two weeks straight, and it’s finally starting to cool down.

  32. Like you, I’ve lived in the North and South. No need for people to get down on the Southern folks y’all bout being unprepared. They (we) are and it’s okay. Charleston closed all their bridges down because it was slippery. Hubby didn’t go to work and we ate soup and watched movies. It didn’t suck. It’s supposed to be 70 degrees here Monday? Snow plows? We don’t need no stinking snow plows. Funny stuff, Em.

    1. Are you in Charleston now, Brig??? If you are, we are so close!

      1. I am. A lot has happened in a year!

  33. I think one reason it’s so scary in the South when it snows is b/c people think they know how to drive on roads that aren’t properly plowed. The roads are scary. Maybe that’s why they cancel schools for days–idiot drivers.

    1. Amen to that. I was out with my daughter the other day, and I was absolutely appalled at the hubris that some people were demonstrating behind the wheel when they drove on roads that still had huge ice patches. No common sense whatsoever.

  34. So tell me honestly – were the roads as slick as seem to think they are? To abandon cars and stuff? If you say they were, I believe you. But if you tell me that people were just idiots then I’d probably believe you as well.

    1. Well, I live in a pretty small town so maybe abandoning vehicles would have been a little much. We don’t really have gridlock here, and they closed the schools the day of the snow was predicted even though it didn’t actually arrive until 5:30 or 6. But I can see why Atlanta had such a terrible time. It’s such a sprawling city and even if they failed to organize a cohesive effort to get people home safely, they likely didn’t have the kinds of tools (plows, salt, sand, etc.) to cope with the snow and ice they did get.

    2. The problem wasn’t the snow. The problem was several inches of “glare ice” that had the chance to build up underneath the little bit of snow that did fall. People had to abandon their cars because if they dared drive on it (or even walk on it), those vehicles went sliding out of control into other vehicles, medians, and God knows what else. And considering that semi-trucks were making up much of the traffic, can you imagine an 18-wheeler careening out of control into cars full of people who can’t go anywhere? This isn’t about the snow. This is about the ice. This is about not having had snow plows to remove the snow BEFORE it melted just enough during the day to freeze into ice overnight.

  35. After having survived 2 winters in Boston (following a lifetime of living nowhere except Northern California, where going to the snow meant rubberbanding plastic bags over our shoes), I like to think I can be an icehole. I mean, I own the clothing and I know how to use an ice scraper. But let’s face it – I’ll always be a CA weenie.

  36. Here in California we’re praying for rain. We’re afraid of a shortage of water in this drought.

  37. I have to admit… being Canadian… I feel like I should be one of those ‘iceholes’ who can’t understand why the South can’t deal with snow… but once snow hits the roads, no matter how little, even though normally it’s lots…. I find it terrifying. There is little that is scarier to me than not having control of my car while I (and others) am/are in it. So, in short, I will not be an icehole to you. I get you, Southerners, and for 4-5 months of the year, I’m really tempted to hand in my passport and come join y’all (as much as it pains me to say y’all…)!

  38. I love “icehole”. Classic.

  39. So true…I have a 5 days in a high school gym from snowstorm story to share someday…..brings back good memories for this CA transplant. :)

  40. I’ve lived here most of my life and I STILL get scared if I have to drive on ice (which this winter is almost every day). So I get why the South freaked out. All I can say to them is: Now you all know why Northerners are so grumpy all the time.

  41. […] recently. Emily, over at The Waiting, already had some choice words for you in her post, “Don’t Be An Icehole“, and you should probably read some of the comments too, so you further understand why […]

  42. I live in the snowiest metro area in the US and we’re righteously superior to everyone about snow. It literally takes a snowfall of twelve inches per hour to shut things down…for a few hours, that is. A foot of snow per day is no big deal. It’s not unusual for it to snow nonstop for a week at a time. I’m not exaggerating, either. We more than earn the right to be iceholes.

    But we usually don’t rub people’s faces in it. At least, not publicly.

    We have snowcats to clear campus sidewalks and backhoes to dig out parking lots and the world’s largest snow plow for our airport runways. When we get a true storm, there are 30 plows equipped with salt spreaders on the city roads around the clock to keep them open. Those are just the publicly funded road plows; there are yet more private plows that spring into action too. At home, we all have multiple (ergonomic, heavy duty) snow shovels, gaiters for when it gets really deep, and Yaktrax for icy surfaces. So we’re equipped.

    But it’s not just equipment. Four-foot-high “snow stakes” get installed in September to mark the edges of driveways for private plow services. Street parking alternates sides by odd/even days to allow continuous snow removal. Our parking lots are oversized to permit accumulation of plowed snow, which still has to be carted off in dump trucks periodically. Snow is just a way of life here; it’s not even worth complaining about it.

    We’re not going to give you our plows, because we actually need them on a daily basis. But we’ve loaned them to snow-struck Southern cities in the past out of pity and compassion for your lack of infrastructure.

    Mostly pity.

    1. You’re that prepared because you need to be… it would be a pathetic waste of money if states like Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, etc., were prepared to that extent for snow and ice. It’s just not reasonable. I totally get why it freaks the Southern cities out when they get snow. When you’re not used to it, not ready for it, and not equipped to deal with it… it’s terrifying.

      Snow’s a way of life here, too (Canada…), but I still empathize with the South when they get any form of winter precipitation… just like I’d hope they would with me if my town was destroyed by a tornado or hurricane when I’ve never seen either.

      1. Yeah, we’re not exactly tornado or earthquake ready in Upstate NY.

        I definitely understand why the South freaks out over snow, but I still can’t help laughing because in my world, it would just be so absurd.

        At the same time, I don’t need air conditioning to survive the summer, so now that I’m looking at a job just barely south of the Mason-Dixon, I’m struggling to imagine how I could possibly survive the horrendous summer heat and humidity!

        1. haha that’s fair! I wish I lived South of the Mason-Dixon… I’ve wished it for years… but the market for French teachers is thin haha.

          I spend my summer in Northern Ontario. Still need air conditioning though. Dumb great lakes and their wretched humidity!

  43. I have never lived somewhere without snow. I moved to Arizona once, thinking there’d be no snow. I was fooled! I moved to the part where the weather’s just like upstate New York. Nice job on the research, Amy!

    That north/south picture made me snort-laugh I almost choked. I am easily amused.

    Be careful out there, lady. All this weather, there could be yetis hiding in the drifts, you don’t know!

    1. Or *until* I almost choked, because apparently winter is taking away my ability to grammar correctly. Sigh.

  44. “Icehole” is my new favorite word, Emily.
    Thank you for reminding me just how gifted you really are.

  45. Darlin’, my how I love you. This was a priceless slice of pecan pie humor. That is my ode to southern, reply. The Bostonian (16 years) in me and the Midwesterner (Chicago 7 years, Michigan for 6) can empathize with the misery of all that snow, ice and colds… but the West coast gal is just glad I live where it’s oh so mild. Said from Florida, where it’s currently 84 and gorgeous. When I get home late tomorrow, to the 17f expected on Tuesday…. well this was just a great post. Still chuckling. ;-)

  46. I started being an icehole last week, making fun of the Southern states and their complete inability to deal with an inch of snow. Then my guy poked and prodded and reminded me that the South isn’t equipped to deal with snow. You all don’t have the man power, machines, or chemicals we use up North to spray down the streets and move 2+ feet of snow all before the morning commute. My iceholeness went away quickly after that reminder.

    Hope you stayed warm!

  47. We make fun of you because we’re jealous of your 60 degree Februaries.
    I’m in Canada right now, and an Ottawan mocked nyc snow handling the way we mock yours.

    But I also went Iic skating in a canal, so that’s fine.

    And please tell me you aren’t eating the naan and twizzlers at the same time.

  48. I will do anything and everything to get a proper downing of ice tonight… I need a day off work. Please, please, anything. I’m a total icehole, it’s not even funny.

  49. I can SOOOO relate to this! I grew up in Iowa and do not recall any snow days until my senior year! Years later, my husband, children and I lived in South Missouri where one of the local school superintendents would cancel school if he saw a single flake of snow! Our local school there hired a superintendent who had been a hospital administrator in Chicago. His first year as Superintendent saw a sheet of ice cover the entire region. Our local school was the ONLY school in the whole region in session. They NEVER closed school in Chicago! After thousands of phone calls, he learned how to close school!

  50. Ha! In Vancouver we panic when it snows. We can’t cope with it. Those two photos are so true. You should see us drive in it! OMG! Okay, well, we get very WET snow and it’s very SLIPPERY–like, more slippery than Edmonton snow.
    And then you get the people who just HAVE TO drive in it even though they shouldn’t.
    And none of us have winter tires.
    Fun!

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