After having survived two Chicago-style snowmageddons (2011 and 2015), I have come to the conclusion that I want to answer the haters and complainers with my love for this time of year.
First, my caveats: I live in a major metropolitan city with easy access to fairly reliable public transportation, I don’t own a car, I live in an apartment, I’m able-bodied, I work within a few miles of my home, and I’m able to afford clothing that is able to keep me sufficiently warm and food to keep me from being hungry. Also, this year’s winter was NOTHING like last year.
With that being said, here are the things I love about snowpocalypses:
- Gratitude: Any kind of extreme situation that affects millions of people on a grand scale makes me appreciate what I have: a small, but extremely well-heated and sealed apartment, running water, electricity, food, warm clothes, a cuddly cat, etc.
- A sense of satisfaction: Whether you are able to stay indoors or you choose to go in search of adventure, everything is taken up to the next level: drinking is better, sleeping in, reading a book, or just looking out the window while the relentless snow obliterates everything recognizable around you.
- Adventure: It takes a certain person to trek in a snowstorm with a good nature even when the slush puddles are immense. It also takes a special bond to trek with your friends and still find a way to laugh even when snow is shooting up your nose with the force of a gale. Even Joe Schmo who only wants his 30-pack of Budweiser is joining the fun by trying to make it to the corner liquor store.
- Loss of control: While the thought of loss of control is terrifying and definitely not something you want to experience if you are stranded, there is something so delicious about just letting go and saying “Fuck it. The snow has won. I’m going to enjoy myself, regardless.” We are all in this together. There is a certain amount of camaraderie that happens when you’re not the only person forced to go into work even though the trains are steaming and packed to the gills. All you can do is look to your neighbor and shrug and there’s an immediate understanding.
- The terrifying expanse of Mother Nature: She can be merciless, she can be beautiful, she can allow the snow to keep falling and falling and falling and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s something to be truly respected.