The entire city is already freaking out about the snow we’re supposed to get tonight. It’s amazing how little snow can cripple this city.
I’ve had a pretty complicated relationship with snow up to this point. Of course when I was little—or really just before high school—I loved it, every minute of it. Even the snowsuits that starfished my limbs, making it impossible to deal with the misplaced icy flakes that made their way through faux fur lined hoods. We built impenetrable (in retrospect quite dangerous) fortresses during blizzards—my Dad taking the lead commanding his tiny minions to roll massive (legitimately massive, not just by tiny person standards) boulders of snow to form walls, roofs, turrets, etc.
My brother and I spent entirely too much time outside, I would come inside after hours of snowball fights, “reconnaissance missions”, and hundreds of snow angels / dogs / pterodactyls. My cheeks would be white from the cold and stung tremendously when the warm laundry-room-air hit them (“laundry room” feels like a novel phrase to me now, living in 3 digits of square feet). There were thermoses (Thermoses! How long since I’ve said that word??) of cocoa, sledding down the still empty slope of the town’s cemetery (creepy in retrospect), and snow days. Glorious snow days. This was when I still enjoyed school and didn’t mind spending the better part of June in a classroom making up for the winter absences. I would wake up at 5am and immediately check the local news channel in the hopes that a delay or cancellation would be posted. There was nothing more thrilling than getting to “Hanover” closing your eyes and praying that “Hazleton” would be next. Seriously, if I could replicate that feeling in my adult life, it would soar past “orgasm” as “best feeling ever”.
When I was a teenager, snow lost a bit of its magic. There were cars to be destroyed, I was lazier and overly cautious of frostbite. The last thing I wanted was to be trapped indoors with my parents (who at this point were separate entities). Snow became inconvenient, something that got in the way of what I wanted to do, not something that enabled a massive slew of fun activities to happen (not having a real backyard anymore didn’t help). I grew up in Pennsylvania on the outskirts of the Poconos, so snow was unavoidable. Every winter became a punishing 6 months of ruined shoes and disrupted weekend plans. I still liked the idea of snow, just not its slushy gray manifestation.
When I moved to New York and no longer had to worry about shoveling out cars or driving over patches of ice, Snow and I breached our impasse. I began to be “OK” with it. I still could only say that I “liked it” when it was falling from the sky at a slow pace, but I didn’t hate it. I welcomed more time at home to do nothing and read or watch terrible action movies (like I need an excuse to do that any day of the week). The only thing I could never get over was the sloppiness of it all. Standing at an intersection, knowing that whichever path I took, my foot would end up in a margarita of muck.
Until this year. Enter weather appropriate footwear. It seems so simple to buy proper seasonal shoes but I’ve always been a person that didn’t have a “summer” and “winter” wardrobe, I just had a “wardrobe”. When you share a closet with your significant other, and have to store your jeans where your socks are because of space constraints, there is no Seasonal Suburban Closet Swap-Out. Rain boots seemed like the ultimate embodiment of “I have too much shit”. If your shoes weren’t waterproof enough for rain, it meant you had a hole in them or that they were cheaply made. But this winter, after we received that whopping 16″ or so of snow and I felt trapped within a 2 block radius of my house, I succumbed to the “need” for snow boots.
Holy shit. Game-changer. No longer do I feel victimized by snow! With my boots on, I am invincible—like my six-year-old self, stomping through the snow, roaring as I conquer it with each step! I’ll no longer be limited to shitty bodega food and Peruvian rotisserie chicken when the weather takes a turn for the worse, I can venture out! Snow still isn’t quite as magical as it was when I was a kid (or apparently as magical as it is to my Georgia-born boyfriend, who stares out the window in wonder whenever the sky starts falling), but I’m coming around.
After comparing any winter day to the brutality that is a New York Summer, where you can do nothing to battle the heat but sit silently and sweat through your eyeballs, I realized something. The non-extreme-weather seasons will always be my favorites, but I’d prefer a winter day to a holy-fuck-I’m-melting summer day, hands down. Amazing what a pair of shoes can do.