Wisconsinites are abnormal, but it's not our fault. We know only two seasons:
"Holy f*@# my nose hairs are frozen"
"Can you die from sweating?"
Drowning in your own perspiration - aka the "sweat season" - only lasts a few months. The other eight consists of nipple-freezing, lip-chapping, overcast, sub-zero, arctic chaos. But it's not so bad. Compared to prison or having a red-hot poker shoved up my ass, living in Wisconsin is pretty good. (The amazing people, beer and cheese are its only redeeming factors as far as I'm concerned.)
Thanks to this background of galoshes and auto-mummification, I am really getting a kick out of my new digs and its fragile inhabitants. The moment the sexy weather lady saunters on screen to announce frozen precipitation, the same look crosses everyone's face:
UTTER SHOCK + SHEER TERROR.
I'm betting somewhere in the 16th a businessman peed his pants over today's forecast.
The tiniest amount of snow and the city is paralyzed. Until the panic sets in. Trains stop running. Offices close. Schools let out early. Accidents clog the streets. Babies cry. Your voisins crotch-punch each other over mud stains. Cats and dogs put on Barry White and try to make Cogs.
It's mass hysteria on a stick.
When this happens, all of two times per year, there's nothing left to do but sit back at watch the circus. I look out my window at hordes of disgruntled Parisians and remember that in my hood, it took at least five feet of accumulation to cause this much frenzy.
The good news in the face of all this madness, is that in typical frog fashion, you get out of work early. If it starts coming down, the trains are obviously going to be a hot mess (it's a wonder the driver's don't go on strike, they've done it for less). Rushing out at 5 or even 4:30 is totally justified, if not expected.
I shall now commence my version of Grumpy-Old-Man.
Back in my day we had to walk for miles in the snow, put big heavy chains on our tires and even then, the slightest accident meant someone was sure to die a horribly painful and slow death in a snowbank. When we got snowed in, we had to put on our snow-suits and tough it out. We didn't have internet. We had SNOWBALLS. (PS why didn't they invent these during my childhood??) We didn't have iphones. We had RADIOS. I had to wait for the bus when it was twenty below zero °F for the love of unattractive boots!! DEAL with it you mass of coddled, heat-mongers!!
That was me five years go. Those days are long gone. Now the slightest dip in temperature and I'm nuzzling my husband (on his vents trying to steal his warmfs), praying for sun and relief from the tolerable, mildly-chilly weather.
In short, the French have turned me into a damn pansy.