I have said this before but this time I think I really mean it – I need to get out of this climate. I am tired of the winter weather. This time around Mother Nature in her infinitely vindictive way has dumped more than a foot of snow on New York City and the surrounding area, along with 8°F temperatures and a wind chill of -20°F. This is unusual and infinitely cruel punishment, and at this point I just never want to see a snow shovel ever again.
We New Yorkers have been spoiled for many years. For a long stretch of time we could go through an entire winter with maybe an inch or two of snow, or what the looney-toon weather reporters like to call “a dusting.” Over the years we were lulled into a false sense of security by tepid winter days that were dry and uneventful. We were told global warming was taking away our cold weather. Oh, how I long for those years, but they are seemingly long gone now.
Recent years have made me think I am living in Minneapolis instead of the Big Apple. These savage winters have turned our local TV meteorologists into sadistic maniacs. With warnings of “Get ready” and “Another winter blast” they stand before their weather maps as crazed and giddy as a mad scientist bending over a newly animated creature zapped by lightning. They rub their hands together in glee, drooling and overacting like Arnold Schwarzenegger auditioning for his next film, and we have to suffer as we change the channels and find more of the same. Can any station hire a weather person who is not a wacky or colorful character?
Perhaps I am more sensitive in my condition, but after shoveling in the biting wind, dealing with the cleaning off the cars, and getting them out of the driveway, can you blame me for having fantasies of a sandy beach, palm trees, and the deep blue sea? My back hurts, my feet are frozen, and now I feel a cold coming on. I am very depressed too with some type of seasonal disorder, and all of these maladies I blame on Mom Nature, the weather people, and anyone who is sitting around a porch in Florida wearing a flowered shirt and sipping a margarita.
Of course, I only have myself to blame and I realized that today. As I stood in my driveway and stared at what had to be shoveled, I knew that my strong feelings about hanging on to being “a lifetime New Yorker” are to blame. I’ve always been a proponent of loving the city where I live. I’ve championed the beauty of four seasons and bragged about having the common sense to live in a place where a subway can get you anywhere you need to go like Broadway shows, great museums, and wonderful restuarants.
But how terribly wrong I’ve been. I am plotting my escape. Since I came inside today, I have been looking online at all the places I want to go. There are so many possibilities of warmer places with year round sun, destinations where a shovel is only used to make a sand castle on the beach.
I believe that I have to get out of here, and I am going to formulate my plan to do so; after all, I will always be a New Yorker in my heart, and you don’t see Larry David standing around in galoshes and sporting a snow shovel. I can learn to live somewhere else and follow the Knicks, Mets, and Jets long distance. I’ll take the LA traffic, the possibility of Florida hurricanes, or the “dry” Arizona heat. At this point it all sounds good to me.
By the way, I am sick of building a snowman every time it snows. Who the hell wants to do this after all that shoveling? Yes, yes, I know, the kids expect it. During these long snow days, they also want to play all day, eat snacks, and watch hours of their programs. At least that prevents me from having to suffer through those weather reports.
After the kids went inside, I stared at old Frosty as I held my shovel. I imagined him laughing with a sly smile and squinting at me with those sinister eyes made out of coal. I wanted to use my shovel to knock that magic hat along with his head right off his icy shoulders, but then I saw the kids looking out the window and waving at me. Foiled again!
Okay, I know he will melt someday (probably not until May the way things are going). Oh, the slings and arrows of this winter of my discontent! I will ignore his presence in my yard and keep dreaming of beaches, flip-flops, and swimming all year round. For now I hope those thoughts will help me get through this seriously cold winter’s night and all the rest to follow.
Photo credit: wugange.com