Tom and I do and will forever have equal and opposite reactions to snow.
I think of snow in terms of aesthetics. Newborn snow is clean and white. I like clean and white. It looks pretty when it’s falling (if I’m not looking at it through a windshield at night). I love it. In a cozy, abstract, looking-through-the-window-with-a-cup-of-coffee-in-my-hand kinda way. I like poetry about snow. Glossy pictures. Screen savers.
I also think of snow in terms of carbohydrates and entertainment. And carbohydrates as entertainment..
Snow + wind = microwave popcorn + chocolate in any form + any movie Meryl Streep was ever in (except She-Devil).
Tom thinks about snow like a Labrador retriever does. Get out there! Get INTO it! Run, jump, tromp, kick, swirl. Well, maybe not swirl. But…shake it up…BIG. Go chop something down or shoot something heavy and drag it a hundred yards. Pee somewhere.
Tom hears there’s a snowstorm is coming and starts checking his tires. I hear a snowstorm is coming and start checking my stash of M & M’s, coffee and toilet paper.
When we lived in South Carolina, a blizzard came through and it was predicted that we could get up to 2 inches of snow. Panic ensued. Schools and banks and post offices closed. Even the interstate. In a matter of minutes, stores ran out of coffee and toilet paper and copies of The National Enquirer. One poor woman was so frazzled that she forgot her baby (in its car seat) on the roof of her car. She was drumming her fingers at a stoplight when another panic stricken woman flagged her down, just before Junior took a walk on the wild side.
All this happened BEFORE the first snowflake fell.
True to my southern Missouri roots, I’m always ready/willing/eager to freak out about snow or ice coming. But even I was a little puzzled about the prediction of 2 inches of snow causing a stampede of terrified citizens to act a whole lot like extras in a Charlton Heston disaster film.
But…I was happy to run with that herd. Especially since it meant getting off work. And, since apparently nobody buys sandpaper in the midst of a natural disaster, Tom came home early too.
Normally, this would be a no brainer for us. Young. Healthy. Newlywed. We could spend hours in bed. Sometimes we missed Sunday all together. You get the idea.
I figured that since this might be our last day on earth and all the Chinese buffets were closed, Tom and I had our afternoon and evening pretty much planned.
Then, Tom comes home.
I’m in my honeymoon nightie rummaging through the kitchen cabinets.
“Did you hear?” He’s out of breath.
“Yeah. I heard. We’re going to be snowed in! Do you know where that box of Little Debbie’s went?”
“It’s crazy out there. I saw three cars in the ditch, and it hasn’t even started snowing yet.”
“I know. These southerners are totally wacko. They even closed Piggly Wiggly. What’s up with that? How the heck are we supposed to stock up for a blizzard if there aren’t any grocery stores open? I’m talking about those chocolate cakes with the cream layer in the middle. Have you seen them?”
“I need to go gas up the truck before the stations close!” He’s in a heightened state of excitement beyond anything I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen Tom Bell excited a lot.
“What? We’re not going anywhere. It’s getting ready to SNOW, Tom.”
“I know! I’m getting the truck gassed up so I can go pull all the nuts out of the ditch.”
I stand up and frown at him, distracted…temporarily…from my pursuit of dessert.
“What are you talking about? We’re going to be snowed IN.”
“Snowed IN?? Are you serious? It’s 20º out there. We’re going to get 2 inches of snow…tops…in this whole sorry excuse for winter they have down here. And you think I’m going to miss it by hanging around the house?”
Our eyes lock.
This is confusing the crap out of me. I think fast and try another tack.
I put my hand on one hip and say, “I think you’re going to want to stay home with me and “relax” for awhile.” I try to look pouty and come hither.
It’s a little scary to see Tom so conflicted. Seventeen (or more) expressions fly across his face in a matter of seconds. His eyes dart from the window to me. From the bedroom to me. From the window to the bedroom. And back to me. I smile and twitch my eyebrows twice and nod toward the bedroom.
In a flash, he starts walking down the hall. Yanking off suit and tie.
I hurry down the hall. Walking through the door, I’m greeted by Tom’s behind. He’s bent over, headfirst in the closet. It sounds like he’s rummaging through my shoes.
“Do you know what I did with my winter boots?”
“Boots. You want your boots?”
“Yeah. I need my boots. It’s going to snow!” He stands up and turns around, frowning and studying my face like he does when I’m not wearing makeup.
“And keys…I need the truck keys. Hey! You wanna go with?”
I stiffen. “No, no thanks. I’ll pass on sliding down icy back roads and freezing to death in 10-foot snowdrifts.”
“Well, your loss,” he says cheerfully.
And, as God as my witness, he means it.
I follow him around for the next 15 minutes, biting my fingernails, as he make-shifts his Snow Hero Rescue Outfit. Sweatshirt. Jeans. Tennis shoes. Rubber bands and plastic bags for “boots” just in case. Flashlight. Jumper cables. Heavy Rope.
I walk him to the door. Give him a peck on the cheek.
He smiles down, bear hugs me, heads down the steps. “I’ll see you sometime tonight.”
“Yeah, right. Be a real snow hero and see if you can find me a Snickers out there in the great barren waste.”
“At your service!”
I don’t think so.