And so it has. Snowfall in DC. An event of epic proportions. There is the typical hysteria caused by the news stations who use the term "storm" to refer to any snowfall (is this required in their contract? Or is it simple sensationalism of the sort that FOX practices daily?). There is the run on toilet paper and milk at the supermarkets (I blame that correlation on lactose intolerance). And there is the wishful thinking of thousands of government employees hoping and praying that they get out of work early--a wish that extends to the numerous nonprofits and contractors who follow OPM rules.
Admittedly, this snow event (I refuse to use the term storm for a mere dusting) wasn't as bad, or hysterical, as those in the past. A little history first: I moved to Washington 10 years ago, from Buffalo. Yes, that Buffalo. The place with the chicken wings and snow. When I first moved here I worked at a not-for-profit in Old Town. I remember being sent home early the first time it snowed (a total of maybe 2 inches!). Thereafter, I understood that a little dusting here and there was a great way to get home by 2:00 and have a few 40s. Now that's what I call livin'! Anyway, I do enjoy the way that DC looks in the snow. It takes on a completely new appearance and actually simply looks better. So I was happy when the snow finally began to stick last night and the buildings were covered.
Commuting during snow in DC is another story. Even though I have a 4-wheel drive, I prefer not to drive in DC after a snowfall. I have full faith in my driving abilities; it's the other jackasses out there that scare the shit out of me. Driving too slow and cautiously is just as dangerous as driving too fast. Throw in the mix of people from snowless states and the foreigners who have never driven in snow either, and you've got a recipe for disaster. My commute involves walking a mile to the Foggy Bottom Metro and taking the metro to Ballston. So rather than drivers, I have to deal with the shoddy condition of the slick sidewalks. They're usually not salted everywhere, so you have a 50/50 chance of slipping on your ass. Because it was cold this morning, most of the sidewalk was slick, but not horrible. The roads seemed to be completely clear. That fact makes it unbelievable that the only accident I saw this morning was some schmuck who rear ended another guy at Washington Circle. It wasn't slippery, he was just stupid. Oh well.
The other thing that intrigues me is how people dress in the snow. Let's drill that down a bit--I'm amazed at what people wear on their feet. Ladies, I love that want to look fashionable in your fuck-me pumps and stilettos and whatnot, but do you really think it makes sense to wear a platform pump with a 3-inch spiked heel in the snow? Seriously? I mention this specifically because I had to do a double take when I was walking down to the metro platform behind a girl who was wearing just that style. The fashion factor takes a huge downswing because at that point, no matter how good you look, you lose points and end up looking stupid due to impracticality. And to anyone who says, "People can wear what they want!", well yes, yes, people can wear what they want. But when that person slows the flow of traffic because they are tiptoeing so they don't fall, or when they actually do fall, then common sense has just won over fashion sense. So at the very least, put on a pair of boots with the stiletto heel and you won't be scoffed at as much.
And there you have it folks. A little taste of DC winter. To be sure, there will likely be another decent snow in January or February. Those are the good ones where work gets out early and the bar is the only place to be at 2:30. Also, we will likely see a couple of 60-degree days before the end of the month. That's how Baby Jesus likes it.
Merry Christmas is on its way!