My Dearest, Dearest Winter,
Now that you’re standing at the doorway with your bags in hand, saying your drawn-out goodbyes with that smug final glance over your shoulder, I just have to say it:
I know, I’m being rude. But you and I have shared strong words before. And don’t you dare tell me your feelings are hurt, because I know better. You and your chilly, unsympathetic nature! You with your ice-coated sidewalks (do you not care who slips?) and skyrocketing heating bills! You shredded my wallet, man. Thanks to you, I stopped feeding my children so I could pay National Grid; are you aware they haven’t eaten since late October? NO? OK. Slight exaggeration. I actually fed them dinner tonight: perogies with sour cream and sauteed vegetables. But DO YOU CARE, Mr. Frosty the Snow “Man”? I think not. And yes, I just impugned your masculinity.
For the record, I am STILL a quote-unquote “four-season kind of gal,” and proud of it. I’m just not a quote-unquote “glutton for punishment”; a girl knows when she’s quote-unquote “had enough.” I don’t complain when it comes to normal winters, and I don’t care if I’m suggesting there’s something just a little bit abnormal about you. Because you, sir, are a freak.
A decent, self-respecting winter provides five things: opportunities to sled, skate and ski, especially with our brothers; a lovely white coating to hide unscooped lumps of dog shit dotting the streets; an excuse to sit inside and flab out while eating chocolate-covered pretzels and watching old episodes of “The Office”; a delightful, we’re-in-it-together grass-roots neighborliness and community building when snow falls and temperatures plummet; and a chance to feel morally superior to everyone who lives in warmer climes with lesser winters.
Of course, one cares not for moral superiority when one has lost all circulation in one’s toes and fingers. And I’ll tell you a secret about the permafrosty dog poop: Once winter ends, it’s all still there. Still sitting pretty (or whatever) as though nothing ever happened. The least you could do is take it with you when you leave. I’m sure there’s room in your suitcase.
What’s that you say? You say I’ll feel differently four months from now, when it’s 98 degrees out and 100 percent humidity and my eyelids are melting off my face? You say I’ll find myself yearning for your cool embrace, your chilly virility, your icy mien? That I’ll fling myself at you the way I always do, oohing and ahhing at your first soft draping over an earth that’s brown with autumn? That I’ll blush anew with my fondness for you?
Maybe I’ll love you again someday. But I’m done with you now, that’s for sure. So shut up. Get out of here. Hustle your XXXXL snow pants out of here, and don’t come back until you know how to treat a lady.
But wait — you dropped a mitten.