Southern Snow

Snow in the South is a funny beast. We don’t get it often, so when we do it’s pure pandemonium. People lose all forms of common sense and logic. It’s quite a spectacle. This past Friday morning, almost all of the state of Alabama woke up to the making of a winter wonderland.

We knew there was a chance of snow, that usually means it gets unseasonably cold and then it rains. Occasionally, they forecast inches of snow and we get a light dusting. On the other hand, if they forecast a dusting, expect to be snowed in. We had 2 inches of snow on the ground before i had my morning coffee. I think snow makes coffee taste better. Oh, by the way, I’m one of those crazy people who love the cold and snow.

One of the strangest events that happens in southern snow storms, is what everyone buys at the store to prepare. One would think the grocery stores would be out of bottled water and non-perishables, but no, not in the South. For some reason unbeknownst to me, Southerners buy the stores out of milk and bread.

I know, I don’t get it either. Milk sandwiches are not something I want to partake in. But, at least they were prepared and made it to the store. I chose to call mother natures bluff and ended up scavenging the pantry Friday night like a college frat guy. I was trying to concoct something edible with Cheetos, dried pasta, Christmas tree cakes, and pineapple.

Another thing about Southern snow is driving. We might get snow worthy of a snow day every other year. People here just don’t know how to drive in it. I spent my early twenties in the Midwest, which taught me how to drive in it. So what that really means is, when it snows the state is closed. The roads become blocked with wrecked cars in the first few hours. So even if you can drive in it, you will inevitably get stuck out in it.

It snowed for over 10 hours at our house. The grand total of snow fall in our yard was over 8 inches. That is a huge rarity in our area.

My personal favorite Southern snow tradition, is the ridiculous things people do to be on the states favorite weather man’s page. My brother is one of these people. Example pictures are below, because I will sound crazy describing them.

I share genetics with this guy!

I’m sure all regions have crazy things they do when they get unusual weather for them. What are some of the weird things that your area does? What do you think these people are doing with no power and all of the states milk and bread?

 

Jerry Garcia’s Elf

It’s almost that stressful terrifying time again! We are a few short days away from Thanksgiving, which means it’s almost time for that damn elf that can’t just sit on a shelf. I’ve been a parent for 2 and a half years. I’ve bought two different elves. I’ll probably finish the North Poles Three’s Company cast this year, because I highly doubt I will remember where I put the last one.

Once I get said replacement elf #3, I’ll have to come up with something clever to have him do every night. Every. Single. Night. We have evil cats, so most of the cute little Pintrest ideas are a no go at our house. The cats leave me having to be original and creative instead of lazy, stress free, and copying. I’m not sure I have many believable excuses left as to why “Jerry” didn’t move (Sassy named our elf Jerry).

Last year I used:

  • Elf flu
  • Broken leg
  • He really liked the view
  • We forgot to leave a light on for him
  • I’m pretty sure you touched him, his magic is recharging.

The smarter and older your kids get, you can’t just give them the excuse and expect them to accept it. You better have back story.

Jerry also tends to do the same activities more than once on occasion. She notices that too. Again, back story.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I never dreamed one little elf would be so much work. This is what happens when people with big ideas take it a few steps too far. I have a full-time job, an awful commute, a house to take care of, a human to keep alive, Jerry’s plans for the night just don’t fall on my radar.

What’s even better is now she’s at the gossip and compare age, and she doesn’t even know it. She’ll go to school and talk to her friends about what their elves did, and then come home and tell Jerry about it, like that’s going to make him step up his game. This is where I’m smarter than her.

I told you she named our Elf Jerry, she wanted to name him Dead. Dead as in The Grateful Dead, not just dead. Luckily, we compromised at Jerry Garcia. We love our music in this house. Little did she know, this gave me an out. When she tries pep talking Jerry in to some ridiculously elaborate ordeal, I remind her that Jerry likes things very chill and peaceful, and those outlandish things just aren’t in his wheelhouse but we love him anyway.

I’m sure in a few years, she’ll be drawing up name change paperwork. Until then, I can continue to slide through Elf season by the skin of my teeth, thanks to Jerry Garcia.

 

 

Friendship As We Age

As we grow older, many aspects of our lives change. We start to dress a little different, sleep patterns vary, and joints to start to make weird noises. One thing that I recently realized that also changes, is the types of friends you have compared to your age. Of course, certain friends, you have no matter what stage of life you’re in. But, if you really sit back and think about it, you can see a trail of friends that you only associated with, because of your phase in life at that time.

Your first friends are just about having someone to play with that you don’t hate. Pre-school kids aren’t very picky and decently tolerant. Sassy’s “best friend” changes daily, based on mood. Her friends are probably based on who follows her orders with the most enthusiasm and skill. I only have a couple of people I have remained friends with after this stage. We just don’t have standards as toddlers. Otherwise, I would have never hung out with the weird kid that glued a crayon inside his mouth. Yes, that really happened in my kindergarten class.

In middle school, your friends like the same people you do, are involved in the same activities, share the same classes. Your mortal enemy is anyone that has a crush on the same person as you. You can’t drive, still have to ask permission, and cooties are just now becoming a thing of the past. Middle school is where you start figuring out what it really means to be and have a friend.

As a teenager, you want your friends to be as excited to get out and see the world as you are. You want friends that are always wanting to go out and do something, meet new people, have an adventure. You also look for friends with similar curfews as you. Friends as a teenager are all about whoever you can have the most fun with, and not much else. It is highly unlikely you will remain friends with the guy who bought everyone beer, or the girl that lets you use her fake I.D., but you never know.

Once you enter your early twenties, it’s time to find your bar friends. You want the friends that you can go out and have a great time with. The friends that are “fun” drunk. Life, at this point, is all about being legal to drink and going to all of the places that involves. It’s also important to have at least one friend that is the nurturer. The one that takes of all the drunks and treats your hangover. This may be your most valuable friend at this stage in life. In my group of friends, I was the hangover fairy. I would leave bottled water, crackers, and B12 for everyone. This is also where you befriend some of your most questionable acquaintances like…

  • The guy who let random people tattoo him.
  • The girl who cried. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
  • The guy that only spoke in Greek when he drinks.
  • The guy that thought it was funny to pop out his fake teeth when you weren’t looking.
  • The guy that made a party trick out of his scrotum.

Your mid to late twenties, you start looking for friends that want to “go out” a similar amount to you. The new has worn off of being legal and getting older and  having a full-time job doesn’t mix as well with hangover as it used to. This stage is do or die for several friendships that survived the bar phase. Some friendships were born simply out of love for the same tequila, take that away and there’s not much else to talk about. This is the time you also start learning excuses as to why you can’t go out, that doesn’t involve the truth. The true excuse is being too comfortable to change out of your pajamas at 8 pm. Plus it’s not the day I wash my hair, rain check?

Sometime between our barfly days and our “somewhat” mature responsible adult days, something happens. We start to figure out who we really are. What we like as individuals, not as someone trying to fit in a group. You start to care less about fitting in, and more about loving yourself. That is the moment where lifelong friendships transform into being solid as a rock, and the convenient ones flicker out.

In your 30’s, and a parent, you want other parent friends. Parents have less than no time to go out. I’m canceling plans I haven’t even made yet, because I already know I’m going to be too tired. This is also the time in life when you’re starting to understand that there is a sudden realization of aging in your 30’s. All of these weird things like joint pain, fatigue, and adult responsibility. If anyone can honestly tell me they can still go out and drink all night like they did in their 20’s, they are either a dirty liar or Keith Richards. My friends now, are the people who I can have a fun dinner with, or enjoy hanging out at their house, because I don’t want to deal with the general public. I want tired, yet fun and entertaining friends now.

I’m not sure what sort of friends I’ll be looking for in my late 30’s or beyond, but I’m pretty certain the last level of friendship will be the best. What do I think the last level is? Matching old lady track suits and fanny-packs, and it’s going to be fantastic.