Monday, December 7, 2009

Suburbs of Our Discontent

I've lived in New England long enough now that I consider myself an expert on the different types of people who live here. And nothing brings them out more clearly than the season's first snow fall. Yesterday was that special day--the start of the winter of my discontent. And here are the three types of people in my neighborhood that will show themselves as it makes its bleak assault on my thin-blooded body and thin-walled home:

1) The Doomsday-er. This is the guy who starts talking about how much it's going to snow two days before it starts, and always predicts at least a foot more than actually falls. My neighbor is this guy: he never leaves his house except to smoke, scope out accidents, and tell us about the toxic chemicals leeching into our backyard from the shoe factory that was here 150 years ago. On the other hand, he does have a snowblower and two tons of sand that he's happy to lend us, so this type can be a useful neighbor to have.

2) The "I heart New England"-er. There's no point in even talking about other possible places to live with this type. She LOVES the New England winter: the skiing, the ice skating, the look of the trees covered with sparkly snow, the crisp air, that feeling of numbness in your extremities. When I mention to people like this that I hate being cold, and that I want to live in California, they look at me like I just told them Santa doesn't exist. This type is only useful if she is willing to take my kids sledding for me.

3) The "I Descended from the Pilgrims and This Is Nothing Compared to That First Winter in Plymouth"-guy. This is the classic stoic New Englander. He keeps his head down, his ice scraper well sharpened and stored in his AWD vehicle, and moves through the winter like it's his job. There is no point in complaining to him about how cold you are; you will only be exposing your inferior gene pool. This type, although humorless, has helped me more than once when my car has gotten stuck in an ice bank or snow drift.

1 comment:

  1. Egad, I think I'm the "I heart the Rocky Mountain winter" type. I love all that stuff and put totemic plastic snowflakes on my front storm door after Halloween to summon the snow gods to my doorstep.