Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dying in a winter wonderland

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You might have missed this, but I'm from Texas. Where I come from, we have some sense when it comes to cold weather. If it's hot, no problem, because it is always hot. Put a tarp in your truckbed and make yourself a nice pool. But cold, cold to Texans is like a big sign that says "Y'ALL GO ON BACK IN THE HOUSE." It was never that much of an issue when I lived at home, because it was only cold like 3 days a year, and by cold I mean 40 degrees. Occasionally we would get ice or a snow flurry and the mayor would come out and put the keys to the city in a coffin and we'd all get back in where it's warm until the horror passed, and then there was a resurrection ceremony where the mayor unlocked the donut shop...

All that to say, now I live somewhere that has several very cold months and occasionally real snow and I am smart enough, given my upbringing, to stay inside the house like a reasonable person, for months at a time. Yesterday I deviated from that pattern and paid the price. 

I was driving around on my own, knocking out a meeting and errands, and I tell you, I was feeling okay about it all. I made it up the Icy Hill of Shame in front of my house, and then I barely slid at the stop signs and then I did my errands successfully and THEN my GPS told me go this way and I went that way and it was a dead end driveway in front of an abandoned house full of large rats and homeless murderers. "No problem," I thought, "I'll just pull a quick u-y and the murderers won't even have time to get their axes." Except, snow. "No," I thought, "no no no no no. I refuse to be stuck. I refuse to be a dumb girl stuck in the dumb snow in front of a scary house when it's getting dark." Despite my pep talk, I was stuck. I tried reversing up to the flatter part of the yard, and that worked, but then there was still a hill of snow and no matter how I tried I was not getting over it. "What would a dumb girl do in this scenario?" I thought. "She would cry and then call a boy."  So that's what I did, and also I thought a lot about when the murderers would emerge, since it was still dusk and technically daylight. 

Look, I'm very independent. I handle stuff. I get er done. I never, ever cry and call a boy. Except this one time, with the chipmunk... but I digress. The Man of God was very alarmed by me crying and set out immediately to find me, except I was still following the Dumb Girl Model and sent him a location pin to some other location, so that I had more time to think about my feelings and also to Google how to get unstuck, which brought up the question is my tailpipe in the snow and am I getting dizzy right now because I'm totally carbon monoxiding myself but my tailpipe was not in the snow, because the snow is not anywhere near that high.

After a time, and a time and a half time he showed up and verified that I was, indeed, stuck. We practiced the art of marital discussion, where I expressed my truth about what would and would not get the car unstuck, and he tried very hard not to express what my truth has already done to our car. 

It grew darker and darker, as days are prone to do, and he tried pushing the van from behind while I spun the tires and yelled "It's not working" out the window and he would yell (because of the distance, see) "It would work if you would do it right" and then I'd gun it some more but every time we would just get in another snowdrift. After a while, he came and sat in the car with me and we considered a Romeo and Juliet but ultimately decided to call Roadside Assistance, who put us on a crackly muzak hold for 15 minutes while we tried the same things again.

Eventually we came upon using our floor mat in front of the tires and made a little headway, and then a little more, and then eventually out of the snowdrift and out onto the creepy abandoned driveway road. We then hung up on an inspired accordion version of "We Are The Champions".

 True story: I was totally Disney-princessed and the prince saved me.

My one regret is that I didn't take a single picture, even while sitting in front of the Grandview Haunted House of Dogs and Terror for over an hour. I assure you, though, it happened. And now I will return to the wisdom of my ancestors and never go outside in the snow again. 

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