Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Do Not Understand Snow, Therefore I Do Not Trust It

The view from my window.

All last night I had the same thought looming in the back of my mind: “It’s snowing outside. Oh shit ohshitohshit. I do not want to go to work. It’s snowing!” Let me explain: I am from California. I have never seen snow. We only have two seasons there: nice, warm weather and nicer, warmer weather.
"Oh, don't you miss the seasons though?"
No, I do not. And furthermore, I think the idea of “missing the seasons” is total bull. We only have the best seasons and avoid the shitty ones—like winter. With snow. But France seems to have other ideas for me this week, and in the back of my mind is the constant wailing of “IT’S NOT FAAAAAAAIR! I’M NOT REEEEEADY…”  
Last night, I even checked my email in the vain hope that one of the other teachers would say I wasn’t needed tomorrow—I don’t even know for what reason. (“Surplus of teaching assistants, today Melissa. Don’t know why they all just showed up here. You should stay home today.”) I finally went to bed with the doom of inevitability and the weight of responsibility bogging me down. I wished I was back at school, and that it was simply a lecture I could skip. But sadly, I’m an Adult now, and I have A Job. Sigh.
          At 7 a.m. the next morning, I dragged myself out of bed, hating life. I took a shower, wet and hating life. I got ready, put on layers upon layers, sweating, hating life, and eyeing the snow out my window suspiciously, as if it wanted my blood. When I looked out the window I didn’t see any picturesque heaps of snow or Hallmark-Card-like frolicking children. It only looked cold. I told my boyfriend via skype: “I wish I could just have one good vomit.”
           "Er... what?"
          “You know, just once. So that I had a legitimate excuse not to go.” I don’t think he was sold on the idea, at all. He obviously does not understand my extreme desire to avoid responsibility.

Outside my apartment.
But as I gingerly stepped into the snow after the first snowstorm of my life, an unanticipated fit of excitement burst upon me. I wanted to jump up and down and go “SNOW! LOOK! SNOW! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!” but the sidewalks outside my apartment were insensitive to my needs and remained stubbornly empty. Even if I could have expressed my joy to someone, it probably would have been in awful French, ans once they did finally decipher what the odd American girl was saying, they’d only have shrugged with a “Yeah… so?” and edged away as I bent down to touch it and stomp around in it like a crazy person. It was probably good that I had to get to work, or else I might have attempted a snow angel on the spot and really weirded out the passerby.
But once I got to the bus stop, I realized the buses weren’t running! YES! I WAS FREE! I’d have jumped for joy, but I didn’t trust my newly acquired snow legs, and I was sure I’d fall on my frozen ass. So instead, I speed-shuffled as fast as my rain boots would allow back into the warmth of my apartment, made some tea, and happily watched the snow from my window, gloating and reading Wuthering Heights. Thank you, mental powers, for seemingly hating the idea of going to work SO much that you have caused this incredible storm.
    Unhappy commuters of Lyon, you’re welcome. De rien

My first snowman! Made on my kitchen counter, with snow I scooped up from outside my window. His face is made of cereal, and his arms are little pieces of All-Bran. 

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