Over the past twenty-four hours, Missoula has experienced its first major snow storm of the winter. The fact that it came this late was a little unusual but from everyone who I talked to and from every Facebook status and Twitter update I saw, the reaction was the same…pretty much right down the middle. You either hate it or you love it.
I personally detest the snow. I know it is a matter of opinion if you like it or don’t like it but there is one thing I know that is fact: There are far more negatives to the snow than positives. I really don’t know how else someone can take the other side of that argument. If you are missing a screw or two in the head and you like the snow that’s fine, but please don’t argue that in the long run the benefits of snow outweigh the hardships. If you think you can prove it, make me a list.
Okay, I have to say this right from the onset to be fair: I am not a dedicated skier or snowboarder. I personally really don’t like either. Growing up I played sports year-round and that took up all my weekend time. I guess I never really gave either skiing or snowboarding the time it needed to grow on me. I had to preface this post with that.
Another topic I want to address before I get into my main reasons for hating the snow revolves around the people who say they “love” the snow but really don’t. I figure that if I took a poll right now, fifty percent of the people who I asked if they like the snow would say yes and fifty percent would say no. Out of the fifty percent who said “yes”, I would say that thirty-five percent are really lying. These people claim they heart the snow and will get all excited about it and post on their Facebook page how they want to make love with it and post pictures of themselves making snow angels. But check back with them in a few months when it is April and there is still snow on the ground and their tune has changed. Their Facebook statuses have totally reversed and they will openly bitch to you about how annoying it is. But I am even giving these fake snow lovers more credit than they deserve. The truth is, most of them start complaining about the snow after around a month of the stuff sticking around. Some are even less loyal, cursing the snow only a week after they initially praised it. And I kid you not, some even take less time than that to flip-flop. I saw more than a few people post last night about how excited they were for the snow to come and then just tonight, yes I am talking about TONIGHT, these same people radically changed their minds and denounced the snow. Looks like those eight inches really got to you, huh? I honestly equate “snow lovers” to fair-weather, band wagon jumping sports fans. They love the snow when it is new and everyone is excited about it but after a while they withdraw their support. It is pathetic.
Reasons why I hate the snow? Let’s just start off with the obvious one…they make the roads terrible. I don’t particularly enjoy slipping and sliding around in my vehicle when I come down the Rattlesnake each morning. I wish I did not have to cautiously watch my rear view mirror to monitor the person behind me who could lose control and smash into my car at any given moment. I am not fond of sacrificing fifteen minutes of sleep so I can get up early so I will have ample time to make the commute to work given the bad conditions. To be honest, I hate the wrecks, injuries, and deaths that winter weather causes each year. I hate the wear and tear it causes my vehicle, especially now that I have a new one. I hate how it makes long distance ground travel sometimes impossible, how it cancels flights, and how it ruins the roads long after it has finally disappeared for the season.
I dislike the snow because of the added work it inflicts on so many of us. If you drive a snow plow and whenever a snow storm comes it is a big pay day, good for you, but most of us are not that lucky. Sure, shoveling snow provides somewhat of a workout but that is the only silver lining I can find. Truthfully, shoveling snow is one of the leading causes of heart attacks. It also kills backs. It also wastes a lot of time. The last thing I want to do is start my morning shoveling my driveway or end my day doing the same thing. When the county snow plow is absent for an ungodly period of time that is more work for us as we have to assume the duty of clearing off the street that borders our driveway. When the snow plow finally does come, well, then we get the task of shoveling mounds of snow because our driveway got plowed in. I don’t relish the time that the snow takes away from my schedule so I can remove it and I don’t care for the workout it gives me either…I rather be in a gym.
I shake my head at the people who say “the snow is just so pretty.” Okay, it is kind of cool to look at the moment it falls. At that point it is the whitest it is every going to be. From then on, it is going to look uglier and uglier as each day passes. Nothing is a bigger eye sore than driving around town and seeing the big mountains of black, dirty snow. After it has been trampled in and driven through, snow turns into dark, disgusting slush. Snow that is on lawns and on campus also attracts dirt along with yellow stains and other unnatural substances that don’t come from the sky. When the snow does finally melt, it leaves streets flooded and lawns dead. Not really that appealing to the eye if you ask me.
Snow makes my shoes, socks, and nice pants wet. It is a terrible feeling. With the eight inches of snow out today, I didn’t stand a chance. By the time I brushed all the snow off of my car at the end of the workday, my bottom half was sopping wet. When the snow starts to transform into a slushy mess, it is even worse. Dark, murky water pops up with every step you take and it sprays your pants, making them look terrible. I hate it.
Snow discourages people from going out and having fun. If there is a snowfall, it is definitely going to deter some people from leaving their homes. Working in athletics, this is bad, bad news. Probably one of the most detrimental things that can happen on the day of a basketball game is for a storm to roll through. Once the streets have turned to garbage because of the snow, who is going to want to drive over to Dahlberg Arena to watch a 7pm basketball game and then have to travel home at 9:30pm when the roads are worse than when they came? This puts a damper on all things ,however, just not in my area of athletics. All types of businesses that depend on customers suffer. Retail stores, supermarkets, and bars all take a hit.
The white stuff also completely ruins events and routines all together. A lot of the times I won’t get my morning paper. Mail is late. Deliveries don’t occur. In some bad circumstances, school is even canceled. I grew up in Spokane which experiences its fair share of snow so just like Montana, school was rarely called off. However, the times it was, I always shook my head in disbelief at the idiots who celebrated it. 180 days of school is 180 days of school and there was never once when we did not have to make up a snow day. I didn’t care how much snow there was, I would have assumed just gone to school rather than make up the canceled day during one of our scheduled “learning improvement days” or, the worst scenario, at the end of the school year when summer vacation was supposed to start. Nope, my parents would never let me skip those make up days.
Finally, let’s just talk comfort level here. When it snows, it is cold out. Usually it is windy too. I don’t like being cold and miserable. I hate walking outside and immediately losing feeling in my fingers. I don’t look forward to sprinting towards my car in the parking lot or in my own driveway because the conditions are so harsh. Winter just sucks in general. I would take a scorching hot, humidity filled 100 degree day over a painfully cold, snowy, and windy one.
This rant has gone on long enough. I know I have set a personal record for the amount of times I said “hate” in a post. After reading this you probably ask why I even live in Missoula. Well, besides the cold and snowy months, it is a nice place to live. Eventually though, I do want to live in a place that has hot temperatures six months of the year and then mild temperatures the other six. I don’t need four seasons. But until that time, I am still going to roll my eyes whenever people get enthusiastic about the snow and I am still going to silently pout when we get dumped on. Here’s to the summer! Don’t Blink.