This Humor Me column originally appeared in the Herald-Independent on February 11, 2016.
Winter and I are in a harmonious relationship this year. This is because winter has actually respected boundaries. It did not barge into the fall months with blasts of arctic cold. It was even kind enough to wait until at least a couple of weeks after the start of winter before giving us snow and cold temperatures.
As much as I appreciate not having to codependently accommodate dysfunctional winterly behavior, I’m starting to wonder if winter needs assertiveness training or something.
For example, remember that storm last Tuesday? Like anxious helicopter parents hovering over a child’s every move, we started worrying about that storm a week before it arrived. We stalked the storm on radar via the weather forecasts. There were discussions in every school and workplace about the possibilities of closing on that day. Finally, this would be the winter misery we would all endure and post Facebook status updates about together.
But in the day or two leading up to the storm, the forecasters suddenly became vague in their predictions and refused to commit to the storm. Then, sure enough, the storm played hard to get and made a passive aggressive shift to the north, and off to school and work we all went.
I guess the worst part is that winter hasn’t give us much to complain about. Complaining about the weather is a fundamental right of a Wisconsinite. “How about that snow we didn’t get?” doesn’t have the same ring to it. Small talk has become even smaller, because there isn’t weather or the Packers to talk about. If this keeps up, people outside our state will no longer be impressed that we endure Wisconsin winters. In an ironic twist, several Southern states have faced more winter drama than we have in the Madison area. What does winter see in them that it doesn’t see in us?
It’s to the point where I’m reduced to scrounging around in the fine print of the forecast to find something, anything, to complain about. Oh, look, 84 percent humidity! I hope winter humidity gives me a bad hair day the way summer humidity does. That will give me something to gripe about.