- The storm is named.
As evidenced by #snOMG, #snowpocalypse, #snowmageddon, etc., Twitter’s newfound popularity proves that “The Great Blizzard of [Month] [Year]” will no longer suffice.
- Someone steals someone else’s shovel.
It’s midnight; do you know where your snow shovel is? When the flakes fall heavy & the neighbors get desperate, shovel thievery becomes a near inevitability. This happens less frequently in often-snowy places, where folks are more likely to own shovels, but the scary truth is that come blizzard, we’re all at risk of falling prey to this mean, unneighborly criminal act. Lock ‘em up.
- Groups of strangers gather for impromptu sledding.
In the often-snowy ‘burbs, strangers gather at normal sledding locales – in my hometown, it was a local elementary & a nearby park, both with good-sized hills. In the cities, sledding aficionados take to less obvious options. Case in point is yesterday’s spontaneous sledding gathering in Woodley Park, where dozens of strangers (& their pets!) took to the usually traffic-laden bus stop at the corner of Connecticut & Calvert to sled into Rock Creek Park.
[3a. People sled on anything they can find.
Yesterday’s sledding extravaganza was reminiscent of my college days at Ohio University! In my snow-loving lifetime, I’ve seen people sledding on: cafeteria trays, beer boxes, kayaks, plastic storage bins, trash bags & upside-down card tables (umm, this was me).]
- A snowball fight begins.
The word “fight” is a misnomer. Is there any fight less violent than a snowball fight? More than 2,000 Washingtonians are estimated to have gathered in Dupont Circle yesterday for an “epic” snowball fight, though I didn’t attend.
- Widespread day-drinking occurs.
Mint Bailey’s with hot chocolate? Yes, please. Wine at noon? Well, OK. If you’ve got any alcohol on your shelves during a snowstorm, the Law of Blizzarding says you’ve got to ingest it – preferably while the sun is still out. Drinking induces napping, & napping helps pass the time until it’s safe to leave the house again. Totally logical.
- Strangers help strangers.
An email to the Cleveland Park listserv tells me that the Washington Post is “hearing about all sorts of sleepovers that are popping up all over the Washington region” of those with power hosting those without. Last night, I helped three people haul a compact car out of the snow on Calvert as a (very cute) dude with a truck & a hitch literally dragged it out; those in cars have been stopping along the road to ask walkers if they need a lift. As RachelBC said, “I love it when strangers are friends.”
- Someone busts out the skis as a mode of transportation.
Need I say more? This is the street outside my apartment.
- Cabin fever sets in.
How long can you stay inside? I love TV marathons, reading, baking & napping as much as the next homebody, but 48 hours of it is enough to make anyone feel like they’re starring in “Panic Room 2.” RachelBC & I were daring enough to venture out on Friday night, before anything was plowed or even trodden. Yesterday, I even trekked (by foot!) to Dupont for a friend’s birthday party. I was glad for a few breaths of fresh air, but… well, this:
(And yes, my jeans are tucked into my tennis shoes. And no, I don't own boots. And yes, that is a shameful thing for an Ohioan to say.)
- Damage is incurred.
Trees, power lines, cars, tailbones. A pine outside my apartment has toppled, & I watched as part of another tree snapped off & nearly missed a couple of sledding children. Cars are entirely submerged & unmovable. And I witnessed a teenager fall so hard on a patch of snow (patch? wasteland!) that my coccyx hurt for her.
- Couples get busy.
I can’t speak to this personally, but I think we all know about the belated gifts that snowstorms bring – blizzard babies!