10 Rules for Blizzard Living

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Every time a notably big snowstorm blows into town – not just DC but any town – you can bet that a few of the same things will happen.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).]
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.”

  4. Someone busts out the skis as a mode of transportation.
    Need I say more? This is the street outside my apartment.

  5. 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.)

  6. 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.

  7. 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!
So what am I missing? Washingtonians, what was your favorite part of the Snowpocalypse Snowmageddon Great Blizzard of February 2010? And everyone else - are you sick of all our snow talk yet?!


  1. i loved sooooo many things about this post that i can't pick one!
    maybe the babies that will be born in 9 months? and whats funny about that, is there very well could be another blizzard when the babies are born!
    and i love it when "strangers are friends" too.
    and any reason to drink hot cocoa and baileys in the middle of the afternoon is perfect to me!


    I was afraid I'd run out of alcohol so I just bought a cheap box of wine...

    and I still ran out.

    I am kind of going nuts though. I'm ready for this snow to be gone!!

  3. Haha I enjoyed this post. I'm definitely jealous that many of you won't have to go to work tomorrow (Monday).

    I love the last part about blizzard babies... definitely a great way to stay busy & WARM for sure. ;)

  4. im really hoping i didn't jinx myself with my tweet. and that's all im gonna say about that.

  5. Hilarious! And as much as I hate City Snow, I have to say that I'm now deeply disappointed that while Brooklyn got 8 inches, midtown manhattan had a whopping zero (or, as some people might say: a huge bagel).

  6. Lol, where I live, none of this happens. Life just goes on.

  7. The day drinking has definitely been key to my survival...

  8. Hmmmm. That last one is scaring me.

    Can I just have a sled?

  9. I am really enjoying the snow!! It is so amazing and beautiful. Nothing like this happens in California so it's a real treat for me. I plan on playing in it tomorrow with the added 10-20 inches.

  10. Haha I love these! And the tweet from #10 is just SO TRUE! I guess we shall see :)

  11. Ah, snow! I'm so glad that we have already had our giant beast snow this year (I hope)...I'm not envious that you poor things are going through it now. Stay safe, warm, & drunk (if you continue to get days off, of course!).

  12. This blog post is absolutely hilarious with some great pics. DC is definitely filled with great people & life is rarely dull!

  13. This was fantastic. Also, I realized, we were not only state neighbors earlier in life, but we were also neighbors in DC life. I too lived about 3 blocks from OC-a personal favorite.

  14. This post made me chuckle. The baby thing didn't even occur to me, but that definitely makes sense.

  15. If there's one thing that L.A. will NEVER have, it's snow days. I'm so jealous of you guys and your day drinking and baby making! Are you really sick of it yet?? Or loving it more and more each day? Because if you're sick of it, you should call in a bomb threat, I mean blizzard warning to my office and then we can all drink mimosas together!

  16. Brilliant post. Many of these thoughts occurred to me as I experienced or observed first hand 8 of 10 of these.

    Thanks for the read.

  17. I'm just a bit south in Richmond (but had to work in Fredericksburg for the storm - so no day drinking for me, sadly) and these are all SO TRUE.

    Also, if it snows again, I saw we name it #snowlyshit.

    (As a complete aside, I spent the better part of my tween years in Athens about a mile from OU. I love that damn town and came very, very close to going back for college.)


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