Why The Polar Vortex Makes Me Hate People

This winter has put me in a pretty foul mood. I’m not angry that it’s snowing in North Carolina, I’m not pissed that I now have to schedule makeup school days for my students because of snow days. I’m not even mad that every morning I have to run to my car in a slinky bathrobe in 20 degree weather to start my car so the ice on my windshield will thaw before I have to leave for work.

No, the actual winter weather is not putting me in a foul mood– it’s people reacting to the winter weather that is making me want to crawl into a foxhole and hibernate until the ice has melted and the flowers are blooming.

Since November, it’s like the entire East Coast has engaged in a giant pissing contest, and I feel like I’m drowning in it R Kelly style. That’s right, I’m drowning in your metaphorical urine, you grotesque people.

Really, I’m just tired of hearing how “southerners don’t know how to drive in snow” and “you think it’s cold there?? You should live where I live, THEN you’d see real cold weather!”

Yeah, we get it. Northern states are generally cold and southern states are generally warm. Northerners are better equipped to deal with winter weather, and southern states all but shut down when we get 1/2 an inch of snow. Boys have penises and girls have vaginas. We get it. All good facts, all good things to point out over and over again to everyone you know, every single year.

But, can we just stop? Because at the end of the day you just look like an ass when you’re berating other people because of their region’s weather, their driving abilities, and their personal views on what is hot vs what is cold.

I thought about this today as my car was spinning out on an icy hill and I slid backwards into oncoming traffic on a normally very busy road, where cars travel around 60 miles per hour. I was absolutely terrified, and had cars been coming at that moment, there is a good chance I would have been hit and seriously injured, or killed. I sat with my rear bumper in the middle of the road and thanked God that there was a county-wide snow day today, because it meant there was about 90% less traffic on the road. I put my car in reverse and began driving in the correct direction just in time to escape the quickly approaching cars, my hands trembling from the close call.

Now, I grew up in Northern Virginia, right outside Washington, D.C. I know how to drive in both snow and ice, and spent many years doing so. In Drivers ED, where many kids circle around parking lots and learn to drive in small, uncrowded cities, I was taking spins on the beltway in Washington, D.C. during rush hour, and learning how to merge across multiple lanes of traffic in the “mixing bowl” of Northern Virginia.

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The “Mixing Bowl”, as it is affectionately called

I am by no means a wonderful driver (as I’m sure my husband would attest to), but I do know how to drive safely in hazardous conditions. That being said, black ice and unpaved roads don’t care how experienced you are at driving in winter weather. While many of my friends have been making comments about “crappy southern drivers” and “stupid people who can’t drive in snow”, I am sitting here wondering, what if I HAD gotten hit by a car today, would they have reminded me that I should have been a better southern driver in the snow, not so stupid and reckless? Probably not. When I lived in Virginia, I remember seeing herds of salt trucks and snow plows materializing across the state as winter weather approached. No road was left unsalted, most streets plowed as soon as the first inch of snow accumulated. Would you believe that in my 7 combined years of living in North Carolina, I have never seen a salt truck or snow plow? Maybe instead of poking fun at entire regions of people, making fun of the unprepared and ill-equipped Department of Transportation would be more accurate. But wait, that’s no fun, is it?

I guess it all comes back to social media, as so many issues do nowadays. People climb up onto their high horses and safely sit behind their laptops while poking fun at others. In 150 characters or less, you can generalize an entire group of people (or region) and discount their feelings, individual experiences, and perspectives. It’s probably a stretch to call it “cyber bullying”, but regardless, the intentions are never good. They can’t be! Even if not meant to be mean spirited, they are absolutely pointless and unoriginal, at best.

I am not denying that people are idiots on the road– in fact a lady was tailgating me so badly yesterday that I had to pull over and she nearly clipped my bumper as she sped by, all this in the middle of a snowstorm on icy roads. Who knows, maybe she had to rush home to post on Facebook about how stupid and slow southern drivers are in bad weather?

I simply wish people would be a little more compassionate, and a little less judgmental. A little more empathetic, and a little less snarky. And quite possibly more important than all of the above, I wish people would at least be a little more original with their blanket statement, generalized Facebook bashing.

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14 thoughts on “Why The Polar Vortex Makes Me Hate People

  1. Don’t worry, we have snow/ice covering our roads for 5 months of the year (right now there is about a 6 inch sheet of ice on my street) and people still don’t know how to drive/ complain about the weather, wish things would shut down even though they never do. Weather sucks. Winter driving sucks. No matter how much or little you have to do it. PS… the mixing bowl looks “fun.”

      • It really gets to my by about this time of the year. We’ve had snow since the end of October and I am just ready for it to be done. I think it happens to everyone in February. If we’re lucky it will start warming up and melting by mid march. Although, last year was an anomaly and we had snow right till the beginning of May!!!

  2. I’m so glad you’re safe. Those heart-in-your-throat moments when things get out of control on the road are just the worst. I’ve been involved in a wreck where I spun out, and it was so scary that I had flashbacks for several months. So I’m with you – maybe being a little less judgmental, and keeping our eyes on the road instead of Twitter, would be for the best! Snow or no snow. /endrant

    • Thank you, I’m so happy I wasn’t hurt either. It definitely made me feel a little shaky the rest of the day, even though nothing even happened! I’m so glad you were okay after your wreck too, that’s terrifying.

      I liked your rant and glad you can agree 😀

  3. Basically, for so many years, the southern states are the places to go to get out of the snow/cold/rain/dreary. They are the ideal place to live! So now, the northern states get equal footing because things are just as crappy everywhere.

    My lovely city of Vancouver, Canada, shuts down when it snows because we don’t get very much of it. The rest of the country makes fun of us. It’s not our fault that the city only has about 2 snow plows (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit) and only half the people in the city have winter tires or 4 wheel drive. I mean, is it worthwhile paying hundreds of dollars for a second set of tires you only use 3 months of the year for 2 snows? Obviously not.

    Long story short: those haters are just jealous that other people don’t spend 6 months of the year downing in snow.

    • I think you are 100% correct in your theory, very good point!!

      And you’re right, why spend the money on snow tires/equipment when it will get used MAYBE three times a year. Not worth it, it probably is more worth it to just shut the city down. See? Your logic is perfect, why can’t others be as smart as you!? 🙂

  4. You’ve got a good point there. I have been in both fair weather and bitter weather climates. To me, I think way too much is paid attention to the weather in general. I find it boring and don’t care until someone starts talking to me about it. Can’t we come up with something more interesting to talk about? And by the way, you don’t need this to start hating people. There are plenty of other reasons.

  5. Thank you! Its like you read my mind today! So tired of reading the comments on Facebook. I don’t care if you’re from Florida or Alaska, driving on ice is dangerous and expecting people who maybe get snow once a year to know how to drive safely in it just because you do is callous and insensitive.

    • Exactly. Yes, some people down here get entire days off of work and school with virtually clear roads and no snow at all, but seriously, who cares?? I’d rather be way over prepared than not call a snow day and have people get hurt in case the weather men are wrong…which we know happens constantly. That actually happened when I lived in Virginia, a school bus full of kids crashed b/c they didn’t call a snow day so they became WAY over sensitive about calling it afterwards.

      Anyway, yes, I agree with you haha.

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