Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Day

So, I did not write on Friday. I actually did not do much of anything of Friday except wait on hold to speak to Virgin America. Two feet of snow fell on my parent's house in Washington DC. It fell all over the East Cast but it also fell on my parent's house in DC. I was grumpy. I obviously had less cause to be grumpy than my family who were under the snow with two dogs who needed to go outside. The dachshund flatly refused and Gordie bounced around like a gazelle. But I was thinking more about the fact that I was not going to be able to fly out the next day. I pictured long lines, sleeping in airports, sponge baths in airport bathrooms, and the funny smelling carpet particular to departure lounges. I fidgeted. I packed. I unpacked. I planned to buy Pond's Clean Sweeps Facial Towelettes and travel sized tooth paste. "Your wait time is approximately... 223 minutes," the over chirpy, Virgin America computer voice said. Not good.

So we went out. Phone still stuck to my ear we walked the two blocks to the Grove where we found: an enormous Christmas tree (real, beautiful and smelling lovely even though I technically do not believe in cutting down gigantic trees), fairy lights, Santa's frosted, candy house, complete with faux fur- trimmed North Pole elves (all very Will Farrell/Christmassy Dr. Seuss), lollipops on the walls, a gingerbread door and a sugar icing roof, Christmas carollers, small dogs in Santa coats (four stubby french bulldogs), a puffy Pomeranian in green wellies and a Christmas bow, holly, mistletoe, strung up, lit up snowflakes, garlands, wreaths, bells, and snow falling from giant, aerial snow blowers at ten to the hour, every hour.

It was over done, over blown, over the top Christmas heaven. It made me want to drink peppermint chocolate and eat toffee brittle. "Your wait time is 185 minutes." Suddenly it felt like a snow day. I did not really understand the fun of a snow day until college (at Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts we were frequently blanketed in four or five feet of snow). My high school, well the lovably autocratic principal of my high school, did not believe in snow days. He famously refused to grant them--ever. And then one year he went to rehab and the vice principal took over for the semester. On the last day of the vice principal's short reign he granted a snow day--in May.

Snow days feel like a step out of time, out of routine, out of responsibility. You are suddenly light and silly and supposed to be... nowhere. That is what happened with one hundred and eighty-five minutes to go. I hung up the phone, left the ranks of grumpy inconvenienced people and went in search of peppermint cocoa.

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