Monday, August 16, 2010

Waiting For Winter (AKA Friends Don't Let Friends Invade Massachusetts In The Winter)

There are a lot of things you can’t get in San Diego. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fabulous place, and when I’m gone I’ll look back on my life here with the same sort of marvelous nostalgia that aging baby-boomers feel towards Woodstock.* But much like Boston’s going to be lacking in some key elements that fill San Diego life with happy, sunshiny goodness**, San Diego’s lacking in certain areas too.

Like, for instance, snow.

Some would consider this a feature, not a bug. Case in point: my uncle, who, having visited NorCal/Stanford not long before I announced my intent to head over to MIT, called to inquire as to what I had against “perfect weather and/or happiness”, or something along those lines.*** I, however, am not one those people.

God, I feel like I’m writing a break-up letter.

“Dear San Diego,

It’s not you, it’s me. That’s cliché, I know, but it’s the truth. Girl Scout’s honor (what remains from my K-3rd Scout exploits, anyway). You’ve been more than good to me—through you, I’ve become quite well-acquainted with our neighborhood flaming ball of hydrogen & helium. And while that, too, was a good relationship, I just need something different. It’s your weather, San Diego, your weather and my sudden distaste for its…niceness.

I’ve found another place, San Diego, a place where the temperature comes in more than pleasant, warm, hot, and Oh, My, We Appear To Be On Fire; a place where shorts and tank-tops are by no means all-year attire, and where the pangs and chills of winter (bottoming out at a frosty 60° here) won’t be thwarted by a mere hoodie; a place where it rains, San Diego—in their language, they have no word for drought, because they do not need one! It’s wondrous. Apparently, they have something called Snowmageddon, which I’m quite curious about.

In conclusion, San Diego, thank you for everything you’ve been to me. I’ll never forget the good times we shared, and to be sure, I’ll visit. But it’ll be as a resident of a land where acts of God and/or meteorology cause snowflakes to rain from the sky—not ash, which, as you know, is decidedly less pleasant. Good luck with that firestorm issue, btw. Might I suggest the Governator to help with that?


I’ll stop now, before the people in Minnesota, or Wisconsin, or Vermont, or any other state where the temperatures approach absolute zero during winter decide to form an angry mob armed with pitchforks whittled from pine trees and icicle daggers and the like. They shouldn’t, though, because come this winter I’ll commence being one of them, rosy-cheeked and frostbitten- limbed amidst the snowbanks, huddling in my twelve separate clothing layers and praising the MIT powers-that-be for the bitchin’ underground tunnels between classes.

Despite the fact that I’m ecstatic to be heading somewhere with, you know, seasons, there are those who have expressed doubts as to my ability to cope with said seasons. And when I say seasons, I mean winter. And when I say those who have expressed doubts, I mean everyone I know. Apparently I don’t exactly inspire confidence when it comes to handling a Massachusetts winter, something probably exacerbated by the things like having to wear mittens and a hoodie 82% of the time I was at MIT for CPW in April.

However, I’d like to issue a rebuttal to the people (most of whom, despite drinking a little too much haterade re: winter, I love very much) who are convinced I’m a delicate sun-bunny incapable of toughing out an east coast winter. When I was a kid, I would spend every winter at my grandparents' house way up in Northern California (specifically, Nevada City), which is home to legal lake-swimming, forests for miles, and Tahoe. I’ve been skiing at Squaw Valley and Sugarbowl, and ice-skating on the top of a mountain. So I do, in fact, have plenty of childhood experience with frozen water molecules. Arguments, I render them invalid.

But wait! Pics or it didn’t happen, you say? Of course. I’ve come to the internet prepared. And since I don’t have any recent pictures of me in snow, and because I happened to be an adorable child from ages zero to nine, I decided to upload some of our family pictures.

That would be my brother and me. Apparently I was one of those unlucky children who lost both front teeth at once, then repressed the memory of it.

D’aww, mountain sledding with the whole family. :D

Getting the Christmas tree! I know, I’m Jewish, but my mom’s family is Christian, and there would always be a tree at their house.

My brother and me again. Per what I’m sure was my mother’s insistence, I’m swathed in enough layers to make my look like an exceptionally flamboyant Michelin man.

See that cut on my nose? I was standing in line with my family to buy a lift ticket, right behind a guy holding a snowboard loosely by his side. Right after he got his ticket, he turned to leave, and because of my littleness I got whacked in the face with the edge of his snowboard. Which was exceptionally not-awesome. What was kind of awesome, though, was my little brother running up to the guy and yelling “you hurt my SISTER!!!” at him in his little squeaky voice. Family: sticking up for you when you unexpectedly get a faceful of snowboard.

Learning how to ski (and, more specifically, “the french-fry”).

Sledding! :DDD

Snowman-making? Camera-hogging? Who knows.

Maybe my past experience with snow will help me brave the coming Massachusetts winters; maybe not. But that’s a chance I’m willing—nay, ecstatic!—to take. I want rain, and snow, and sleet, and hail, and all the other forms of weather mentioned in the post-office pledge; I want to ice-skate, maybe on the Charles, if that’s even remotely possible.**** I want to take eight million pictures of the frozen campus and city, excitedly Skype my mom to squeal about the weather, and revel in winter in general. And sure, it might suck at times. But I’m fully okay with that. So here’s to my first winter in Boston, and having a hell of a time.

*Except, you know, I was actually there.

**Like, er, year-round sunshine. And proper beaches. And Mexican food. Oh god, and Mexican food. Hopefully my mother will follow through on her promise to overnight me California burritos on ice.

Note to self: find a phrase similar to “California burritos on ice” that sounds less like an ice-show with figure-skating Mexican food.

***In a totally joking and supportive manner, of course. Love ya, Uncle Rob!

****When we got to Boston and actually saw the Charles, my boyfriend said something along the lines of “hey, think it ever freezes?” I answered in the negative (read: hell no, it’s way too big). Obviously I underestimated the forces of nature and/or ungodly cold.

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