Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

It took me two hours to get home from work last night because of a snowstorm.

(Yes, this post will be me whining about the weather. My apologies in advance if I sound over-the-top annoying.)

The first thing people usually say to me after I announce that I just moved back to Chicago after living in New York for a few years is, "Well, you moved just in time for the bad weather." Thanks everyone, I am aware. Unfortunately, fate didn't allow me to move when the weather was crisp and light and perfect and instead fate granted me winter.

Chicago winters are notriously horrible. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, so I have seen my fair share of blizzards, sleet storms, and temperatures so low that school was cancelled. But it's like I had brainwashed myself about these past occurences. Like they never happened. Because I would often hear people in my old office whine about how they had to go to Chicago for a conference in the middle of winter and how they would never survive. I would fight back. 'It's no colder in Chicago than it is in New York,' I would say and snicker. 'New Yorkers, they don't know anything,' is what I would think to myself.

I take back everything I said (and thought). It's effing freezing here. And it makes for one hell of a frigid commute in the mornings. So much colder than New York, in fact, that I had to buy a new coat because the ones I had been wearing in NYC did not suffice. Here is my new Patagonia coat. It is ferociously warm and toasty.

I think I have adapted (back) fairly well to the cold and snow. Unless you ask my dad, who would say I have complained way too much for my own good.

There are some things that come back to me. Like the fact that I remembered that I'm a klutz. Many side stories of twisted ankles could be added here, but I will refrain. How did I remember? When my morning commute, which consists of a five-block walk to my bus stop resulted in me falling on my ass. I looked like a fool. But a warm fool.

I also remembered that walking in the snow is an art form. If there is a lack of salt, one must do a shuffle through the snow. Picking up your feet will get you nowhere, so don't try it.

Also, weather is not a good excuse to be late in the Midwest. Everyone here is used to it. Snow does not deter anyone from getting anywhere. Most of the people in my new office live in the suburbs. And they were all in work yesterday and today. Despite the 6+ inches of snow we got last night.

And the new piece of info I learned during this past snowstorm, do not under any circumstances, take the bus home. I sat on Lake Shore Drive for approx. 45 minutes. Pain in my tush.

Not to mention I have to leave my house earlier to avoid delays...which means waking up earlier. How I loathe the mornings. And commuting.

Whine complete.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you...I live in Nebraska, and I can't stand the weather here! It's so annoying...but the worst part is that people obviously don't realize that driving in snow is a little bit different than driving when it's summer. They go barreling through the snow and slam on their brakes to avoid rear-ending you and it's just an overall bad experience...phew! I'm done...seriously. Thankfully this is my last winter here cuz I'm gettin out ASAP! Happy Holidays and stay warm!

Ms. Salti said...

I feel for you, woman! Just think of it this way... at least you don't have to drive in it!

howitstarts said...

Your coat looks super warm!

As a Wisconsinite transplant to Chicago, I still don't wear gloves outside although I have decided it's getting to be time to get a pair of boots. Oh, winter...

Sarah said...

I did the same thing three years ago -- first snow of the season -- took me two hours on the bus. LSD is NOT where you want to be during a snow storm. I had a new experience a couple of days ago with the cold -- my eyelashes FROZE together. Now that is cold! Welcome back to Chicago!!!

Katherine said...

I live in the Mountain West and it is the same way here. 10 inches of snow overnight, digging my car out, and commuting to work so early the snowplows haven't been out, and all I get is "Why are you late?!"

High-heel gal said...

I grew up in Northwestern Ohio, so I totally feel your pain! I also remember school being cancelled because it was too cold! Ah, those were the days! After college I moved to NC and people thought 30 degrees was cold...I would scoff at them and tell that it was "balmy." Now, living in Philly, it's not as cold as Ohio, but still better. I do not miss driving in snowstorms or falling on my ass just going out to catch the mail. Back home, everything "depends on the weather," so you can't really plan anything because the weather is so unpredictable!

Your coat looks super warm though :)

girlengineer said...

I live in West Africa, and it's summer here... Reading about all these snow seems so surreal! lol. Love your blog! :D

Cheryl said...

hahaha the shuffle walk. I used to live in Montreal, Canada so I can relate to falling on ice/having to go to work in snowstorms/waiting for buses etc- blows.

Rose and Jill said...

I work in an office that I'd say 60% of the people commute. We had a good bit of snow on Tuesday and a few employees had to call in (understandable because apparently KY forgot what those big salt mounds were for). There is this one woman (who I can't stand anyway) who called in. She seriously lives 10 minutes from work. In a neighborhood. That had salt on the road. Ridiculous.

<3,
Rose

Cal said...

I love Chicago. I do not love getting stuck in Chicago when they shut down Midway airport (on Tuesday) and I am stranded after what has already been a too long business trip. [sigh]

S. said...

Oh WOW! That sounds like my personal hell. I can barely make it through Winter in Cali! Eep!

s-h-a-r-o-n said...

I can utterly sympathize. Michigan might not be *as* cold as Chicago, but we have our share of winter traumas.

I recently fell on my ass in the middle of the mall due to melted ice. Mine was more embarrassing, because not only did I wipe out, but I deskirted myself: http://ceilingflickers.blogspot.com/2008/12/holly-jolly-mortification.html

'Hope you're still enjoying the new job! I'm appreciating the "franchised" dimension that WorkingGirl can now boast.

Dolce said...

I love Chicago, but you're right. It's as cold as a witch's tit there.

Glad I live 5 hours south.

Miss Merry said...

Uh, do I need to get one of those long puff coats? Seriously? I'm actually wondering. I'm coming from Texas, and from before that, Kansas. Right now I have a thin wool coat, but I'm starting to think that won't cut it!

Also, what do you do for shoes? Wear snow boots and carry work shoes?

Maddie said...

I just started working in downtown chicago. I used to think long puffy coats were unattractive. now I could really care less what I look like. Long coats are THE way to go, now I wonder how I survived without them!


I assume you live in lakeview area... enjoy those bus commutes! EL is the way to go!

L.L. said...

Pffffft. Lady! I live in Winnipeg. This morning when I walked to work it was -40 degrees (C). They never cancelled school for us ever! At most, we had to stay in for recess. When there's a blizzard, we still drive. I feel for you because I hate winter, but I get such a kick out of Americans who panic about winter.

Working Girl Two said...

Hi Miss Merry! This long puffy coat is seriously the only thing keeping me warm. Not everyone feels the need to wear a huge coat like me, some go for a ski jacket, but I like coats that cover my knees! I get cold legs.

And yes, I wear my Uggs to work to wade through the snow and then i switch into my work shoes once I get to my desk. Same for the summer - I wear flip flops. I hate wearing my real shoes to commute.

Good luck on the move!

MAH said...

"weather is not a good excuse to be late in the Midwest."

You just totally called me out on my one of my favorite excuses for being late... ;-) I'm from Cleveland, and right now we have an annoyingly cold sheet of ice over our city, so I am very familiar with the shuffle walk! Stay warm and love the coat!!!

Skywalker said...

I used to laugh when I saw people one tv with thoses coats - in Alabama the coldest it ever got was 20 degrees. Now I totally envy girls with them on. I'm with you about the temperature - DC is COLD!!!

Sorry about the move mid-winter hell.

aleksiedancer said...

Having grown up on the East coast, Chicago is some of the coldest weather I've ever encountered.

I like your coat; it's similar to mine (LL Bean is where I got it). I caved in the other week and bought warm winter boots, too.

Franciose Mordecai said...

I definitly was in the same snow storm, this morning was not so fun on the side roads either. However, I do COMPLETELY understand about the snow shuffle, I totally biffed it twice in the same week... I think I need some new Uggs, mine are a wee bit slippery this season.

L to the Aura said...

I love the coat!!!
I need something warm like that.
As an east coaster, living in western Canada feels like living inside of an icecube to me!