I live in the Midwest, which is lame almost every day of the year. It’s a glowing endorsement for this part of the country, I know. There are a few times of year where it isn’t quite so punch-me-in-the-face-just-so-I-can-feel-lame.
I’m definitely not saying there are days where it’s fun and enjoyable. I wouldn’t go that far. But there are a few times of year when living in the Midwest isn’t so bad, as long as you view it with an eye for humor (and a belly full of liquor).
One of the most entertaining times to live in the Midwest is when there’s a winter storm. I realize most people think a winter storm occurs when there are several inches of snow and ice, the roads are deadly, and people are boiling water on gas stoves just to stay warm.
Not a single one of these things defines a winter storm in the Midwest.
What does? “ANY forecast of ANY variation of precipitation that MIGHT not immediately melt when it hits the ground.” Yes, that’s the actual definition for “winter storm” in the Midwest. Look it up.
A “winter storm” was scheduled to hit my city this morning, and because I’m a huge planner, I was completely prepared. I was stocked up with several flashlights, fresh batteries, several rolls of toilet paper, clean blankets, and the entire first season of Sherlock on Blu-ray. (The Blu-ray wasn’t so much something I needed to survive the storm, but more something I wanted because Benedict Cumberbatch is dreamy in the nerdiest of ways.)
And then it hit me. I realized I didn’t have the basic essentials to get through a winter storm. (Don’t worry. I had liquor.) What I didn’t have was an excessive amount of carbohydrates and sugar. Those are the two things guaranteed to keep you warm during a winter storm. True story.
I knew I had to act quickly. I grabbed my keys and headed out the door to get necessary supplies. There was no time to brush my teeth…or my hair…or to put on a bra. It was an emergency and the people at the grocery store would have to turn their eyes and noses away from my horrid presence. I figured they already knew to do that anyway, as this is my basic look whenever I go to the store. This time was the first time I actually had an excuse.
When I arrived I had difficulty finding a parking spot because the lot was filled with vehicles ready to be filled with necessities. Fortunately, I was able to elbow an old guy out of a spot close to the door and I felt good about it. I’m sure he needed his exercise for the day and forcing him to walk further from his parking spot to the store was my way of ensuring he got it. I’m such a good Samaritan that way, even in times of crisis. He didn’t even say thank you.
I went inside and headed straight to section of the grocery store that was most crucial to my survival during the storm: the bakery. I walked right over to the cookies and proceeded to hand-pick a few cookies to get me through this storm. (A “few” means ten, right?”)
I already felt better knowing one of the two necessities for a snow storm was safely in my hands. Well, it wasn’t safely in my hands because nothing is safe when in my possession, but you get the point.
I then headed to the frozen food section to get the other basic requirements for a blizzard: frozen pizzas. Fortunately, once again I was successful and quickly found several varieties of California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas.
I debated if I should purchase them or not, simply because buying an item with the name of a perpetually sunny state in the title didn’t seem like a good idea when the end of the world was coming in the form of thundersnow.
But then I remembered that CPK pizza is amaze-balls so I grabbed two boxes and headed to the checkout.
As I walked through the aisles I saw people getting eggs, bread, milk and items from the meat department. These people had all gone off the deep end and clearly didn’t know what it took to get through a winter storm successfully. (No one had alcohol in their carts either…a sure sign they wouldn’t make it through alive…or at least they wouldn’t make it through happy.)
I headed to the checkout and took in the sight of all the others racing around trying to get everything before the storm picked up. No one else was standing in line to check out with only cookies and frozen pizzas. Then I realized something. Winter storms, or even the thought of winter storms, brings out the fat kid in me.
Granted, the fat kid in me doesn’t ever have to be coaxed to come out, as he lives close to the surface in the muffin top of extra skin that folds over my pants. I call him Henry.
Henry obviously loves winter and everything it represents. Instead of being embarrassed about my inner fat kid wanting to bitch slap healthy eating during a blizzard, I decided to embrace it. After all, winter storms don’t happen everyday, and Henry needed a strong dose of pre-diabetic sugar overload to get him through the storm.
I went to the self-checkout to avoid stares from the cashiers who would undoubtedly judge my choice of essentials. After only struggling briefly with the cash register, I grabbed my cookies and pizza and walked to my car as quickly as I could. I wanted to get home ASAP to make sure the cookies were delicious enough for winter storm consumption.
As I approached my car, I noticed an old man walking slowly down the parking lot, heading towards the store. I tried not to hit him with my car as I drove away, thinking about how horrible it was that he had to park so far from the entrance. Someone really should have given him a parking spot closer to the door.