Kimberly’s Burn Book: Where’s My Snow Day?

Welcome to Kimberly’s Burn Book, a feature in which I complain about things that annoy, irritate, or frustrate me. (We have a lot of ground to cover.)

Growing up in suburban New York, there were fewer things disappointing than waking up on a day when it was supposed to snow, rushing to the window expecting everything to be coated in white, and instead seeing a naked street. It. was. the. WORST.

The possibilities for a day off from school due to snow were endless: sleeping in, delayed assignments, canceled tests. A snow day meant a reprieve from school and all of the pressures that came with it, if only for 24 hours. When it was supposed to snow and then didn’t, disappointment ensued. But what was even worse was when it snowed and we had school anyway.

I felt like it was impossible to arrive at school in a good mood on what should have been a snow day. This was just wrong. I wasn’t supposed to be heading to my first class, I was supposed to be drinking hot chocolate, watching cartoons, and making snow angels!

At the same time, I could never understand why snowstorms seemed to make the adults in my life so agitated. What was the point of getting all worked up about weather that was out of our control? The more snow it snowed, the higher my chances became of having off from school. Even the possibility of having to shovel the driveway couldn’t ruin my excitement. I found it hard to get angry even when my plans outside of school got canceled because of snow too.

After high school, a snow day can be a lot harder to come by depending on where one lives. I went to college in Maryland, which turned out to be a snow-sensitive area. As little as one inch of snow could mean the cancellation of classes. Now that I’m an adult and have a job, snow days are few and far between. My workplace rarely closes due to the weather, although it is arguably just as dangerous to commute to a school as any other workplace. When the roads and sidewalks are slippery and it’s hard to see where you’re going on the street when it’s snowing in your face, I don’t feel safe. So what gives?

I understand that the decision whether or not to close an establishment for the day is not just about safety but about internal politics. How important is it to keep the business running? If too many school days are missed, will vacations have to be shortened, or the school year lengthened? Would people really complain if a school or company is closed “too often” due to inclement weather?

That doesn’t make it any less irritating when it snows A LOT and nothing is canceled or closed. The simple solution might appear to be to calling out from work in dangerous conditions, but let’s be honest: everyone hates those people. I was asked in an interview for my first job was if driving to the train station in the snow was a problem for me. (Proving my point that everyone hates those people.)

Parking lot at Pentagon City, Arlington, Virgi...
Just your average day at work. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2000, Nickelodeon came out with a movie called Snow Day. I do have to warn you that it is cheesy to the max (ask me how I know this: my brother, cousin and I once watched that orange VHS nine times in one day when we were bored). Still, there is a lot that this movie gets right about snow days. I always got the feeling that anything was possible on a snow day; the feeling that almost-magic could happen. But now that snow days are so much harder to come by, I feel myself unwittingly joining the ranks of the rest of the adults who see or hear about snow and feel annoyed instead of excited.

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