I know I’m really prone to getting overdramatic and as such it’s hard to get an accurate idea of HOW MUCH I really love/hate things. But believe me when I tell you that this has basically been the best week ever, for one reason and one reason only:
I grew up in The Middle Of Nowhere, Australia. Which means neverending desert that looks more like the surface of Mars than anything else. Then I lived in Perth, which has a climate similar to Los Angeles without the smog. I saw snow for the first time when I was 17 and didn’t go sledding until I was 21. So although I hate the cold with every fibre of my being, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE snow. In nine years, it hasn’t gotten any less magical to me.
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Chicago got massacred by a snowstorm. Luckily, we were warned about it ahead of time and I spent my time not stockpiling low fat Wheat Thins, but thinking up witty names for our impending doomstorm. Eventually I did.
And holy shit, was it EVER snowtorious! Crazy winds, temperatures in the negative digits (F; you don’t even want to know what it was in Celcius), like a foot and a half of snow (45cm) and FUCKING THUNDER AND LIGHTNING. It was insane and a little scary but I was secretly kind of psyched. I desperately wanted to wake up to some crazy winter wonderland.
When I looked out the window and saw this, my excitement can be imagined.
I have never, ever, ever, EVER seen this much snow. I couldn’t even imagine it. I mean, I could hold the picture in my mind but it didn’t seem real. It’s like thinking about a whale if you’ve never seen one. You know what it looks like, but not the awesome effect of it in real life.
Even though I am mature and elegant lady of 26, I insisted on going outside to play in the snow. And by “play” I mean “run around while flailing my limbs and giggling hysterically, occasionally flopping down into snowdrifts that come up to my waist.” Because I basically need a government issued helmet when I get excited, Mum came along to take photos and call 911 if required.
Something I had to be reminded of before I ran outside in my bare feet was that snow is wet. And although my cold weather gear is terrrrribly stylish, it’s not exactly waterproof. So I had to borrow 80% of my outfit from Mum, who is way more practical than I am. And how did I look? So glad you asked!
WHAT I WORE, SNOWTORIOUS OMG EDITION:
Jeans: Mine, bought in high school, too big.
Fur lined snowboots: Mum.
Itchy motherfucking blue sweater (not pictured): Mum.
Giant black waterproof gloves that made me look like the Michelin Man: Mum.
Red down coat which, although ugly, kept me very warm and dry: Mum.
Black knit hat with long braids: Mine, duh.
Snow shovel from Target.
Stupid facial expression thanks to serious photosensitivity.
My first item of business was to make a snow angel. Unfortunately I’d never made one before and ended up flailing on my back in two feet of snow while Mum called me retarded. Twice. TRUE STORY; I have it on video. So you’d best believe that the next time I tried, I stepped my game up & aimed for a shallower snow bank.
Cute, right? I’ll be real, though, if I hadn’t already been half-frozen from my previous attempt, I’d have been pretty cross about now. Snow is COLD and WET.
Anyway, I guess that falling backwards and not hurting myself made me think that the snow had given me magical acrobatic powers. I turned a bunch of cartwheels and actually stuck a round-off, terrifying my mother halfway into a coma. Wondering how far I could take this newfound athleticism, I ran across the street and climbed a ten-foot snow pile.
Once I’d posed for this majestic photograph–an oil painting of which I’m sure will adorn the halls of the family manor for generations–I stood on the very, very top and did a fucking handstand-front flip, landing hard on my back of the face of the hill. Which was obviously a brilliant move seeing that I haven’t been able to do a front flip since, I don’t know, high school? Or maybe even NEVER? And did I mention that I’m meant to be taking it easy, by order of a cardiologist? Yep. Anyway, that stunt about gave Mum a coronary and oh man, does my fucking back hurt right now. It was fun, but I’m not an acrobat. Never doing that again.
As punishment I had to shovel the driveway. This morphed into shoveling four driveways, since a lot of the neighbours are elderly and I clearly have behavioural problems that can only be managed through physical exhaustion.
After the second driveway, all my muscles were burning and my lungs were sore from the cold and I was all “MY KINGDOM FOR A BOYFRIEND WHO I CAN TRICK INTO DOING MANUAL LABOUR FOR ME.” Then it struck me that I only ever want a boyfriend when I don’t want to do something unpleasant (moving things, pushing the cart at Ikea, changing the vacuum belt). It’s not that I’m not strong enough, it’s that I’m lazy. I’m all for gender differences when I don’t feel like lifting boxes.
Anyway. Once I was done shoveling every damn driveway and path IN THE WORLD, I waded through thigh-deep snow to the back door of the house. I think Mum was counting on the physical tiredness to make me calmer, but failed to account for one thing…
It is physically impossible to shovel a sweet old lady’s driveway and not end up with a giant mug of hot cocoa. Which would ordinarily be fine but because my new diet is so light on sugar, my body FREAKS OUT if I so much as smell chocolate. So not only was I punchy, I was also fueled by the Alle-equivalent of crystal meth.
Snow is really interesting in that it’s really solid when there’s enough of it, but not super dense. If I fell straight backwards onto sand I would wind myself for sure. But falling backwards into snow is like falling onto a mattress. A really cold, soggy mattress. Whatever; I was so numb in the extremitiez by this point that I couldn’t really tell what my legs were doing, let alone whether they were cold.
RIP Alle Malice. She died the way she lived: facedown in a pile of snow. JUST KIDDING, COKE IS FOR BORING PEOPLE.
I decided to start a snowball fight. Mum retreated back inside like a wuss, so I claimed ultimate victory. It wasn’t much of a fight anyway; most of the snow was too powdery to make good snowballs. NEXT TIME, MAMA MALICE.
At this point I was sitting in the snow, burying my legs like you’d do at the beach. I mean, okay, totally normal. I don’t really have anything to say about this picture, I just really like it. Thanks Mum!
Eventually backwards somersaulting my way to freedom, I came back inside to warm up. In terribly sexy TMI news, my legs were BRIGHT RED and NUMB AS FUCK. Forget a hot shower; anything more than crawling into the freezer hurt like a bitch. I guess that’s what happens when you play in the snow for almost three hours.
Of course, I’m totally glad I did. I get the feeling that this is a once in a lifetime kind of thing.
Chicago, take care of yourselves and each other. Keep warm, stay patient and REMAIN SNOWTORIOUS.