February 3, 2015
I have an addiction. It’s a relatively new development but it’s crept insidiously into my life. The symptoms are clear and pathetically stereotypical. I’m losing chunks of time. My emotions veer wildly from highs to lows from one moment to the next. I promise myself I won’t do it again, or maybe only once more, but then I yield to temptation. I’m neglecting my work. I find myself wondering when I can get my next fix, and sometimes even sneak one in during snack time at school. It’s gotten out of control.
It’s not drugs or alcohol, not internet shopping or porn, nor video games. Instead, I’ve become a winter weather coverage junky. Every night I find myself searching through the weather channels on line, reading the local forecasts, debating the accuracy of one computer model versus another. Has the European model really been more accurate this winter? I surf the internet eagerly consuming a variety of forecasts—wunderground, noaa, wcsh8, Channel 13. I linger on those that I find most promising, reading and rereading them. “Winter Storm Warning” “Hazardous Weather Outlook” “Heavy snow accumulation” I wallow in the active verbs—walloped, smacked, blasted, blindsided.
And then, most shameful of all, in the address bar, I eagerly type in the address for Snow Day calculator. I feel a slight rush as my computer s-l-o-w-l-y loads the page, extending the frustration but also the anticipatory thrill. I’m jonesing for a snow day. Finally the home page appears.
What’s the percentage chance of a snow day the next day? It’s like hitting the slots at a casino. I enter the zip code first. Ka-ching Next, the number of snow days already taken. Ka-ching Finally I choose my school’s category—-Rural Public. I click on the tab— “Calculate” —Ka-ching and wait—breath held, envisioning those three cherries sweetly lining up —Jackpot! 99% chance of a snow day!
It doesn’t matter that I don’t even really want a snow day. Some part of me still revels in the magic of a snow day, feels that 8 year old get-out-of-jail-free euphoria when I see those words appear—that snow day high. It might happen! School might be closed! I suspect it’s the same part of me that still marvels that I can enter a convenience store and buy …all the candy I want. .. At one time. I mean, no one will stop me. Pretty heady stuff!
Of course, it’s not always a 99% chance of a snow day. Sometimes a sickening 56% appears (like for this Thursday). I mean that’s slightly better than 50-50 but my heart sinks. I click on refresh—maybe it was a glitch. 56% appears again. I head back to the forecasts. Maybe I can find something more promising out there. And seriously, I don’t even really want a snow day. Like I said, it’s an addiction.