Yes, we in the South, panic when we hear the “s” word.
We don’t dare say it around children of school age, either.
We do not know how to act. Our weather apps alert us to the threat of freezing rain, and Heaven forbid, snow, and we lose our--well--the other "s" word. I mean we come unglued at the seams. Teachers trip over their own feet as they scramble for lesson plan books to reschedule tests, cashiers at Wal-mart start taking bets on the number of loaves of bread they will scan before shift’s end, the salt trucks (yes, we have them) have sprayed the roads before the first dozen eggs makes it into the bottom of a hastily snatched handbasket. This all with the first mention, mind you, of the “s” word.
On any other day you will find any southerner the most mild-mannered and easygoing soul you would ever want to meet. When we have heard a predicted 3-7 inches of snow is heading our way and you happen to be standing beside one of us in front of the last two jars of peanut butter on the condiment aisle, you just best take a step back. Mama’s got babies to feed.
If you happen to be Facebook friends with any of us Tennesseans or our neighbors to the south in Mississippi, you might want to stay off your newsfeed should we be granted the opportunity to stay home on one of these snow days. You are likely to gain 3-7 pounds just by scrolling past all the carbs we post in our pictures. First, there’s that bread we’re proud to have snagged. We gon’ show it off. You may, in fact, develop diabetes from looking at the scores of pictures we post of the baked goods we now have time to make whilst our children build snowmen roughly the height of a Barbie and consisting as much of dirt and mud wads as the fluffy white stuff.
We have to bake the cookies and cupcakes and eat the bread with our eggs and milk, you see? Our small towns, and maybe Atlanta, shut-to-the-down on snow days. There is nothing else for us to eat or do. Restaurants close, the courthouse locks it up tighter than a drum, and even the Goodwill hangs it up.
There is always McDonald’s, though. That’s just if you can make it there. (We all have that one Facebook friend who warns everyone to stay home lest they surely perish in the snow flurries.) Alas, McDonald’s is not exempt from the mania that is a good ‘ol southern snowdown. You better have a full tank of gas. They are down to one window because everyone else called in, and your cashier is also scooping your fries and boxing your Big Mac. I wrote the better part of this blog sitting at McDonald’s if that tells you anything at all about me or my propensity for listening to the warnings of my Facebook friends.
In our defense, we don’t see snow often enough to be calm and collected. Friends, in the North, you get months of practice each year, and that’s before you are out of puberty! In 41 years, I can count on two hands the number of picture-worthy snowfalls I have seen, and my teens have seen and remember two, maybe three.
Yes, we panic.
Yes, we hoard carbohydrates and dairy products.
Yes, we slide into the ditches. But...we do it with an enviable grace and style known only in the South. We will profusely thank the neighbors who pull us out, and we will offer them a slice of chess pie.
Enjoy watching us blunder and stumble about in our videos. Be jealous of our children eating luscious biscuits and the french toast that would make Paula Deen herself drool.
We got a snow day, y'all!