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The Advice of a Desert-Dweller

Having spent my first winter here at K, I have come to realize that there are a number of things that you are bound to hear from people if you come from somewhere without a white winter. Here are a few of those things to prepare those of you who are blessed, as I am, to have come from a place where “winter” means around 30 degrees Fahrenheit on a bad day. Prepare yourselves, my fellow warm-winter friends. These questions and phrases will haunt you for many months.

First are things you will hear from people at K who live somewhere with a climate similar to Kalamazoo:

1) “You are going to have soooo much fun this winter.” *laughs at your nervous fear of the unknown force called “cold”* (Thank you, your laughter at my inexperience is very helpful in relieving my fears of the inevitable winter.)

2) “Have you ever even seen snow before?” (If I haven’t, I will soon…)

3) If the answer was no: “Why are you so excited? It’s just snow…” (Frozen water is falling from the SKY. What part of that is not amazing?!?!)

4) “You will get sick of the snow and cold eventually.” (I still have not, after surviving two and a half polar vortexes. Don’t listen to people who say this!

5) “What do you mean you’ve never bought a winter coat before?” (What would I need a winter coat for if I used to be able to wear shorts in December?!)

6) “Make sure not to slip on the ice!” (Believe it or not, I do understand that ice is slippery.)

7) “It’s 28 degrees Fahrenheit out? I’m wearing shorts!” (That’s still really cold where I come from. If you choose to freeze your butt off, go right ahead. By the way, I can still see that you have goosebumps.)

Then there are all of the questions you get from every one of your friends and family members who are still living in your warm-climate state for college:

1) “Why would you ever choose to leave for somewhere that cold?” (How about a good education? Is that a good enough reason?)

2) “How is the cold there?” (It’s still cold. Really cold. Thanks for asking.)

3) “It was [insert a pleasantly warm temperature here] today. Are you jealous?” (I can hear the smirk in your voice.)

4) “How have you been dealing with a ‘real’ winter?” (I’ve just been doing what everyone else does. You know, putting on my sealskin parka and hitching the dog team to my sled, the usual.)

I do apologize for all of the sarcasm in this blog. After hearing these things repeated I started thinking up creative ways to reply to entertain myself when responding. I guarantee that you will hear most, probably all, of these things if you come from a place that does not freeze over every November to March. So, start thinking up your sarcastically clever responses now!

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