Day 3: Sunday morning I woke up and realized that I hadn’t been to a church meeting in a while – with the holidays and all the snow, meetings kept being canceled. So Margaret and I decided to invite people over to sing and hang out. I was pretty amazed – travel times for friends who lived a mile or two away were upwards of an hour, but they still made it! About five of us gathered in our living room and I made Tassimo Chai tea (once you try Tassimo you’ll never want Starbucks again, although you can get Starbucks for Tassimo).
After a couple of hours our friends left to attempt a Metro ride home, but one friend, Jon, a student at George Washington, decided to stay. It was Superbowl Sunday after all, and going back to the dorms was not the most pleasant option. Margaret’s brother’s brother-in-law, Matt, also came over since he was in town for a job interview (which was postponed TWO WEEKS due to the weather…yes, he got the job!). Margaret and I had originally planned to go to a party in Fairfax, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen, so Jon and I ventured out into the paralyzed city in search of Superbowl food. I had stuff to make my dips but no chips to go with it, and that’s a big problem. The sun was out, so it didn’t seem so cold, and a few blocks down U Street a small grocery was open. The prices were exorbitant, but they had chips! We loaded up and made our way back. By kickoff time our apartment was filled with other friends who had to cancel their Superbowl party plans. (And also we’d found out schools and the federal government were closed Monday!!!) Everyone was rooting for the Saints, so I decided to be different and root for the Colts. Since this is the only televised sporting event I ever watch (unless the Braves make the World Series, but that hasn’t happened in years), I got pretty into it.
What is with that guy’s long hair? Eew!
Are we watching Eli or Peyton Manning? Peyton, right? I’m right?! Woo hoo I rock!
Hey, the guys that sing the song from CSI: Miami are playing!
What’s GoDaddy.com? I vaguely remember this from last year.
When the Saints won I pretended to pout, and then I noticed something familiar on one of the Saints’ jerseys: “Stinchcomb.”
“Dangit! I forgot I know one of the Saints!” OMG, I was rooting for the opposing team of someone I actually KNOW (the brother of a friend’s husband). Well if that doesn’t prove I am the World’s Greatest Sports Ditz I don’t know what does.
Day 4: The snow had stopped but not melted, so I was afraid to take Noli out. She would certainly be lost in it, being half a foot tall and pure white. But she was so antsy I had to take her for some kind of walk. Surprisingly she leaped over snow heaps like a pro and searched for other yellow markings to cover with her own. It was pretty gross and sad. When I re-entered my building I ran into my neighbors, Daphne and Eric, who I’d briefly met but hadn’t really talked to. They have a dachshund, Huckleberry, and when Huck saw Noli he went nuts.
“Looks like someone else is going stir crazy!” I said to them, laughing. We walked up the stairs together and let the dogs off their leashes, and they began running up and down the hallway as fast as they could. We all just stood there watching them, knowing it was against the rules to let your dog off their leash but not really caring because they were having so much fun! Ten minutes into it our other neighbor, Marcy, came out with her dog, Bailey, and even though he’s an old man he wanted to play too. For 20 minutes the three dogs ran back and forth in the hallway until they all collapsed, tongues hanging out and tails wagging. When it was obvious they needed a break we all promised to knock on each other’s doors for more play times.
That afternoon weathermen were reporting 10 more inches of snow the next day. Although I was glad for the prospect of another snow day, it was getting a little ridiculous. Main roads were plowed but the side roads weren’t, and the Metro still wasn’t running normally. No one was out as they had been over the weekend, my soap opera was preempted for 24-hour news coverage of the weather (there’s a lot of snow and everything’s closed – we get it!), and I hadn’t worn real clothes in a while. I was getting less motivated by the second. So many things I could have done – organized my closet, cleaned my bathroom, updated my blog! But no, I can barely recall what I did. So that evening I took Daphne up on her offer and knocked on her door. The doggies played and we chatted and drank vegan cappuccino (which I think is just soy, right? I still don’t understand how vegans can keep track of everything they’re allowed to eat.). After a couple of hours I wandered back down the hall to my apartment and probably watched a movie then fell asleep, I don’t really remember.
Day 5: Yay I actually have an event today! I was technically working from home every day of the blizzard, but since not many other people were there wasn’t a whole lot to do. But Reserve Officer’s Association was having a convention that week (talk about bad timing), and it was only a mile from my building! I put on REAL CLOTHES (a gray Banana Republic suit with pretty green sweater and heels – HEELS! Not Uggs!), CURLED MY HAIR!, PUT ON MAKEUP!, and grabbed a cab over to the hotel.
I had lunch with two 3-star Generals, listened to a couple of military briefs, attended an awards ceremony, and then remembered we were supposed to get more snow that afternoon, which would surely send everyone into Panic No. 3. So I exited quickly and walked to the end of the block to catch a cab. I didn’t see any, so I started walking toward my building figuring that I’d catch a cab at a busier intersection. I told myself this for about six blocks. Not a cab in sight. Six blocks in I’d gotten the hang of digging my heel into the iced-over snow then yanking it out and repeating so I wouldn’t slide. I showed off my amazingly graceful leaping abilities every time I had to cross the street, which had 4- to 6-inch puddles of muddy, greasy slush piled up on the curbs. And that was if I was lucky. In most cases I had to climb over 2- to 4-foot snow drifts to get to the other side. I was doing pretty well until I came to one particularly challenging intersection. I dug in my heel and leaped…but when I landed I had lost my shoe. SPLASH! Barefoot. FREEZING! And GROSS. A nice man picked up my shoe, placed it on my foot, and snickered, “Nice Timberlands!” Ha. About that time it began snowing again. Really?!! I mustered up some determination and stomped (and slid) the rest of the mile home. When I walked inside I announced loudly to the concierge, “Anything men can do women can do – IN HEELS! HA!”
After a hot bath and some tomato soup with a grilled cheese, I forced myself to stay awake for Lost at 9:00. I guess Andy Baldwin was equally bored (actually he was not stuck in DC but was in Arizona or New Mexico or somewhere lovely and warm like that) and he asked me questions over Twitter the entire show. I really wish I had a clue what was going on – I had very few answers for him. (For those who share my sentiments, I direct you to this blog for your reading pleasure.)
Day 6: If we thought we’d seen a blizzard before we were sadly mistaken. Not as much snow, but high winds, and it just looked nasty outside. I cautiously took Noli out to tinkle and I ran into Marcy in the hall on the way out.
“Don’t take her out the back exit – the wind picked Bailey up off the ground and threw him!” Bailey is about as big as Noli sans fluff, so she could certainly face the same fate. I carried her outside, found a safe place for her to go, and ran back upstairs. I’d been chronicling Snowtorious B.I.G. with my camera, but I decided against it that day. I was beginning to tire of it all. Marcy, Daphne, and I had a doggie play date at some point, and I must have watched movies the rest of the day. I really can’t remember. Time was becoming irrelevant. The highlight of my day was when People Magazine asked Tweeps what term they preferred for the big storm. Three people, including me, said “Snowtorious B.I.G.,” and @peoplemag tweeted the term with our names! A slew of people retweeted the message and I felt like a celebrity.
That evening I wandered over to Daphne’s with Noli. They had just sat down to eat some vegan lasagna and pop open a bottle of wine, but they invited me to join them. We knocked out one bottle pretty quickly, so we had to get into another one. I have no idea how much time passed, but at some point we decided it would be a good idea to move to my apartment and play Taboo. We had plenty of people to play with because our apartment had become the party apartment and people were constantly showing up unannounced. In that night’s case Matt had come over (still waiting for his interview) and Silvia was still stranded at our place. We sat in a big circle and were having lots of fun until Silvia, who’s a bigger prude than I am, got a little flustered trying to describe a word. The competitive and drunkish Daphne took the opportunity to really mess her up and started yelling out inappropriate words which I cannot repeat here, but trust me, it was hilarious. And if you could have seen the look on Silvia’s face! Poor thing.
Day 7: I was determined to be productive, so I set out a list of tasks for the day: Mani, pedi, work out, pack for trip. Oh yes, I had a trip Friday night to Atlanta, and by golly I was going. Sarah, Jon's fiance, drove over (she's braver than I am) and spent the day with me, so my list was neglected. I accomplished two things (the last two) and groaned that evening when the dreaded alert popped in my inbox from Washington Post: “Federal Government re-opens Friday.”
Day 8 (Metropocalypse): Getting to work was challenging -- trains were running at 15-minute intervals (usually 5 minutes) so the platforms got crowded. This was rush hour, which means EVERY platform was crowded. So when the train finally came, it was impossible to get a spot (since I also had a suitcase with me). I had to wait 15 minutes for the next one, and I was determined to get it. For some reason I thought a cup of coffee would be nice to enjoy on a cold morning in the Metro, so I had no free hands. The train came, it was packed, I pushed my way in, someone made a joke about knowing how sardines feel, har har. The train jolted and my coffee spilled all over me and the guy I was face to face with. I apologized a lot and he smiled and said, "No problem, I'm not dressed up like you are." As I tried to brush coffee off my suit, he noticed I spilled a bunch on my boob...AND HE WIPED IT OFF FOR ME. In the middle of his act of kindness he stopped and slowly looked up at me, and he looked like he was going to die.
"I am SO SORRY. I can't believe I just did that."
Then other people around us start laughing. I mean, what do you do? The poor guy couldn't get away from me because we were packed in so tight. Thankfully the next stop was mine so I exited swiftly.
DC wasn’t expecting more snow, but whatddya know, Atlanta was. I watched my flight status all day, but it wasn’t affected. So at 4:30 I left for the airport. I arrived at my gate with plenty of time, only to find out the flight was delayed. Here we go… I fully expected the flight to be canceled as soon as I heard that. After a couple of hours (during which I completed my to-do list from the day before) it was.
“Well, guess I’m driving tonight,” I overheard a guy nearby say. I don’t know if it was the cabin fever or just my stubborn will to get out of DC, but when I heard that I saw my opportunity.
“Want a passenger?”
The guy looked at me like I was insane. “Are you serious? That seems kind of crazy.”
“Well,” I reasoned, “if I go with you then you won’t have to get a hotel, we can just drive through the night.”
So he called his wife to make sure it was okay with her (it was), and I called my parents to make sure it was okay with them (it wasn’t), and we were off!
Okay, in hindsight that’s not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Okay fine, it was probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. And, as my friend Stefanie pointed out, the weirdest. (Her response when I told her the story: “That’s weird. That’s weird. That’s weird. That’s weird.”)
After a long night of telling our life stories, listening to some strange Harry Potter-esque books on tape, and several pit stops at various Waffle Houses, we pulled into my parents’ driveway around 8 a.m. I shook his hand and he left. What-ev, I still think it was worth it. Oh, but my dad was kind of mortified so if y'all could not tell anybody about this I'd appreciate it, thanks.
Days 9, 10, 11, and 12 (whoops, miscounted when I started these posts...and that's why I'm a writer, not a mathematician): I had a lovely weekend and bought a very expensive one-way ticket to get home. Once I made it back to DC I needed to go pick up Noli from Ashmi's. The snow had melted a little, but it had been raining so the top layer of snow was ice. Very, very scary. I got in my car, turned the key, and waited for the engine to start up...but nothing. Stupid Winter killed my battery (I hadn't used my car since the grocery store trip). I waited two hours for a jump, which cut into my Lost time and made me quite unhappy. After a jump I drove to Old Town to get Noli. Unfortunately I turned off the car, and it turns out stupid Winter had actually KILLED my battery. Raghav tried to jump it, but his little energy-efficient car couldn't do the task. I threw it in neutral and we tried to push it into the parking garage (I was illegally parked on the street), but we both kept slipping on the ice. So I had to call for another jump which took another two hours. Finally around 1 a.m. I had a working battery and was on my way home.
Although I was tired as hades the next day, I was thrilled the Metro was operating normally and work was not canceled. If you live here you know snow is STILL on the ground, but next Monday it's supposed to be 60 degrees! Spring better be on the way or I am making a sign that reads "Snow No Mo" and protesting outside the Pentagon.