Dear Southerners

 

 

 

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Dear Southerners,

 

It’s about to warm up. We’re headed out of Winter and into Summer because, let’s be honest, both Spring and Fall always feel woefully short, do they not?

 

It’ll be awhile before it’s too hot around here in the North, but we know it’s coming, too. We might not be known for our sweltering heat or steamy nights, but we have plenty of hot humidity in these parts, too.

 

And here’s the thing–

 

Pretty soon? You get to laugh at us.

 

It happens every year. We get a rogue stretch of 90+ degree days and the news lights up. “New York City paralyzed by heat wave.” “Three more die in the sweltering heat blanketing Boston.” “New England struggles to endure another day of record-breaking heat.”

 

And I see your Facebook statuses. Oh, how you laugh! We’re ridiculous, aren’t we? Ninety-five degrees??? Ha! Try 110! Northerners are such wimps. 

 

And we get all defensive and mad.

 

“You don’t understand! It’s not the same! We’re not equipped for this heat! We don’t have air conditioning. Our schools are downright unsafe. People are DYING because they can’t adequately cool their homes!”

 

And you roll your eyes, much like we roll our eyes when you’re all paralyzed by an inch and a half of snow.

 

Here’s the thing–

 

We’re both right.

 

Different parts of the country are better equipped to handle different conditions. That only makes sense. Our “heat wave” sounds ridiculous to you, but it’s a very significant problem up here. Your “snow storm” cracks us up, but it causes very real problems down there.

 

Let me let you in on a little secret–

 

((Most of us? Don’t really expect you to know how to drive in the snow.))

 

That’s the God’s honest truth. Because, really… why would you know? That’s like expecting me to know how to handle a scorpion in my house. I have no clue! There’s no reason for me to learn!

 

I would never judge someone for not knowing how to drive in the snow– what I find maddening is when people insist that they DO know how to drive in the snow perfectly well, but that their 1 1/2 inches of snow was just the WORST SNOW FALL EVER and, without plows and snow tires, it was not navigable.

 

Because that’s just silly.

 

That’s like our claiming that our 3+ days of 90 degree highs is the WORST HEAT WAVE EVER and no one could endure it.

 

Ridiculous.

 

Let’s just all admit our limitations. Let’s be kind to one another and never insult someone for not knowing to do or manage something that, frankly, they’d have no reason needing to.

 

But let’s also not overstate the challenge.

 

I will definitely fuss when the heat index pushes 95. Fair warning of that.

 

But I hereby promise to never claim that, somehow, our heat is “different” and couldn’t be better managed by someone else.

 

You got me, Southerners. When it comes to summer? You are WAY better equipped. You’re also more experienced. There’s no shame in my admitting that.

 

But, just remember… I can drive in two inches of snow WITHOUT snow tires and WITHOUT them plowing, sanding, or salting the road.

 

We’re just different. We have different skills due to our different experiences.

 

AND IT’S ALL GOOD.

 

I love you, Southerners. I loved you when I lived down there and I love you now.

 

But, man. We need to all just chill out and stop being so dang defensive.

 

xoxo–

JL

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4 comments to Dear Southerners

  • Jennie

    Great post and so very true.

  • Kim N

    I hear you and totally agree with one exception. Yes, us Southerners in general freak out about any winter precip. But snow isn’t generally the problem, it’s the ice. At least here in TX we tend to have ice storms or rain that freezes overnight on roadways much more often than snow. Snow is considered “fun”; ice nkt so much. It’s a different beast (to me, at least) than snow. Snow is not much different than driving in wet, rainy conditions. Ice is like driving on a slip & slide. I haven’t spent much time in the north, so I don’t know how roads are constructed there. All our major cities have tons of bridges and gigantic “spaghetti bowls.” Idiots think they can drive over those things when they are iced over and our cars just aren’t capable, so they slide back down and start chain collisions. Once the 2 sand trucks in the state (kidding!) finally get around to treating all the bridges, it’s often alresdy melting on its own.

    • Oh, ice is DEFINITELY harder to drive in than snow. You’re totally right about that. So is slush. I don’t drive on ice unless forced. I also don’t claim to be awesome at it, though. ;) There ARE people who are good at it, but they’re the ones who get out there and deal with it ALL the time. My husband can “walk” a car up the side of an icy mountain in ways I’ll never understand. Our cars really aren’t any different than yours, though. We have a Saturn sedan and a Kia minivan, neither of which is 4WD or has snow tires. Most people really don’t have “special” vehicles/tires around here– they just have lots of experience due to climate.

      All that said… there are idiots EVERYWHERE. And I’m so sorry you all have to deal with them starting chain collisions on your roads. That’s both obnoxious and dangerous!

  • Kim N

    Good to know that I’m not alone in avoiding icy roads! Your husband sounds a little bit crazy and a little bit talented with his car walking tactics. :)

    Idiots in the heat exist, too. We may be equipped with AC and used to dealing with TX heat, but there are still lots of people who stay out in the heat all day with little fluids (or worse yet, let their kids out all day!) and have heat strokes. People should know better!

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