I Just Want A Snow Day

Let’s travel to the past for a bit, shall we?

*goofy flashback music and weird scene transition*

It’s the winter of 2003-2004, sometime just after Christmas. I’m a sophomore in high school, and I’m getting ready to participate in our area’s largest wrestling tournament. I’d missed the tourney the previous year with an injury, so I was quite excited to get my chance to wrestle at this particular event.

Two days before the event, the impending threat of snow, ice, and cold caused the tournament organizers to cancel the event. The weather was bad enough that not only with the tournament cancelled, but our return to school was delayed by two days (as the event took place over Christmas break). My dad, brother, and I had no electricity for six days, so we cooked ramen and frozen pizzas over a kerosene stove((this happened more often than I’d like to admit as a child, though usually it was non-payment, not storms that knocked out our electric)).

*end poorly lit flashback sequence*

While there are many differences between being an adult now and being the child I once was, one of the few that I truly miss is the concept of a snow day. Even with a notoriously stubborn school board like my district had, we’d average 4-7 days per year where school would be cancelled due to inclement weather. Growing up in a rural area, everyone got used to driving on snow-covered roads, so it took a lot to close our district down. That said though, I really enjoyed those mornings when my dad would come into the room my brother and I shared, only to wake us up with the message that we could go back to sleep.

Even in college, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of instances where the entire university was closed due to weather. The one that sticks out in my mind was a night where we had 12-18 inches of snow fall on campus, cancelling classes the next day. As the snow began to really pick up (there were 3-4 inches of snow on the ground at this point) my co-hosts and I trudged across campus to run a radio show. We ended up staying on air an hour longer than normal hoping the snow would let up some for our walk back. No one else dared brave the weather, so it’s not like anyone else was going to stop us anyway.

As an adult though, snow days are a sweet memory of the past. No matter rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor hail, there’s no closing down the great money train…even if weather would logically dictate otherwise.

I mean, it's not like it got really fucking cold recently or anything. Image courtesy weather.com
I mean, it’s not like it got really fucking cold recently or anything. Image courtesy weather.com

In my opinion, there should be adult snow days. In a basic premise, businesses within a particular school district would follow the lead of the school itself. If a school district closes down due to inclement weather, all businesses in said district must shut down too. For many parents with children, a closure of school but not work forces parents to take their child to daycare — exposing the children to the same driving conditions that the schools closed to protect them from. Since leaving your children alone at home isn’t usually the best decision, the concept of adult snow days has the potential to help out some parents.

That’s not to say I’m leaving out those of us in the non-parent crowd. After all, parents get enough benefits in life already before this adult snow day plan. Whether it be tax credits for children, store coupons geared toward the fact that their child can’t use a toilet, or any other miscellaneous nonsense, the adult snow day will not be another perk to having a kid. Every adult would receive a snow day under this plan.

There is though one problem that would impact many in the workforce, be they parents or otherwise. Like many people, I work in one school district, yet live in another. Furthermore, I have to cross a fair number of other districts in order to reach my workplace. What if the school district you live in closes down, but the district where your workplace resides does not? This is where you would use some of your flex snow days. Each adult would receive a set number of inclement weather flex days they can use in the event that their school district of residence closes when their workplace district does not.

Is my plan flawed? Sure it is. That said, unless you’re a business owner, I can’t see too many people complaining about the concept of adult snow days.

What childhood experience do you wish you could have more often as an adult? Is it snow days? Naptime? Something else? Sound off in the comments.

I Just Want A Snow Day

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14 thoughts on “I Just Want A Snow Day

  1. Nap time & snow days are definitely needed in adulthood. I also wish more companies were flexible about time off, not having to worry about making hours line up exactly or if a situation is severe enough to cash out a valued day off would be much less stressful and promote better work ethic (although many companies seem to be transitioning to this type of system).

    1. I think the pendulum goes both ways on this. For example, there are a handful of companies I’m aware of that have begun making the extra investment to buy all their employees laptops as their computer. The expectation is that the laptop will allow them the ability to work from home easier in the case of a snowstorm/flooding/etc, but it’s also a subconscious prompt to cause their employees to work from home more. I’d love to see a study done on this concept.

  2. Yes, adults need snow days too! There have been days where the roads have been too icy to drive on, so why should we risk injury just to get to work? If it’s too dangerous to go to school then it’s too dangerous to go to work as well!

    1. Most of the days schools have been closed around here recently have been for extreme cold (wind chills in the -15F to -35F range, actual temperatures in the -5F to -20F range). Some schools have been closed 5 of the last 10 days. Workplaces don’t even bat an eye at the cold.

  3. You should just move to the South. Down here, we get a couple inches and EVERYTHING SHUTS DOWN. Even the Navy didn’t have to show up for half of the last 2 weeks…they were on “essential personnel only.” One day I wanted a haircut and I traveled 2.5 miles in a radius around my apartment, trying 8 or 10 different places…all closed.

    It’s insane. I thought we were wimpy in Oregon, but we looked like superheroes compared to these people.

    Also, yes, I want naptime. I want it very very much.

    1. Schools around here were closing left and right because of the cold, but snow doesn’t impact us much. In the Snow Belt, we scoff at a foot of snow (well, businesses do).

  4. I’ll second Jill’s assertion that you should move to the south. My city pretty much goes into survival mode at the threat of even a couple of inches of snow.

    Over the past couple of weeks, my workplace was shut down for a day, opened late once or twice, and closed at 10:30 am one day. Granted, we don’t know how to drive in snow down here and we’re always going off into ditches and causing mass chaos, but hey. We usually get a snow day every once in awhile.

    1. I know that a good portion of my dad’s family (which lives in Kentucky) had a similar last few weeks as you did. I could deal with the random winter closings, but I really don’t like the heat that bubbles up in the summers. I already can’t stand heat in Ohio, so I can’t imagine I’d fare much better south of the Mason-Dixon line.

      1. Yeaaaah, summers can be brutal. Especially August. I honestly don’t think I could live much further south or much further north than I do currently. If I ever get rich, I’ll probably do that thing where I have a house in the north and then have a house in Florida that I go to for all the cold months.

        1. I could live further north easily. Buffalo, Calgary, Seattle, and Minneapolis are all cities I’ve considered living in at various points, and I think I’d be happy in at least three of the four. I’ve tried living further south…sort of. It was Phoenix, which is definitely further south than Ohio, but it’s a whole other weather beast altogether.

  5. I’m with you on the snow days. We’ve had a few this year where we got between 2-4 feet of snow over the span of a morning, and while everyone else stayed home, I had to drive in it… and clear my car… several times over. *sigh*

    1. While I know that my office wasn’t the only place open during the recent snow/cold here, I will say that traffic is significantly less than normal on those days.

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