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.

Friendship Is Still Witchcraft

My parents spent most of my second and third grade years of school in a lengthy custody battle over my brother and me. We switched schools three times in the span of three months at one point, five times in total((If you count homeschooling)) during that time frame. It wasn’t until the last six months of my parents’ divorce that we were able to get settled at a school and I could start making friends. It took two months for me to talk to anyone other than my teacher and the school counselor, and another two months before I could answer a question out loud in class((Thanks in large part to said counselor and a teacher’s aide helping me to create a salt flour map of the former Czechoslovakia to present to class. Why 9-year-old me was obsessed with Central European geography and history, I’m not quite sure on)).

It looked a lot like this, only of a central European nation, not Alabama. Image credit: jimmielanley.hubpages.com

As I’ve lamented before, it’s kind of hard to make friends in adulthood. It’s certainly not to say that we lack opportunities to do so. I’d make a fairly strong argument that I come into contact with just as many people on a daily basis now as I did when I was in college, if not potentially more. Working in a customer service setting within business can and will make that a reality. Those interactions though are strictly business in nearly all cases.

It’s definitely possible to make friends at your work place. That said, there’s a distinct difference between “work friends” and “friends from work”. In the case of “work friends”, they’re people you get along with and talk to while at work, maybe even going to lunch together here and there. You may exchange the occasional text message or email off hours bitching amount a common gripe or even giving them a heads up about road conditions. Overall though, your work friend is nothing more than a friend while you’re at work, and an acquaintance outside of that realm. A “friend from work”, on the other hand, is someone who you work with that you can also to consider to be your friend off of the clock. You may hang out on occasion, meet up for lunch on the weekends, play copious amounts of online gaming together…you know, the usual stuff friends do((Well, this is at least what I’d do…I’m not exciting)).

I’m really good at making work friends in most situations. I’ve become a more outgoing person as I’ve grown older, and my current position with my employer means that every new hire within my department interacts with me in some fashion (either in person or digitally) during their first few weeks with the company. Yet, if someone who falls into the category of work friends were to leave the company, I wouldn’t be terribly broken up about it. I certainly may be a bit sad that we lost someone’s skills or productivity, but at a personal level, I wouldn’t think much of it.

Losing someone who falls into that category of friend from work is exactly the same as losing a friend…because that’s what they are. Yes, that person may move on and work for a different company at some point, but that doesn’t kill your friendship. Losing friends is hard at any point in life, though I’d make the argument it’s particularly hard as a young adult. You’re at this awkwardly lonely((Relatively speaking)) stage where you haven’t started your own family yet to support you if someone leaves your life, yet you’re not surrounded by a friend making-friendly environment like what a university or high school could provide.

It’s a rather disheartening feeling to see a friend go away, regardless of how you met them. The problem only gets amplified when your environment is reminding you that it’s much harder to make new ones.