My dear readers, as I write this, Iowa City is buckling down for some serious snow. I went to Hy-Vee this morning, where a 50-year-old woman elbowed me in the ribs because I was blocking her access to a five-pound box of Rice-a-Roni. When I made the pathetic little scoffing noise that passes for confrontation in such a situation, she shrugged and said, “Sorry. I need it for Winter Storm Jacob.” Is it just me, or is “Jacob” an incredibly wimpy-sounding name for life-threatening weather conditions? That’s borderline irresponsible. Nobody’s going to stay home for fear of encountering Jacob.
All this snow, freezing rain and Rice-a-Roni (I bought a box. What? It’s good) just make me want to crawl into bed and sleep for a thousand years, or at least until April. It feels like most of us are pretty low-energy right now. Don’t believe me? Go to Bread Garden. I guarantee you’ll see at least three people standing slack-jawed and empty-eyed in front of the candy section. And why wouldn’t they? The holidays are over, spring is well in the future and for most of us, life is just: go to work/shovel the driveway/lay on the couch and watch some genuinely horrifying news stories unfold.
When one of the six continents inhabited by man is apparently burning to the ground and America’s about to start its, what, 10th war this year, it’s hard to be particularly motivated to go plastic-free or learn Italian. Believe me, I get it. Even my parents have stopped asking when I’m going to get a real job and started celebrating the little victories. There’s nothing more humiliating than having your dad tell you “good job” for putting your tax forms in an envelope and putting that envelope in the mail instead of just handing it to him.
That said, don’t let yourself get discouraged. Stay warm, stay safe, have some soup and get back at it after the storm passes. After all, you’ve got things to do — many of you are going back to class this week — and do you really want to have to say you got your butt kicked by Jacob?
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 277.