I forged my bitterness in the cold snow and ice of South Dakota. I grew up there, and it wasn’t a fun place, especially in the winter. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, but not recently, that one time when I was in 3rd grade, it got to -80 F wind chill and they made us go to school that day. Of course, we weren’t allowed to go outside for whatever reason, but we were allowed to math and science all day. I swear, some principles just don’t look out for their students.
Another time, I went off to college to another balmy location, Idaho, where in the winter it would get below zero on the regular. When I went home for Christmas though, I thought it was important for me to make a few extra dollars and went decided to work for the construction company I worked for in the summer. Of course, it was much warmer that time, -30 F and I was assigned a job that was an outside job. I’m so smart sometimes. So I worked for two weeks on a job where I barely made any money in my brother’s puffy coat and those stupid stretchy gloves that are made out of yarn or whatever.
Needless to say, I gained a bunch of skills that are only useful in the dead cold of winter and cold. I am a decent driver, but in the snow I become a stuntmanlike driver in a Bruce Willis movie. I can’t barely throw a football with my son without getting tired, but in snowy weather I become like Buddy the Elf as a snowball slinger. I can barely handle when the air conditioning is a notch below 68 during the summer, but in a snow storm, I can brave 10 degrees and 40 mile winds. I can barely scoop up the leaves in the fall, but in winter I become a human snowblower when it comes to shoveling the driveway.
Being a winter MVP is not only really useless skills, but a downright bitter one. I can’t handle it. All of sudden people depend on me to be the one guy that makes it to work in this white devil substance. The kids depend on me to shovel things, my wife wants me to be the one that pumps the gas, run to grocery store for emergency supplies and my sister is counting on me to be the one to run her kids clothes to some remote location because she forget them out our house.
I get to be the calm, soothing level-headed presence as we ski in our car down 90 degree slopes in a snowstorm while everyone else is panicking. Normally, those are other people’s jobs, but when the snow starts falling, and the wind starts whipping up, I’m supposed to be the logical one. As the bitter cold starts coming up, I’m supposed to be the non-bitter one.
Not cool. Not cool at all.
Bitter Frozen MVP Ben