KUCHARUK: are you a weather snob?

Are you a weather snob? I will admit that I recently realized that I am a weather snob and I know that I am not alone.

How do I know that I suffer from this character flaw? I found myself explaining the weather to a ‘southerner’ (you know what I mean – someone from the Vancouver Island area), using terms like, ‘it’s so cold it makes your face hurt’ and ‘you just need to learn to dress for our kind of cold’.

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Inwardly I was smiling because I knew that I had the southerner on the defensive. She would be wondering what kind of frozen wasteland she would be visiting and perhaps be a wee bit intimidated. She responded with, “I understand – it snows here too sometimes and last week it was -10”.

In my head I responded with, “Oh….little girl, -10 is nothing”, but I didn’t. Instead I said something like, “Great! Bring your boots because it is supposed to snow quite a bit while you are here”.

I admit I was taking a little pleasure at scaring her about the prospect of -30 and a foot of snow. Come on though! Our winters are so long we deserve to have a bit of fun at our southern friends expense.

Deep down I believe that many of us complain about the cold and snow in one breath, but defend it and use it as a test of endurance in another. Deep down in our psyche we take pleasure knowing that we are tough and able to withstand the deep-freeze that we live in for 6 months of the year – knowing that some could not handle the challenges of a long Northern British Columbian winter. We all proudly wear an invisible Scout badge that says, “I survived -40”.

We say to our local friends, “I am so sick of winter!”, but to a visitor from ‘away’ we say things like, ‘There are so many things to do in the winter! Skiing, snowshoeing, ice-fishing are all SO MUCH FUN”

We scare them a bit and then get them intrigued about all of the possibilities for fun and recreation.

We say, “Sometimes it is so cold overnight that in the morning our tires are almost SQUARE!” and then watch for a reaction.

We giggle because they don’t understand what the plug is for that hangs out of our grill. “Oh that? That is because we all have electric cars and need to plug them in every now and then”. Then we wink so they know it’s a joke and we explain that we use it to plug in our block heater when the weather plunges so our car will start in the morning.

None of this behavior is admirable, but snobbery in any form is not admirable and when our winter seems endless and we are inwardly praying for spring, a little fun and mind games makes it all a bit easier to take.

Judy Kucharuk is a lover of sarcasm, witty people and footnotes. You can read her book “Naked Tuesday” or catch her on CBC Radio Daybreak North where she shares her “Peace of Mind”. Follow her on twitter @judylaine

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