What to do when You’re an Adult with a Snow Day

Nemo found us.
Nemo found us.

We didn’t know we were looking for him, but Nemo found us and brought with him some friends: snow, sleet, winds, ice, closed offices, and a long weekend.


When you’re a kid, snow means endless possibilities all of which allow you to throw off responsibilities, built forts and live in a world of storybook make believe. When you’re an adult, the opportunity to stay out of the office, off the roads, and forgo errands opens the doors to all sorts of “grown-up” activities. Here are a few thoughts about how to spend your snowed-in Nemo weekend.

Turn your living room into a yoga studio

Or a personal gym. For the last year, I’ve been receiving daily (or is it weekly?) emails from Women’s Health and Shape magazine with smart, fast, efficient at home workouts. They’ve been accumulating digital dust in my inbox as have the various resistant bands and kettle bells I’ve collected over the years (in my defense — I do have a gym membership that gets exercised 5 times a week). But the blizzard was a good excuse to see if that 8 minute workout really does the trick… summer abs, here I come, courtesy of Nemo.

Learn how to work your curling iron

I’m infamously terrible at using styling appliances. Even an eyeliner pencil has been turned into a near weapon in my presence. I thought the mastering of a diffuser to dry my curls was monumental. And then for Christmas, a thoughtful friend gave me a curling iron to “help me tame my tresses on opening nights!” I think I thought this was a good idea…. until the 3rd degree burn on my ear and the malfunction that somehow turned the curling iron into a flattening iron. How does that work?

By the time Nemo rolls through, I’ll be a styling pro.

Get crafty. Make your own Valentines!
Get crafty. Make your own Valentines!

Make homemade Valentines

It’s only a few days away, and hallmark isn’t what it used to be, let’s face it. Why not get crafty? Or, there’s always macaroni picture frame if greeting cards ain’t your thang.

Cook a big pot of soup

Or throw together a hearty cassoulet. If home-cooked meals are something you haven’t had a chance to do for a while, there’s no better excuse to make a big pot of some comfort food.

and now for my favorite…. last but not least….

Revert to being an 8 year old

Carelessly, frolic in the snow. Go sledding, build a snowman, make snow angels. Get as close to getting frostbite on your nose and fingertips as you can, and then come inside, shake off the snow, mull some wine or spike your cocoa before curling up in front of the fire, with your blankie.

When all else fails, reconnect with your inner child and go sledding
When all else fails, reconnect with your inner child and go sledding

A Soundtrack for Yet Another Snow Day

A month and a week into winter and we’ve been bludgeoned by 7 snowstorms. Record accumulations. Headline clean-up catastrophes. Headline clean-up triumphs. Temperatures at historic lows. A persistent winter wonderland.

Enough with all this ice. Winter, I'm over you.

There’s another storm raging outside my living room window. The snow sits so heavily on bare branches that the wailing winds can’t budge them. Yes, if there was ever a January to ignore the world and cozy up in front of the fire with someone cuddly, January 2011 has been the January for it. But the novelty of mornings spent shoveling followed by afternoons spent snowshoeing, has worn off.  After 7 snow storms, I’ve had enough of winter. I’m over cozy. Give me sunny.

I’ve been looking at pictures of my last trips to Cozumel and Cuba, longing for a beach. To get me through another icy day locked at home, I’ve assembled a  summery, sing-alongable playlist that will hopefully get me through another snow day:

  1. We Gotta Get Out of This Place by The Animals — There’s a blizzard. It’s below freezing. Get me outta here. nuff said.
  2. Mercy by Duffy — These snowflakes have me begging the weather gods for mercy.
  3. Temperature by Sean Paul — please, give me some place (or someone) with the right mercury reading to shelter me from the storm.
  4. July, July by The Decemberists– It’s mostly because of the title, but the fact it’s a great sing-along song doesn’t hurt either.
  5. Louie, Louie by Chuck Berry — There’s something about Chuck Berry that always makes me think convertibles, flip-flops, and summer nights.
  6. Brazil by Pink Martini — Smooth and jazzy, a song about June moons and exotic love. Yes, please.
  7. Everything about Sheryl Crow makes me think of sunshine

    All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow — …is have some fun. Hypothermia is not fun.

  8. Pacific Coast Party by Smashmouth — Smashmouth always provides the quintessential summer soundtrack. This is a song about California, California sun, and California parties. It’s 40 degrees warmer in California.
  9. Someone to Call my Lover by Janet Jackson — Carefree Janet
  10. Alejandro by Lady Gaga — What’s a playlist without a little Gaga? And when vacations are on the brain, there’s nothing like daydreams about a Spanish lover to take you far, far, away. A winter wonderland doesn’t stand a chance.

Unforeseen Hazards of Snowdays: Uncovering the Ghosts of Relationships Past

The wintry weather forecast made me feel like a kid again -- snow day? yes, please!

The wintry weather forecast for Tuesday night made me feel like a giddy school girl again. Snow day!? Yes, please! I awoke Wednesday morning knowing that the roads still needed clearing and sovwas slow to advance into the day. Sure, there were things to be done (like laundry and job applications), but why do something productive when the entire tri-state area had braced itself for snowpocalypse and was thus resigned to being unproductive?

Ignoring the stack of cover letters in progress, I began the cathartic snow day activity of clearing out my gmail inbox. Where did those 2,241 messages come from anyways?

As I worked my way backwards, it was somewhere around email 1,950 that I was punched in the heart. Sitting there between backups of old grad school papers  was a lost exchange with “The One I Let Get Away.” The emails were 2 years old and I wasn’t sure if I should delete them on sight or open and read. They had survived several previous inbox purges — there must have been something in the 9 messages worth holding on to.

“Hey there kiddo! Long time no see (could it be that I’m possibly starting to miss you?)” I wrote in the opening email that invited him to join me in my grad school graduation celebrations.

“HEY!!! Well, I know that I definitely miss you!”

I may be a sucker for Snoopy, but I'm no longer a sucker for an "I miss you."

Now I remembered why I saved the emails. “I definitely miss you” was a profound display of sentiment from a guy who was the polar opposite of sentimental.

The first time he told me he missed me was the first time I realized I was in love with him. He had called one summer night because he needed to talk through a rough patch. An hour passed and after we said our good-byes, he threw it in:

“I really miss you, you know.”

“I love you, you know.” But it was too late — we were already disconnected, and I realize now, disconnected in more ways than one.

A few months ago, after years of bouncing around in no man’s land, I finally came to terms with the fact that “I miss you” and “I love you” are not the same thing, even for the most philophobic of men. An awkward Friday night punctuated weeks of silence and sent me home ready to cut the few threads still holding together our threadbare relationship. It took 5 years for the story of us to run its course, but it took less than an hour to delete most traces of him from my every day life. In clicks and swipes I erased old text messages, buried photos of the two of us in the back of already dusty photo albums, removed his number from my phone, and sent old emails to the trash box.

But just as once shared songs have a habit of popping up on the radio or itunes, other specters of relationships-past can loom behind any corner. Some fade as quickly as they appear, others linger, showing their ghostly face every so often in the back of our memory. Luckily, these emails were an easy kill.

Conversation deleted… but not before I hit “print” and tucked the pages away in the back of a notebook. One day, “They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband” might be a book. When that day comes, you can bet The One I Let Get Away will get his own chapter and I’m going to want all the fodder I can get my hands on.