Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I have something to admit. 

On Friday I heard that a blizzard was a possibility for the day after Christmas. The weathermen were being uncharacteristically cool in light of a developing storm that was threatening the eastern United States with lots of snow and high winds.

When any kind of extreme conditions are even a distant threat, the weather forecasters typically work themselves up, very quickly, into a full froth--waving pointers and clickers wildly about in front of their screens, breathing hard, their eyes all crazy. But this time they seemed to be hedging their bets. All seemed to concur that the computers were in disagreement---some predicted the storm was heading right at us. Others said we might get grazed but the majority of the snow could likely go out to sea. 

At this point, I flippantly announced that I hoped we'd get a huge snow storm that would "cripple the East Coast." With an uncharacteristic swagger that sprang from some untapped vein of hubris, I taunted the approaching weather system--a big undulating mass of meteorological protoplasm spread across the map, challenging it to either "go big or go home."

I am so sorry. If the weather gods just happened to be tuned in, at that moment, to a middle-aged woman with an attitude and I had anything to do with the fact that New York is a total mess and that hundreds of flights have been canceled--inconveniencing countless travelers, that small children have been sleeping in airports for days and that three plane-loads of exhausted passengers sat on the tarmac at JFK for 39 hours because customs agents hadn't been able to get to work, I apologize.

I beg forgiveness of the dedicated drivers who had no choice but to abandon their buses at odd angles all over the city and of the people stuck on a crowded subway for eleven hours. I apologize to the school band who missed their chance to play for the Pope and for the man in Queens who tried to shovel his entire street because no plows had been through in 36 hours after the snowfall.

Please forgive me, East Coast. I will spend the remainder of the winter being polite to the weather map and will never, ever taunt a storm system again.

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