Crazy weather is nothing new for Oklahomans. However callused we think we are to news of the types of big and sudden changes in our atmospheric environs that we experienced from yesterday to today, we all, even (especially?) us natives, tend to go through a series of powerful emotions as the weather prepares to punch us in the neck.
The process goes a little something like this.
Denial. When crazy weather creeps into our five-day forecasts, we like to say something along the lines of, "You mean to tell me that we'll go from a high of 72 on Friday to a high of 32 on Saturday? I just don't believe it." And for the next few days, we don't. Though cranky weather is creeping toward us, we tend to go about business as usual. We do begin to milk it for small talk, however.
Anger. The day a less-than-favorable stark change in weather arrives, we Oklahomans' feelings range from mildly annoyed to majorly pissed off. This is the stage in which we take to Twitter and Facebook to complain about the weather that's about to befall us. We say things like, "I ran through the park with my dog in the sunshine earlier today. And to think that tomorrow we'll all be shut in thanks to ice and snow. Grrr!"
Bargaining. We Oklahomans know better than to try to bargain with Mother Nature. Instead, we take our bargaining skills to the grocery store. Our favorite aisles just before a snow storm are the ones where paper (as Beavis and Butthead tell us, you can never have too much TP), batteries, bottled water and beer are shelved. Shelves containing canned and processed foods (don't forget the cookies!), candles, Snuggies and auto de-icer are likewise picked clean. Looking outside at the snow that hasn't stopped falling since 8am this morning, I'd venture to say that at this point there's not an ice scraper or six-pack of Miller Lite to be found in any grocery store in the metro.
Depression. At 10pm yesterday evening we Tulsans were perched at our windows and storm doors, feeling how the outside air had cooled 20 degrees from what it was two hours before. A cold rain had begun. To think that we were on the other side of those windows and doors just a couple of hours ago, biking through our neighborhoods in the warm breeze, cooking dinner outside on the grill, hopping in the car in search of a scoop of ice cream, isn't the only thing giving us chills. All of this change gives us long faces (we're not fans of change - just look at how we voted in 2008). We log on to Twitter one last time before bed just long enough to swear on a tropical vacation, or even to move away from Oklahoma forever.
Acceptance. This afternoon we're drinking cocoa. Or, we're snuggled by our fireplaces. Or, we're outside with our kids, playing in the snow. Most of our parties and weekend plans have taken a back seat to a day at home with our TVs and/or our families, courtesy of Mother Nature. She really has a penchant for sending us Oklahomans one last good snow in March before spring comes along. Granted, she doesn't usually wait until the first day of spring to get around to it, but still. And granted, it would have been cool had she waited until the middle of the work week so we could all have a day off, but still.
I'm an Oklahoman. I don't tell Mother Nature how to do her job. I just talk about her behind her back. A lot.
I know y'all are ready for spring. But how are you spending these last snow days of Winter 2009/1010?
First photo from the Big Mad Morning Show. Yes, that's Reasor's and, yes, that was the state of things there today. Follow them on Twitter, fan them on Facebook.
Second photo also taken at Reasor's, this time by Scott Hambrick, president of Data Storage, Inc. Follow Scott on Twitter.