In snowed in DC this morning. It is important to note what time it snowed (about 5am) because if it had snowed last night or in the really wee hours of the morning then perhaps the mayhem that occurred wouldn’t be as terrible as it was. Mind you, it would still be mayhem, but instead of Hiroshima, we’d get the 17th century. Despite the fact that I live in a region that experiences all four seasons – winter is a season, ya know – one of which that tends to produce some level of snow, the city and area that I call home and pay taxes to rarely gets it right. Which is slightly amazing considering that snow isn’t really a new thing. I’m 35-years-old and I’ve experienced snow for many years.
So snow is at least 35 years old. Well, we got somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-4 inches in the city and immediate surrounding areas and slightly more in out lying areas. Yay. Snow. Honestly, I wouldn’t give a shit about snow removal and how local jurisdicitons either forget to treat the roads or think that weather reports are myths (though to be fair, our weather teams in this region notoriously get things wrong which I’ll just attribute to this being a tricky weather area or something…) except… Wait a minute, ain’t that Brandy’s brother? Yes, we’ll get back to that. As of 11pm last night there wasn’t nan snow on the ground nor were there salt trucks or plows at the ready that I saw. My iPhone told me we’d get snow. Like, I asked Siri and she told me. Siri is a tall glass of water. No matter how hot Siri is – plenty hot – again, the roads which could have been properly treated sucked donkey nuts. My own main artery by my house looked like not one of the alleged 200 trucks had even remembered to cross the bridge into my part of town.
Back to not caring about snow removal, etc. Normally I wouldn’t give a shit about snow except I have a school-aged child. Which means that the VERY first thing I do when I wake up in the morning and I see snow is turn on the television to see if school is delayed or closed altogether for that day. If you’re a parent, you know this routine very well. You probably also check your email. This is one of those things they don’t tell you about being a parent, by the way. It’s something you learn along the way when you’re entire day can be dictated by an inch of snow as you stay glued to your television set.
See, for government employees in DC, snow days are great. It’s a day off. But even if you have to telework, working from home is the bees knees. Not so if you have kids. There are no days off. If your child is off, then somebody has to be off too and rock, paper, scissors usually occurs if you have the luxury of two parents involved. Or if school is delayed then you have to alter your work day to get your kids to school at the necessary time. That two-hour delay is real and can shift your entire day as well. These are things you don’t know until you know, ya know.
There’s also this third added layer. If you’ll remember, my daughter attends private school now. Well, her school follows the Fairfax County, Virigina, school delay and closing schedule. On this 6th day of January in the year of our lord 2015, nearly EVERY single district in this region was AT LEAST delayed by 2 hours. Except for three districts: DC Public Schools (an earthquake would prety much have to swallow all of the schools for them to close for anything…I mean this literally), Arlington County, VA Schools, and Fairfax County, Virginia Schools. This was ridiculous. DC gon’ DC, but the other two? Granted, it started snowing early in the morning, around say, 5am. So the decision to close at the time to delay or close may seem premature. However, it is better to be safe than sorry so at least delay schools to buy yourself some time, says the wise consituents of your district. One you decide to open, then folks get on the roads and you hope you have not fucked the dog.
The dog got fucked this morning. Fairfax County is one of the richest counties in America. It is also huge and has some very rural areas. Which means that snow removal and treatment happens very late if at all in some disparate parts of the county. The reason you delay school is so that school buses can have safe enough roads to drive on when transporting America’s most precious commodity – school lunch – to school. But nope. Noap. They stayed open causing bedlam on the untreated, sometimes unpassable roads leading to the schools, which all seem to be on side roads that no plow is ever going to get down. Two inches of snow might as well have been 6. Which is not what she said.
My daughter’s mother and I decided to keep my daughter home for our own two hour delay hoping the roads would get better. By the time I picked up and took my daughter to school the roads still sucked. The roads around her school however? Absolute trash, yo. The roads were completely coated with snow. I can honestly say I was concerned for the entire car ride. It’s one thing if I kill myself, but I have my child in the car with me. I miss my Uncle Charles too, but he can’t have my kid.
I know that the deicison to keep schools open was made based on information at the time. It snowed more than expected (it almost always does…except when it doesn’t. Apples. Like them.). But the clusterfuck that happened early – the traffic map of DC was one big ass red marker, and the vast majority of school districts were at least delayed or closed – seems like for the sake of the safety of the kids could have been somewhat avoided. Now principals are sending out emails apologizing. And I’m
Oh, and the region gets to do this again this afternoon when I go BACK to pick up my child at the same time as everybody else. Kids, yo: taking all the fun out of snow days.
Amazingly, I signed up to do this again.