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Posted at 09:49 AM ET, 11/03/2011

Winter outlook: A snow point/counterpoint


(Bill Roth - AP)
Two things I can’t believe: the Washington area has already had to deal with the year’s first batch of snow, and that it’s all anyone wants to talk about. Ever.

Today, Capital Weather Gang will release its annual winter outlook. Are you looking forward to more snowfall or totally dreading it? Read opinions from two Washington Post journalists and enter our snowfall contest after the jump:

From the pro-snow camp’s Ryan Kellett: “There is a little part of you that loves snow. This is what makes you adore things like snow angels, snowmen, and snowball fights at Dupont Circle. But the fun of snow can be a superficial quality that is often short-lived.”

And the rebuttal from anti-snow representative Terri Rupar: ”Snow apologists say: Isn’t it better than rain? Don’t you like how pretty it makes everything? If it’s going to be cold anyway, doesn’t this make it better? No.”

Read their full essays and take our poll after the jump:


(Dave Einsel - AP)

Pro-snow:

Snow around D.C. has got a bad rap. Yes, it snarls traffic and makes its dirty way indoors by way our our boots. But I’m here to say that you misunderstand snow.

There is a little part of you that loves snow. This is what makes you adore things like snow angels, snowmen, and snowball fights at Dupont Circle. But the fun of snow can be a superficial quality that is often short-lived.

You should also look beyond snow’s purity and beauty. You love the quick dusting of the lawn that reminds you of a White Christmas or the snowy mountaintops that look so scenic. That’s all good and well until you step outdoors on a winter day to encounter snow’s step-child “wintry mix.”

People who really know snow understand that it’s about grit. There is a chance you could die out there every time it snows. But when you survive Snowmageddon or even just a harrowing trip home, you learn to savor a well-earned victory and grow from it. Snow is the counterpoint that affords you the opportunity to love life and your surroundings.

Snow also gives you a story to tell be it on social media or just over coffee. When you tell a tale of survival, you are reaching back for one the oldest narrative archetypes. While your snow adventure may be traipsing through the urban jungle instead of through the woods, you are following in a rich tradition of storytelling.

Finally, snow does have that sweet, romantic side to fall back on when snow gets the better of you. It might be superficial, but it allows you to leave just enough room in your heart so that you don’t move to desert.

And that is why snow is so misunderstood. You think it’s about hardship and ugliness. I think it’s about the abundance of character it can provide. - Ryan Kellett, Interactivity Producer


(ARND WIEGMANN - REUTERS)

Anti-snow:

When everyone says Washingtonians freak out over snow, I’m somewhat confused. Yes, maybe you don’t have to run to the store and buy all the milk, bread and toilet paper there is (though a trip out for an extra bottle of bourbon is a solid idea), but we should prepare. After all, who wants to go outside in that?

Snow apologists say: Isn’t it better than rain? Don’t you like how pretty it makes everything? If it’s going to be cold anyway, doesn’t this make it better? No.

Okay, snow brings a sparkle, a hush, a pristine quality … for maybe a few hours. But then: Snow means shoveling sidewalks, and dealing with the people who don’t shovel their sidewalks. Not pretty.

Snow means wet and cold, a mixture of slush at the corners and hard ice where it’s gotten packed down and re-frozen. It turns black and gray from dirt and exhaust within a matter of hours. Not pretty.

It means (puzzlingly) people failing to pick up their dog’s poop more often than normal, only to have it be uncovered when the mess melts. Not pretty.

It means people driving too fast, or too slow, for the conditions. Not pretty.

(Note: I don’t drive at all in any kind of winter precipitation. I don’t have a car, and I grew up in North Carolina, and I just don’t know how to do it.)

It means a Facebook feed devoid of anything besides weather-related comments. Not pretty. And it means that I can’t wear most of the shoes that I own. I’m relegated to ugly boots, with no heels but plenty of sensible tread. Not. Pretty.

Fortunately, it doesn’t snow too much in Washington to chase me away. Yet. But I’m not going to enjoy it. - Terri Rupar, Homepage producer

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By  |  09:49 AM ET, 11/03/2011

 
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