OMG. I am insane. Yes, that must be it. Insane.
The snow started falling 10 hours ago and appears to have no intention in letting up tonight. The prediction is another 12 hours of white, fluffy flakes falling from the sky, onto my head (flattening my hair), onto my car (yea more fun scraping iced over windscreens), and coating the roads. At least here in Minnesota, unlike, New York, the Department of Transportation knows how to remove the snow and is ready with a battalion of snowplows.
I merge onto I-94 East out of Downtown Minneapolis and head for Wisconsin. The catch-22 about snow is the temperature. It seems to me (though I am NO meteorologist) that when it snows the temperature is “nice”. The term “nice” of course is relative. As a Minnesotan, I find 32 degrees Fahrenheit bearable. I find -32 degrees Fahrenheit unbearable, just like I dislike sticky, muggy August and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. I also strongly dislike snow. Laugh all you, a desi girl from Minnesota does not like snow – it’s true. I find snow to be a complete nuisance. But I do like seasons, I wish Minnesota offered more than winter and road construction. And I wish fall in Minnesota would last more than three weeks in October.
About 45 minutes later I pass through downtown St. Paul (twice the normal time, but in the snow this is good timing). I wind around the city and continue along the straight part of the interstate. By this time my heart is racing, and I, a brown girl, am white knuckling along.
A few years ago, maybe it was more, driving became problematic for me. I would feel out of control and constantly thought I would tip over when driving along the road when it curved, especially at speeds over 40 miles an hour.And I did not like driving faster than 55 miles an hour, which is why I would stay in the right lane.
For months I dreaded driving, especially on the freeway. Because the Minnesota Nice, on the roadway, did not exist. Before my ability to drive was challenged, I was like a lot of other folks, aggressive and fueled with road rage, glaring at you through the rear-view mirror. At least in New York everyone honks and is open about being willing to run you over.
Because I lived less than 5 miles from work, I could handle the freeway. In rush hour I could merge slowly, I could ease around the curving road, and when the speed limit around a bend was posted as 35 or 40 miles an hour I was able to slow down. There were some days though when I had an intense red anxiety pulsing through me and I would take the side roads, cut through the University and slide on into Downtown Minneapolis.
|Lowry Hill Tunnel|
However, when I had to go to places like Ridgedale (where the Ann Taylor location of my part-time employment was situated) driving was very stressful because I had to pass through the Lowry Tunnel. After a while, just to ensure my heart did not explode inside my body from driving, I would cut through downtown Minneapolis. This would add at least 20 minutes to my commute, but it was a better alternative than having a panic attack in a 2000 pound black SUV, crashing and shutting down the Lowry Tunnel.
Ninety minutes later I cross the St. Croix River and enter Hudson. Possible-Mate-from-Chicago gave me directions on how to find the Italian eatery he selected. So I turn left and right according to the directions and realize that I may be able to meet him on time. Though if I was late, something I am not known for, I think the blizzard would provide me with a good and acceptable excuse.
I see the restaurant to the right and pull into the parking lot. Thank goodness the issue with my driving was finally resolved. Turns out I had astigmatism and that was throwing off my center of balance. The doctor was surprised that it only manifested in driving. He thinks I dodged a bullet.
I find a parking spot close the door, a good thing because I decided against boots in a snowstorm, yes I am that vain when it comes to shoes. Even in the snow! Okay date, I hope you are ready to dine!I have endured a snowstorm to meet you.