Saturday, December 17, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

WARNING: It has been a long day - many bad words follow!

The "Black" Region turned white today, if for only a brief moment. The black region is the county I live in. Read my blog to find out why! The weather in north Germany is just awful in the winter: cold, gray, wet, rainy. However, today it decided to give us a break from all of the recent rain and graced us with snow. It was beautiful. I opened up the windows and peered out at the crystalline trees. As the snow fell listlessly, it was a perfect moment for hot chocolate and a little Frank Sinatra Christmas music. Then I had to ruin it all by going outside.

Snow was meant to be looked at - NOT driven in. Although I had a bad feeling about leaving the house, my weekend errands could not be put off any longer. I had several things on my list: dry cleaners, grocery store, bank, buy Christmas presents, etc. It was bad from the moment I left the house. I walked up to Smarty unlocked the doors and opened the door. That was mistake number one. As I opened the door, snow fell into the car and on the driver's seat. Fuck. I am going to have to sit in that. I turned on the car, shoved the laundry in the passenger seat and grabbed my snow brush.

As I was brushing off the car and scrapping the windows, I was again reminded about how I am simply not cut out for this kind of weather. Growing up in South Carolina has definitely left its mark. I am getting better, though. When I was in college outside of Chicago, I desperately had to dig my car out of the snow in order to get home before the REAL snow storm hit. After 15 minutes I had gotten half a tire free. Totally upset and freaked out, I did the only thing you can do in such a situation. I called a Canadian. As I held the phone in my half-frozen hand and wiped snot from my nose, I begged the Canadian, "Please, you have to help me, I don't want to be stuck here the whole winter vacation" (have I mentioned that I am a bit melodramatic sometimes?). Being the good sport he is, the Canadian came right over and dug my car out in 10 minutes. My hero.

Although the German tends to be my hero every other day of the week, not so much today. I understand though. He had a rough week and decided to stay in bed. Smart man. As I was wiping off the snow, I realized that my new, totally cute brown suede loafers are probably not the best footwear when digging out your car. After, I got Smarty all cleaned up, without thinking I opened the passenger car door to put the brush away. A huge glob of snow deposited itself right on top of my cashmere sweaters. Mother Fucker.

I sat in my wet seat and pulled out of the drive. Smarty takes a while to warm up, but she was a little steamy on the inside to day, and the right lens in my glasses fogged up immediately. I am completely, totally and utterly blind. Fogged up glasses don't help. So I closed my right eye and drove with one eye to the dry cleaners. I arrived at the cleaners at precisely 12:05. They closed at 12:00. Damn it. I hate, hate, HATE store hours here.

After going to the more expensive dry cleaners and fighting for the last parking space in all of Cloppenburg, I quickly ran through town to do my errands. Although the pedestrian district is a God send, shopping in Germany can be a little annoying, especially the weekend before Christmas. Here, the customer is definitely not the queen.

I walked out of two perfume stores after watching utterly useless saleswomen standing around. I have a problem buying gifts. I need recommendations, help and encouragement. I stared at the women, who stared back. It was like a junior high dance or some elaborate game of chicken - who will do the asking first. I am American. I expect them to ask first. They did not. So I left. At the bookstore I watched a rather large women cut in front of two other people for the check-out. When I paid, the sales woman asked, "Would you like that gift wrapped?" "Sure! That would be great." Large SIGH from the saleswoman, "Ok." Jeez lady, if you did not want to do it, you should not have asked.

Three hours later I got home with frazzled nerves. Why did I leave the house?? Why can't I enjoy the snow the way God intended it - in a warm house with lots of alcohol. It could have been worse though. My friend Cammie called to tell me that her windshield wipers stopped working on the highway. She had to keep pulling over to rest stops to clean her windows.

I promise to finish the list of German social sins. I have a good one for tomorrow. I would write it now, but my feet are still cold.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I got two words for you: Internet shopping. In a beautifully efficient melding of slacker-tude with miserliness, I have perfected the art of buying online and have been screaming its virtues ever since. I am terrible at giving personal gifts and this takes all the guesswork out. Plus, it also negates my need to trudge through knee high deep snow only to fight over the last Doggie Doctor Play D-Oh set. Plus, no sales people. Yeah!
--E

Anonymous said...

I got two words for you: Internet shopping. In a beautifully efficient melding of slacker-tude with miserliness, I have perfected the art of buying online and have been screaming its virtues ever since. I am terrible at giving personal gifts and this takes all the guesswork out. Plus, it also negates my need to trudge through knee high deep snow only to fight over the last Doggie Doctor Play D-Oh set. Plus, no sales people. Yeah!
--E