This winter has been particularly brutal, especially since that dirty rat Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. But, for all the polar vortices and winter storms, Nashville (Griffin’s hometown) has seen very little snow. It’s just been cold. Very, very cold. And across social media, you can hear the calls go out: “I’d be a lot more tolerant of this weather if it would just snow” here, and “I can take the cold if it’s at least pretty out”. This is the stage we call Bargaining.
Oh, you didn’t know about the Five Stages of Winter? They’re just like the Kübler-Ross model of grieving, but in reverse, and we all go through it. For the uninitiated, it looks a little something like this:
Acceptance - There’s fresh snow on the ground, smiling snowmen waving from every street corner, and stockings hung from the chimney with care. Winter is here at last, and can stay as long as pleases! This lasts about a day and a half, followed by …
Depression - It’s dark, and it’s cold, and you’re out of peppermint bark. In the absence of the sun, we retreat into a bathrobe and sulk.
Bargaining - This is the stage we covered above, where we seek to make deals with Jack Frost, or Pennsylvanian groundhogs, or Willard damn Scott, groveling for a ray of hope.
But there’s no hope coming, is there? No, of course not. Winter Storm Vampire Academy™ is on its way, and your pipes just froze. How does that make you feel?
Anger - This usually hits around the time you get your second utility bill, which has more zeroes than you thought was possible. You spend your day checking the extended forecast and shouting, “Come on!“
Denial - I became acutely aware of this stage when I was a small child in Minneapolis. The first sunny day that saw the thermostat creep above 20°, I’d strip down to my snowpants and run around on the snowdrifts like Maria von Trapp. Of course, this was insanity, but NO! Spring had sprung at last, despite the fact that it was still February and I was spinning, arms outstretched, on top of 3 feet of snow.
If you make it this far, then Spring’s on its way, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You’ll caper and cavort through the next few months, and forget all about the bleak hellscape we all endured together, so that, by the time the holiday season arrives again, you’ll take Old Man Winter’s icy hand in yours, welcoming him like a long-lost relative, having forgotten completely what a jerk he is.