Like New Girl‘s Nick Miller, I’m pretty sure I’m aging into my personality very well. In fact, someday, I’ll make a very good cantankerous old man. I suppose, it could be argued, that I already make a very good cantankerous old man. And that’s fine. Because you’re about to get a dose of what I like to call a “Get off my lawn!” rant.
Here we go…
I live in a college town. Which means that, for most of the year, the town’s population is about triple what it is in the summer.
It means that, for most of the year, drivers have to be extra careful not to hit pedestrians that step off the curb without looking up from their mobile devices to see if a car is coming. Doesn’t matter if there’s a crosswalk there or not. They don’t care.
It means that, for most of the year, traffic is insane for what should be a small town. I know it’s nowhere near what you’d find in an actual city where traffic is a legitimate concern/complaint. But when you’ve gotten used to the lack of traffic in summer or during winter break, the sudden spike in cars on the road can be upsetting.
It means that, for most of the year, it’s nearly impossible to expect to find a table at a decent restaurant in a 50 mile radius. Unless you’re willing to wait an hour or so. But who wants to wait an hour for a seat when they’re hungry? 15 minutes into the wait, your hunger turns into hanger.
It means that, for most of the year, you can expect local grocery stores to be crowded with people who drive their shopping carts almost as well as they drive their cars, darting out from the cereal aisle without looking to see if anyone else is walking by.
It’s mid-January. I knew the students were coming back. Their semester is beginning soon. I just wasn’t sure when they would all be back. My guess is, they all came back Monday. And they all went to Kroger. And they bought ALL THE MILK.
Okay… not all the milk. There were several gallons of skim milk there. But skim milk isn’t milk. It’s water that’s lying about being milk.
What’s a good way to describe what Kroger looked like on Monday? I know… This should work… It was like a swarm of locusts had descended upon a field and devoured all the crops that should have sustained the village for the entire winter.
To be fair to the students, it’s possible that they, as a demographic, did not buy up all the milk. Apparently they’re calling for snow at some point tomorrow or Wednesday. And that always throws stupid people into an anxiety attack.
Yes, I meant it when I said stupid people. And, I’m sorry, but if you’re one of those people who decides you need to go to the store and clean them out of bread, milk, and eggs, just because the 7-day forecast shows a snowflake emoji, you’re counted with the stupid ones.
Because, ladies and gentlemen, this is southwest Virginia. When it snows here, the odds that you will be trapped in your home for more than a couple days are slim. I’d understand it if this was Minnesota or a more rural county where the VDOT trucks don’t plow the roads until May. But it’s not. They’re pretty good about not only plowing around here, but pre-treating the roads, as well.
So if you think you need to stock up because you’re expecting a snowpocalypse to hit and you’ll be stuck in your house for a week or longer, that’s kind of dumb. Even in the past when the east coast has been hit by so-called “snowpocalypses,” people around here were able to dig out within two days. School buses may not be running, but you can get your much safer personal vehicle to the store to pick up some milk if you happened to run out in those two days.
Look, I don’t go grocery shopping very often. When I do, it’s to get things that I legitimately need. I don’t buy things to stock up in case there’s a zombie apocalypse. I buy milk because I’m out of milk. I buy sausage because I’m planning to make a pizza. I buy shampoo because I’m out of shampoo.
Monday, I wanted to get milk. Because I’m out of milk. And I’m still out of milk. I guess that’s okay, though. I’m old and cantankerous. It’s not like I need the calcium for strong bones and teeth.