This week's blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who
lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with Professor
Foster (his non-white, non-dad wife), and their daughter Viva, who
is currently pricing homes in San Diego.
Dear Chicago Winter,
You used to be cute. Novel. We were proud of how we managed to
put up with you. We called this place "Chiberia." We bragged about
our heartiness to the wimps in D.C. and Atlanta who flip their cars
over at the first snowflake. We called you "Bears Weather." We had
an unhealthy romance, but it was a romance nonetheless.
But you've changed.
You're just obnoxious now. A joke that's worn out its welcome.
Like the guy at the party who won't stop quoting "The Simpsons"
even after you told him you haven't watched it since 1997.
Somehow you manage to be both mean spirited AND tedious. Like if
Kathy Griffin was a season. And if what we read is true -
irreversible global climate change - the new you isn't going
At the date of this letter's publication it's likely to be
almost 50 degrees, but Wednesday, snow. "The final snow of the
year." Mm-hmm. Just like last week. And the week before. I've lived
here long enough to know that snow in April is far from a rarity,
and given what the winter of 2013-14 has been like, I won't be
surprised if my daughter needs a St. Bernard with a rum cask around
its neck to help her find her Easter eggs in the yard.
And it's the children who've really suffered, isn't it, Chicago
Winter? The children who couldn't go out and play because it was
minus 45 degrees with wind chill. The children who will be in
school until the middle of July to make up for the snow. (And
they've already given up Pulaski Day, Chicago's very own bogus
holiday!) The children who've sat staring out the frosted windows,
forgetting if they had ever seen the sun, and wondering if they
ever would again. The children who wonder why Daddy won't stop
crying and why empty cases of Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout
have piled up by the door into a sad fort of chemical
You hate children, Chicago Winter. God knows you hate
And you owe me money, Chicago Winter. For the furnace repair.
For the plastic on the windows. For the space heaters. For the
windshield repair. For the sidewalk salt. For the dry cleaning. For
all takeout food because the grocery store is too far away now that
Dominick's closed. (And I'm pretty sure it closed because it was
sick of you.) For the gym membership to work off the extra thick
layers of winter blubber.
You know what we were using to mark "dibs" in our parking spots
in my neighborhood this month? The frozen corpses of pizza
delivery guys. True story. We peeled them off of our sidewalks and
rolled them to the curb. The top of Everest isn't so littered with
ice-bound cadavers. I haven't eaten actual groceries since before
I think we used to have a garage off the alley, Chicago Winter.
I THINK we did, but we haven't seen it since December - since then
we've all abandoned the alley, for fear of having to wait five
hours for AAA to pull us out through the four foot drifts of snow
and garbage to the street. I'm pretty sure the boxes from our
Christmas gifts are still back there, trapped in recycling bins
pinned under an avalanche of ice and dog poop.
You might be close to going away. Might. But we know you'll be
back, and even if it is not until seven or eight months from now,
it'll be all too soon. So I'm applying for a restraining order.
Please don't come any nearer than the Quad Cities, or I'm calling
In the meantime, I'm going to show my daughter pictures from the
Burpee seed catalog and try and convince her that, yes, Viva, there
are plants in this world. I'm going to show her the Google Street
View pictures of the house from last spring, when there was grass,
and smiling pedestrians, and dogs not wearing fleece booties.
There are Cadbury bunnies in the CVS, Chicago Winter. That means
Until next year,
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