From the Braver Institute
I fear that I have no choice but to tell you that I no longer want you in my life. While I realize that this year you have treated others even worse than you have treated me, I can no longer suffer the abuse you continue to dish out.
I just want to let you know that despite your best efforts and no matter how much more you dump on me, I will no longer be cleaning up after you. For the sake of my daughters I will shovel off my sidewalk and a path to the car, but I flat out refuse to shovel my driveway anymore this year. I especially will not shovel the end of it where the snowplow is sure to deposit a Himalayan sized barricade of snow. I have fourwheel drive vehicles and I will simply drive through or over the mountain range at the end of my driveway.
If the mountain becomes impassable, I will not drive. I will walk to work if I have to, and if I am unable to walk, I will quit my job. I would rather be unemployed than to spend one more moment of this year moving snow.
If I am able to drive, for safety’s sake I will clear off the absolute minimum amount of snow from my car’s windows to allow me to drive safely. Even though I would rather leave my windows covered with snow and ice and simply drive by the seat of my pants, I am responsible enough not to put the lives of others in jeopardy.
I will not shovel the sidewalk out to the mailbox. I do not care if I have to trudge through snow up to my neck to get there. I will also not shovel out around my mailbox anymore. If this means that the postal service stops delivering mail to me, so be it. Aside from magazine subscriptions there is nothing good that comes in my mail anyway. My mail carrier should feel free to keep my magazines as their own.
This should also serve as notice to the assorted utility companies who still send me bills via the U.S. Postal Service. If you get my payment late or not at all, you should know that I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of winter. If you decide that you need to cut me off, so be it. I would rather live without electricity, water, cable, satellite, telephone and internet than to spend one more second clearing out my mailbox.
I will also no longer listen to the people on radio and television who tell me that it is going to be cold outside and that I had better bundle up. I am done bundling up. I hate bundling up. From now forward I will not bundle up. If I even bother to put on anything that bears resemblance to a coat or jacket, I will not be zipping it up.
I will not wear long underwear.
While it is not quite the time of year for wearing shorts, I will no longer be wearing boots. Shoes will be my footwear of choice even on my neck-deep treks to the mailbox.
I realize that I will be taking the chance of becoming deathly ill by not dressing properly for the weather, but that is the price I may have to pay. I am perfectly willing to cut off my nose to spite my face. My doctors should probably take note that it is probably pointless to send me a bill, since I will most likely be cut off from mail service.
Winter, I have seen you behave far worse than this. I have seen you dump much more snow. I have weathered countless storms you have thrown at me that make anything I have seen this year completely laughable. I have seen you so cold and for so long that the world seems to shut down.
But (to paraphrase Fred Flintstone) this year is the camel that broke my straw back.
For the first time in decades I had actually looked at you without my usual disdain. For once I had accepted you, and this is how you turn around and treat me. This is how you thank me for welcoming you into my life.
You have overstayed your welcome. It is time for you to leave.
Winter, you and I are through.
— — —
Waye Braver can be contacted on Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Braver Institute at www.braverinsitute.com