I’ve always had a problem with emotionally unavailable men and this one certainly was icy. He swept in all hushed and magical, descending with fluttering wet kisses on my cheeks and eyelashes. I’d been warned about him. My friend Jim Cantore warned me. But who thinks with a name like Jonas there will really be any reason to worry? They should have called him Nicolai. Or Gunther. The moniker Gunther certainly would have given me more pause.
I spotted him from afar on a flight. The plane rushed over him, flying above his majestic span. For six states I let his softer side lull me. The unbroken, swirling clouds formed their own landscape, puffy peaks and crevices lit golden by a setting sun. From my tiny portal I wondered at the sheer size of him. Skipping over top his billowing terrain I saw his lighter side. Up here he was not gray and overpowering. Up here he was breathtaking and our torrid weekend affair had begun.
Then we plunged through the meat of him. My eyes never left the window, mouth agape as snowfall met our 150 mph descent. In the landing lights the snow rushed and danced, became a living, pulsating being before me. I touched his core and came out the other side, exhaling sharply as the brakes took hold. On the ground he was different. Hushed and assured. Wet kisses on my cheeks. Here, at the beginning, he was gentle. Tucked safe in my bed that night with warm blankets I knew he was there.
Then I woke to this:
Jonas was dumping me. Well, to be more accurate, Jonas was in the middle of dumping two plus feet of snow ON me. Bastard.
Being snowbound sounds nice in theory. Make hot cocoa. Binge watch Netflix without a shred of guilt. Read a saucy book by the window, toasty warm in slippers as the snow cascades down. I probably could have done that if I still lived in a apartment complex with a maintenance company. But noooooooo. I had to go and buy a house. On a “lovely corner lot (exclamation point!!)”. You know what “lovely corner lot” really means? Double the sidewalk. Let me put it in an equation for the mathematically minded:
1 LOVELY CORNER LOT = 2x THE SIDEWALK
Son of a bitch.
I desperately wanted to stay inside. Jonas would be dumping me for another projected 24 hours. But I have to be Single Girl Smart: Homeowner’s Edition. If I wait until it’s over, it’ll be three times the work. Especially since all I own for snow removal is a slightly cracked shovel and some broad German shoulders bequeathed by my ancestral DNA.
I sigh and curse that bastard Jonas some more from the warmth of my kitchen but Tiny Logic Person In My Head is back with her damn clipboard (previously guest starring in One Flew Outta the Cuckoo’s Wreath; that anal retentive nag shows up a lot). She’s not blowing her whistle yet but she’s throwing me some serious admonishing glares. That chick is not someone to trifle with so I break out the Long Johns and layer it up like the kid brother in A Christmas Story so I can’t put my arms down.
Once I clear a tiny hole out the door I step outside to survey the quiet rage of Jonas. And am immediately SNOWSAULTED. This bastard can’t just settle for dumping on me. Now he’s whipping me with an icy wind, practically hurling snowflakes at me. Oh, we are so done. This snow affair is officially over. I proceed to attack him with shovel, angrily hurling snow in the air right back at the scoundrel (but you know, in an orderly fashion to clear a path so as to appease Tiny Logic Person).
This fury fires me the twenty feet from door to driveway. When I turn to survey my progress I find this miscreant has already covered my path. His frosty wrath is in full swing now, unloading 2 to 3 inches an hour of powdered baggage. This break up is not going well. I’m waffling between stages of anger and hopeless despair.
Just when I’m reaching the tipping point of plopping into a snow bank and weeping at this ruffian’s relentless heartlessness my ears catch an uplifting sound. Hark! Is that a friendly neighborhood snow blower I hear? The Vienna Boys Choir would not have sounded more angelic in that moment than that hulking, Jonas combatting, gas guzzling machine. I could have kissed its steely bulk. Or my neighbor…. but his wife was there too so I abandoned that impulse.
Even in our darkest hour we need not be alone. Jonas is dumping me but I get by with a little help from my friends. Side note: thank you Joe Cocker for I will always follow that sentiment with “I get high with a little help from my friends”. But I digress. Single Girl Smart: Homeowner’s Edition made sure to be neighbor friendly when she moved in. Beyond a smile and wave I ply them with cookies around the holidays. Single Girl Smart recognizes the power of a little sugar laden preemptive bribery. Chocolate chip and peanut butter reindeer cookies may raise the entire block’s blood sugar levels but it also gets me this:
Jonas’ power over me is dwindling. I’m warmed by the neighborly spirit as several of us fall to companionable chatter as we clear paths together. I know I stated in Sleeping on the Diagonal: A New Box that Rule #2 for everyday interaction is “I don’t do small talk. If you want to know about the weather look outside.” But small talk feels different when said weather is monumental and you’re being snowsaulted together. It’s an in the trenches mentality. Why sure, I’d love to hear about the brand of soy milk you found in your new quest to go vegan. Absolutely.
Later that night, steamy shower warmed and finally slipper clad, I listen to Jonas’ death rattle howl. He’s moving out of my life, throwing one last windy tantrum as he goes. I know tomorrow there will be a final round of clean-up, another shovel session. But no anger in this one. I’ve moved on to acceptance. Jonas will be gone and the sun will be shining over an electric blue sky. The work will be less thanks to Tiny Logic Person’s insistence I go be an adult and some neighborly spirit. So I settle in with some liquid friends for the remainder.
Of course, these are the kind of friends that make you contemplate naked snow angels but it’s important to have those kinds of friends too. Especially when you’re being dumped. I get by with a little help from my friends…….