Monday, February 15, 2010

Decorum: Stay Classy This Snowpocalypse

Last week’s snowpocalypse produced snow in Alabama, Dallas, record snowfall in Washington, and practically paralyzed the airline industry. As a child growing up in the South, the fluffy white stuff used to provoke images of magic and cheer (even the threat of snow can trigger premature calls of snow days), but has now become a menace and a hassle. Olympic curling may make slipping and sliding on the ice look fun, but arriving at your destination with cold, wet feet pretty much sucks. My snow woes list could go as high as the 4 foot piles along DC streets, but despite all this misery let’s be patient and classy while we thaw. As we are expecting more snow, here are some tips on how to mind your p’s and q’s and get through snowpocalypse with grace and poise:
  1. Please shovel your walk. Everyone should do their part. In some states there are actually laws and renters are held responsible too here in DC, but that shouldn’t even be necessary. So, be a good neighbor.
  2. If someone is being a bad neighbor and you feel forced to pick up their slack and shovel for them out of frustration/ "the goodness of your heart", please don’t then “shame” them with such passive aggressiveness as this. It’s both pointless and makes you look like a douche.
  3. Share the sidewalk. With snow piled up on either side, we now have half of a sidewalk, which is still space for 2 lanes. This may mean single-filing it up for a nanosecond so someone can pass. It will be appreciated.
  4. Parking. Controversial topic. If you spend hours digging out a spot, should you then have claim to it? For how long? South Boston has its own customs, which I feel only work because no one else wants to be physically assaulted, have their car vandalized, or DIE over a parking spot. Not classy at all, Southie.
Any other snow etiquette tips?


  1. Omigod--Chicago has this crazy custom called "dibs," whereby people claim their shoveled out spaces with household junk until they return. I thought it was just us! Here are pictures.
    One of the local columnists even does a "Judge Dibs" feature where he adjudicates dibs disputes.
    My solution was just to take the L until it thawed...

  2. No claiming in NYC (boroughs at least). All spots are up for grabs. Sometimes you dig, sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you just don't use your car until the snow melts.


Commenting is now open, but we'd love it if you chose one username so other commenters can get to know you. To do this, select "Name/URL" in the "Comment as" drop down. Put the name you'd like others to see; the URL is optional.

Any profanity, bigotry, or synonyms for "[ ] sucks!" will be deleted. We welcome criticism as long as you're making a point!