I like snow as well as the next person, which is to say not much at all. This is entirely too much snow.
My husband loves me, and I love him. This doesn't stop us from engaging in frequent marital chop-busting. See here. And here. More here. And some more here.
There are variations. Sometimes, it's event-specific , like after I received my fifth speeding ticket in 2009; or like when security man, who never stops nagging me about locking my car, went out and left the front door WIDE OPEN (an event which he still denies, two years after it most assuredly took place.) At other times, the busting of chops is focused on particular quirks. I never answer my phone, and he'll interrupt anything to answer his. I misplace things all the time, while he can engage in a lengthy conversation with me and then just a few minutes later, forget that the entire conversation took place. Today, we went a few rounds of what I call situational chop-busting. This is distinguished from event-specific chop busting in that it occurs during a recurring situation, such as putting up Christmas lights, or negotiating over music selection for a road trip. Or shoveling snow.
My normal snow-shoveling method consists of standing at the kitchen window. That's why I got married, I'll think to myself as I watch my husband shovel. Today, however, there's really just too much snow for one person to handle. So I put on my boots and jacket, picked up a shovel, and started to move snow with it. How long do you suppose it took for him to begin offering helpful critiques of my shoveling technique? If you guessed longer than "10 seconds," you're wrong.
"Hey hon?" he said.
Holy Mother of God, I thought. Already? He has a helpful snow-shoveling hint ALREADY?
"What?" I said, in what I hoped was a "don't start with me" voice. By the way, I'm not sure why I even bother with the "don't start with me" voice, because it has no effect whatsoever on him.
"Try to move the snow to your right, not to your left. See, that just adds more snow in back of your car, and I'm eventually going to have to shovel that out, too."
"Fine," I said, with what I felt was a very clear "shut the hell up" tone. The "shut the hell up" tone is also lost on him.
Since we were trying to shovel out his truck, because that's the only thing we'll be able to drive in an emergency, I thought that it would be wise to clean the truck off first, so that I could then shovel up the snow already on the ground along with the snow that I clean off the truck. That's good thinking, right? I thought so, too.
Jesus Christ on the Cross, I thought.
"You should use the broom on my car. Good idea to clean the truck off first, but you should use the broom."
"There's two fucking feet of snow on this truck," I said. "Nothing but a shovel is going to make the slightest dent in this snow. I'm not going to hurt your car, but I can't promise that I won't assault you with this shovel."
Ha! I win! I thought, as he continued to shovel without further comment. How long do you think his diplomatic silence lasted? If you guessed any length of time longer than thirty seconds, you are wrong again.
"WHAAAAAT????" A blind and deaf person would have clearly discerned the "God help you if you say one more word" tone, but he missed it entirely.
"Don't you see where you're shoveling? That's the grass, there. You don't need to shovel the snow off the grass. Just concentrate on making a path down to the street for the truck."
"NO, I can't see where I'm shoveling because AGAIN, there's TWO FEET OF SNOW OUT HERE. How am I supposed to distinguish grass from pavement when they're both under two feet of snow?"
"Yeah, but the truck is parked on the bump-out, and the grass is right behind the bump-out. Even you should know where the driveway ends and the grass begins".
"Oh REALLY? Well you know what else? EVEN I know that you're wearing a woman's hat!"
"What are you talking about? My mom made this hat."
"Yeah, I know. She made it for me. It's a lavender and teal crocheted cap with a tassel on top. What about this hat says menswear to you?"
"The fact that it's keeping my head warm. I don't care what the hat looks like, my head feels just fine."
"And it looks downright pretty. I have a scarf to match, I can get it for you."
"No, don't bother. Just keep shoveling out the lawn in case someone needs play badminton. When you're finished, you can climb up and shake the snow off the tree branches...you never know if a hibernating squirrel's going to need an ambulance up there."
I crack up at things that are far less funny than that, so the back-and-forth ceased for a few minutes. I'm nothing if not gracious in defeat. This was a good-natured argument to begin with, but even if it wasn't, I'd have laughed at the tree suggestion.
We continued to shovel for a bit, talking about this and that. Did I see how the mailboxes were just barely poking out of the snow? Yes, I did. Did he know that the Postal Service had announced that there would be no mail delivery today? No, really? Yes, and they'll probably close school on Monday, too.
I was finally tired, so I decided to take a break. "Go ahead," he said indulgently. "I'm going to keep going for a while...it's good that you cleared off some of that grass, in case anyone needs to practice putting."
I put my shovel down. "That's still a woman's hat," I said.