All right—I suppose I’ll have to admit it sooner or later: I’m guilty.
For years I’ve poked fun at people for doing the same thing, and here I joined right in with it myself this past Monday afternoon.
I’m ashamed of myself. Well, not a whole lot—just a little. Nevertheless, I do have to confess: I enjoyed it.
What was it?
With total, robotic-like abandon I shamelessly joined the stereotypical throngs running around crazily at the area grocery stores buying up everything in sight for the predicted big snow that was all over the news.
Everybody—and I mean everybody—was out Monday afternoon. For the first time ever, I had to borrow a parking place at Wendy’s before I walked into Kroger to brave the multitude of fellow crazies. Of course, it just happened to be a federal holiday as well, with lots of folks off work, so I’m sure that only enhanced the entire situation.
We’ve all been through this countless times—winter storm warnings and such—and we well know it’s very rare to be snowed in for more than a day or so, if that long. Nine times out of ten, regardless of the severity of the forecast, we find ourselves out running the roads again within a matter of a day, if not mere hours.
By Jonathan Wright
So why do we do it?
I think I have it figured out. It’s somewhat akin to the “nesting” instinct of expectant mothers preparing their homes for the arrival of a new member of the family.
When a storm is forecast to hit, we want to make our homes as comfortable as possible in order to “ride out” our confinement in conditions that are as pleasant and cozy as possible for us and our families. It’s a time when life is put on hold for just a moment while we enjoy a bit of forced home detention, a break from the normal rigors of responsibilities outside our homes.
As it turns out, the confinement this week was somewhat longer than what we’ve experienced in several years due to the relatively large amount of snow we received combined with the extreme cold—so perhaps some of the crazy running around that so many of us were guilty of doing this past Monday was a bit more justified than usual.
Either way, human nature is unlikely to change much with the approach of each winter storm. We’ll still be frantically running to the stores ten years from now when frozen precipitation is forecast—you can count on it.
So why fight it? Join the frantic crowds the next time (if you’re one of the rare few who don’t), and be a part of this chaotic—yet extremely predictable—human experience.