Snow Day.

There was more than a foot of snow on the ground, which was a lot. At least I think it was a lot. I was a senior in college at the time, in my final semester, and I hadn’t seen that much snow in the previous three and a half years. It had started snowing when I was in the middle of taking a test and I got so distracted I’m pretty sure the final page said something like, “So, in the conclusion of Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews I can’t even think now because there’s a blizzard outside and I can see people building a snowman and hey there go some of my friends, I’ve really gotta get out of here.” I’m not sure why I got so excited because I went to college in a small town and most of the professors lived within walking distance of the campus, and, once I got outside, I even said, “Yeah, this is great, but it’s not like they’re gonna cancel class.”
So anyway classes were cancelled for the next few days. And I was out walking through the neighborhood and saw a guy whose car had gone off the road into a small ditch and gotten stuck. He was struggling to push his car back out, and I stopped to help him. Together we worked together to get his car back into the road, unable to move it, and then he said, “Oh, I’ve got the parking brake on,” and once he took care of that we were able to get the car moved.
Fast forward mumble mumble years to just a few days ago when I saw a guy stopped on the side of the road with his emergency lights flashing. And I started to go and see if I could over any help when I saw he was talking on his phone so I went on. I’m not sure what I could have done–auto repair isn’t my strong suit, or even my weak suit, or even my pinstripe suit, and don’t get me started on my birthday suit that’s more wrinkled than it was mumble mumble years ago but it did get me thinking of how much cell phones have changed things. The guy stopped on the side of the road probably didn’t need help from a stranger because he could call whomever he needed.
There’s not a simple resolution here. Cell phones have made our lives better in a lot of ways–even someone who breaks down in the middle of nowhere can probably get enough service to call for help, but they also means we’re less reliant on the kindness of strangers. We miss opportunities to help people we don’t know, to make that connection with others, and, in conclusion, I can’t really think right now because it’s snowing outside.

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4 Comments

  1. Ann Koplow

    I’m reliant on the mumble mumble kindness of you, Chris.
    Ann Koplow recently posted…Day 2635: Who is it for?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      There’s a lot to be said about the kindness of strangers and even more to be said about the kindness of friends.

      Reply
  2. Kristine Laco

    It is snowing like crazy here today and you are the one distracting me… That is what the English profs would call “Irony.” Well done!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s hilarious irony. Now you’ve got me wishing it were snowing here, but, hey, at least I’m distracted.

      Reply

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