The Scarlet


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It might seem like I’ve run out of material because I’ve decided to talk about the weather. Weather, after all, is our cliché small-talk topic; people often bring it up ironically when they don’t have anything interesting to bring up. I’m still going to talk about it, though.

Winter is the worst. (Yes, I know that the solstice isn’t for a month. But once we’re in the twenties, I count it as winter.) The season has no redeeming qualities. Nobody wants to be outside. Snow is kind of funny for like eight minutes and then becomes intolerable, eventually transforming into a heinous grey-brown slug that runs along Main Street.

But one thing that I’ve always found interesting about winter is that it unites people. Someone will walk into the AC and complain about it, someone else will talk about how they have not yet turned on the heat in their apartment, someone else will laud their snazzy new heated blanket.

Because we all really despise winter, it creates a common enemy against whom we can fight, and people always seem to grow closer together when winter hits. Winter is able to turn talking about the weather for no good reason into talking about something that people actually do care about.

Last year, I made the horrendously reckless decision to drive home in a blizzard at the end of finals week. I was loading up my car when a friend came by and told me that it was a dumb idea, and that if I was going to do it, that I had to call her when I got home so that she could stop worrying about me.

Long story short, about two and a half minutes after leaving, I skidded into an intersection and almost crashed into Annie’s.

I drove back to campus and decided to stay one more night. I was fine. But I very easily could have not been fine. I could have gotten seriously hurt (or worse, done serious damage to Annie’s). I should have listened to my friend, for sure.

So when I say that winter unites people, I kind of mean it in a fun communal way, but I also mean it in the sense that it reminds me, at least for now, that there’s a big, scary world out there, and we owe it to each other to keep an eye out.


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