Snow days, all grown up

Rewind your life about 10 years. Remember what school in January was like as a middle-schooler?

Anxiously listening to the radio for school closings was probably up there on your top-10 list of exciting activities. Remember running over to the speaker every five minutes to see if your district was added to the bill of winners?

Sometimes you knew the night before that you were free for the entire next day. Other times you found out early that morning that your school was closed and your life was awesome. Either way, when we were kids, snow days were undeniably the best thing that could possibly happen to our 11-year-old selves.

True, eating Gushers while watching “Legends of the Hidden Temple” and chatting with our friends on AIM was also pretty cool. Snow days, however, were way cooler.

I’m not sure at what age I lost my innocence and school-closings lost their glory, but I do know that last week’s snow days were much more exhausting than they used to be.

My POS ’98 Chevy Lumina won’t start. We’ve called Comcast 80 times and the Internet’s still down. One roommate got plowed in and needs a ride but my other roommate is stuck in the driveway.
The thought of this month’s DTE bill haunts my nightmares.

While struggling to find our snow pants was stressful, our #90skidprobs did not even come close to the anxiety brought about by struggles with bills, cars and cable companies. Winter was different when we were kids, and while different doesn’t necessarily mean better, nostalgia can sure make it feel that way.

But there are two sides to every story, and luckily this particular one is more than just a melancholy look back on what was.

We need to keep in mind that there are a couple of cool things only grown-ups get to do on snow days, too. Before you let this cold weather bring you down, take advantage of all that maturing you’ve been forced to do the past few years and chill out with one of these warm, winter adult activities.

What better way to stay toasty than to cuddle up close to that special someone you’ve had your eye on, or a total stranger you just met at the bar?

Falling snow is super romantic. Take advantage of the whimsical weather and make your move.
Don’t have any game? Don’t worry. Impress the lucky guy or gal with your bartending abilities.

Welcome to adulthood, a land where Swiss Miss hot chocolate has been replaced with Dekuyper Hot Damn. Whether cinnamon or peppermint, schnapps is a great way to put a grown-up spin on the
childhood classic.

Heat two cups of milk in a saucepan over medium heat until the milk is steaming. Stir in one half-cup hot cocoa mix, two shots peppermint or cinnamon schnapps and remove from heat. Pour into mugs or glasses (serves two) and top with whipped cream. Impress that special someone with a touch of fancy by garnishing with a peppermint or cinnamon stick, and drinking with your pinky out. Add British accent if appropriate.

Last, but not least, you’ll need somewhere quiet to take your special someone to…get to know them better.

First, impress the heck out of them by nonchalantly dropping the fact that you’re an architect into casual conversation.

Second, back up that lofty claim by taking him or her to the most epic snow fort they’ve ever seen.

This isn’t amateur hour – we’re all adults here. If you really want to excite and amaze, this needs to be the most grandiose frozen structure you’ve ever assembled. Remember that killer fort you built with your best friend in the winter of ’94? Top it. Add a second story. Add lighting. Add a bathroom. Construct the most ambitious hideout your adult mind can conceive, see if your snow pants still fit and get to work.

Comcast will still suck, your utility bill will still be outrageous and the roads may still be terrible, but the second best solution to fixing your problems is hiding from them – in an epic snow fort with a cup of spiked hot cocoa.

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