My 7 Irritations that Didn’t Melt With the Ice

I’ve been asked about a follow-up blog post, so here it is! I’ve had seven days to think about this, and unfortunately, I have too much to say to fit in one post (shocking). The good news is that the post to follow this one will be much more positive and should surely provide some comic relief! But for now…

Let’s talk about the first ice patch I slipped on last Tuesday, which was in the parking lot at work (I’ll spare everyone the details of the subsequent four full-on slides I endured); I slipped on it as soon as I moved my car from its spot. That should have been clue #1 to what lay ahead for the next 26 hours. Clue #2 should have been the song playing on my phone through the radio at that moment: “Brave” by Sara Bareilles (irony).

The blog post I wrote last week following my seemingly long journey has elicited quite a range of reactions from thankfulness, kudos, and strong agreement to irritation, anger, and defensiveness. Besides the person who truly believes having studded tires enables one to drive on a solid layer of ice with no problems whatsoever, the only other comment I’d like to address is this one:

“You missed the whole point on why we’re being made fun of…After 2011 we spent money buying all kinds of equipment! So what happened?
The Governor & Mayor did NOTHING..”

As I said in my response to her, that issue had nothing to do with my extreme irritation at the time I wrote that post (I thought that was clear). What angered me were the comments mocking us. Period. Since then, however, the list of things that angered me has grown exponentially.

We might start with the fact that my husband was stranded for 21 hours in his car, but anger isn’t quite the emotion I’d attach to that, so I’ll save that for later.

Let’s begin:

  1. Schools were open and should have been closed. Do I really need to elaborate? Probably not, but I will…in item #2…and #3.
  2. The “we didn’t know how bad it was going to be” excuse – Really? Stop it. Don’t say that anymore. It just makes you look stupid (see graphic below; please note the date and time on both tweets).
    And please note that WSB “liked” this on Instagram! Love it!

    Say what you want, but the models/predictions changed, and they were crystal clear about it! Special thanks to Al Roker for backing me up! I’m not sure where the misunderstanding was:

    What “accumulations” means?
    What “warning” means?
    That “9 a.m.” means “in the morning”?
    What “sleet” is?

    Feel free to click to enlarge and take it all in: the date and time of these tweets, the words (IN YELLOW), the predicted time range at the top. Seriously, help me understand what part left people in the dark. I concede that the urgency wasn’t there the night before. I went to bed with no hope of school being canceled the next day, but I remember awaking at 4:15 and seeing the drastic change in predictions, and I had no doubt at all that we’d have a snow day.

    Moving on…

  3. Atlanta Public Schools (They deserve their own item.) – Officials have since apologized, which I think is great, and they gave faculty, staff, and students an extra day off that they don’t have to make up, which is even greater. But the absolute horror/danger my aunt and her friends endured to get home deserves its own book series. The email apprising them of the decision to have regular dismissal AFTER they saw so many other schools closing early, along with the story of a co-worker’s 16-year-old daughter who was told to go back to class when she tried to leave school early (after being told by her mother’s friend to leave immediately), puts me right on the same page as the angry parents calling for the superintendent’s resignation. Give me a break. If you saw what was going on around you and didn’t think conditions were dangerous, I question your intelligence and your judgement.
  4. Whoopi Goldberg – She was literally laughing Thursday morning while “reporting” on what was happening here! I must have missed the funny part of this ordeal. Apparently, so did all of these people.
  5. Blaming the Mayor and Governor – Yes, they made mistakes, but there is more than enough blame to go around that extends far beyond Mayor Kasim Reed and Governor Nathan Deal (there are, after all, several mayors for the region of metro Atlanta, but I digress; this is not a political post.)! After the 2011 fiasco, do we truly believe the city did nothing to prepare for similar circumstances? We were warned to stay off the roads that morning! So would anyone like to explain why the majority of metro Atlanta schools were open that morning?

    I’ll wait.

    Again, please note the date and time on the tweet below.

    Contrary to popular belief, the city was ready! Trucks had already been out on the roads! Some were headed BACK to get more of what they needed for the roads, while others were leaving those depots for the SECOND time! But those trucks don’t fly. They were caught in the same gridlock that resulted when the mass exodus was unleashed. And that brings me to #6.

  6. The inability to understand simple math and the concept of physical space – When millions of people attempt to flee in the same general time frame on roads and interstates that aren’t large enough to handle them all at once, in a city where public transportation isn’t the same as in other large cities, no one goes anywhere. Add ICE to that, and you have absolute disaster. These blog posts do a much better job of explaining it all:
  7. “What Everybody From the North Needs to Understand About the Traffic Disaster in Atlanta”
    “The Day We Lost Atlanta”

  8. The emotional stress – I was in my car for four hours on Tuesday afternoon, which at the time, seemed like an eternity, but I soon learned that I was one of the luckiest ones. I was in regular contact with several friends and family members during the hours that followed, and the anxiety I experienced is indescribable. One outlet was writing, followed by a glass of wine, followed by an intense 30 minutes on the elliptical, all while being glued to the TV and social media. Sleep didn’t happen, and neither did dinner, and there were a few meltdowns sprinkled in. I was absolutely exhausted, and even felt the physical effects the next day. I just felt completely BEAT DOWN! I will say, though, that I’m grateful that everyone I just referenced made it home safely.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of the more light-hearted and positive aspects of this ordeal. In the meantime, be careful up there, Northeasterners…

But you’re good, though, right?

Posted on Facebook on January 29, 2014
Posted on CNN on February 4, 2014


  1. Anonymous

    LOVE YOUR "SNOW" BLOG Posts! Let the truth and common sense be told – AMEN! The embedded links in the posts are awesome!! Everyone should take the time to click on them to get a little understanding of the Atlanta back story. I'm also a native Atlantan. Thank you, Sharmaine, for saying exactly what I've wanted to say. I just gotta say it again, though…"the schools should have been closed!!" Okay, I'm done now 🙂 Thanks again

  2. I'm so glad you've enjoyed reading them! I agree. My hope is that everyone who read them will click the links to get a better understanding! And I'm with you! Let me also just say it once more: "The schools should have been closed!!" Okay, I'm done, too. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.