The video, Bread and milk, is a modern-day meme that makes fun of people who panic when a storm is predicted. You like to make fun of those people, too, don’t you? Why else would the video be so popular? However, when the weatherman whips those people into a frenzy, and the snow does pile up, those people are the ones sitting snug in their homes with their comfort-food-of-choice while the scoffers stare mournfully at their impassable walkways wishing they had remembered to get gas for the snow blower.
Last weekend, the weather fear-mongers were out in full force warning that Boston could expect eight to ten inches, with the heaviest snowfall between seven and nine at night. We were supposed to go into town to see the Boston Symphony Orchestra preform the soundtrack to West Side Story, live, while the movie played on a big screen above their heads. The outing was a gift from my in-laws, who were to accompany us. Now, when it comes to inclement weather, I can be very low key until a more panicky sort gets me riled up. On the day in question, I was plagued by indecision. We agonized about whether or not to proceed as planned, or hole up at home. We discussed all the possible travel permutations, including how long it might take to slog home from the Alewife MBTA station, three and a half miles away. Then my mother-in-law announced that she was going “come hell or high water” and it was decided; we, too, would brave the storm.
Forgoing classy, Symphony-worthy outfits, we opted for clothing suitable for braving the elements, jeans and clunky, ugly, snow boots. We picked up my in-laws, drove to Alewife, parked in the garage, and caught the red line to Park Street. There we changed to the green line and rode it a few stops to Symphony. When we emerged from the subway, the wind was blowing, but the snow was quite light. We walked a few blocks to a Japanese restaurant and dined on sushi, maki and teriyaki, all the while keeping an eye on the weather. When we walked back to Symphony, right smack in the middle of what should have been the worst of the weather, it was still not doing much of anything.
Judging by how full the hall was, symphony audiences are a hearty breed; you would never have known that a storm was meant to be raging that night. When it was over, we all agreed that West Side Story was looking a tad dated, but that the orchestra more than made up for any shortcomings that the movie might have had. As we prepared to leave Symphony Hall, I was filled with trepidation. We were about to find out if we’d made the right call by coming out, or if we were going to be punished for our foolishness. We stepped outside into—not much of anything—and headed back to the subway.
I was mighty relieved that the dire predictions had come to naught. It would have been a shame, and a great waste of money, if we had bailed out on the evening. I was also angry at having wasted all that emotional energy. For a few days after, I was solidly in the camp of those who make fun of people who panic when snow is due. Then another storm was announced and I headed out for bread and milk.