New England Meltdown

What a bunch of angry motherfuckers out there. Now I am aware that the perception of people inhabiting New England is less than friendly already, but this winter is something else. And not just because of the snow. Yes it sucks. Driving sucks. Parking sucks. Traffic sucks. Even working at home sucks. But somewhere along the way of being beaten into submission like Adrian Peterson’s kid (please get rid of him before I move to MN) Winter 2015 has turned surly New Englanders into, well, raving lunatics. Have you ever seen a collective group of people 15 million large snap at the same time? I would contend that if you are living in the most northeastern United States these past couple months, then you have.

The best description that I can come up with (because I am a terrible writer) is New York City in Ghostbusters II. For those not familiar there is slime flowing under the city that reacts to emotions, and throughout the course of the movie the slime feeds off the negativity of the NYC residents. In ways that I’m still not sure that I understand, not only can this paranormal goo grow in response to negative attitudes, but when coming in contact with people it increases their negative energy and makes them irrationally angry. Angry enough to fight your best friends. Angry enough to jump to violence over the smallest things. Angry enough to swear at strangers, to threaten loved ones, and lose patience at the drop of snowflake. See where I’m going here. Snow is to New England as Slime is to New York City. Who else misses the SATs?

Just telling someone that it will snow will lead to reactions that should be reserved for real upsetting announcements like “I cheated on you” or “True Detective picked Keanu Reeves and Katherine Heigl for Season 2”. Avoid speaking about the weather and it’s still there underneath the surface.  This persistent anxiety, this sense of upcoming dread about wasting away hours in your car trying to get to work, or spending hundreds of dollars getting your car back from the tow lot. Is there a direct correlation between a potential snowstorm and a waiter asking me if I wanted another drink and me asking me what the fuck does hethink? I can’t be sure. But when anyone asks me a question lately I want to grab them by the throat and crush their larynx into a million pieces. I thought that maybe something was wrong with me. I mean, this can’t be normal behavior, right? So I asked my psychologist. And he said “who gives a shit?” Well there ya go.

The negativity is everywhere but is most glaring at work. The office used to be a place of professionalism. Recent weeks have told me that this is place to tell people to go fuck themselves. There could be consequences but really who is going to enforce this, the supervisor who is telling everyone to eat shit too? Work has been the biggest signifier for me that this isn’t just people being grumpy, but pushed beyond the point of caring. There is no room for reason, no room for patience, just room for leave me the fuck alone before you get hurt. Should I just quit my job because someone is asking me to do something that I don’t want to? Of course not, I would never keep a job that way. But should I quit my job before I take my computer and throw it out a window? Maybe. Either way the idea of destroying something sounds wonderful right now.

I’ve heard before that people coming together and creating positive energy can have widespread effects on the other people around them. One famous example was a group of people who mediated for 2 months in the nation’s capital and during that time there was a 20% decrease in crime. I’m aware this sounds like hippie nonsense and you’re also telling me to fuck myself right now but I’ll chalk that up to the snow/slime. I’m sure someone has debunked the results over the last 20 years but I believe that there is something infectious about positive energy. Sadly I’m equally convinced that it is possible to influence others around you with negative energy, and from Mass to Maine there is always a hotbed of misery rip for an outbreak of widespread anger. As the grim weather reports continue to add up everyone worries outloud about how much more snow can the region take. Myself? I’m less worried about where to physically put the snow or park my car than I’m concerned about how many cabin-fevered New Englanders can handle the stress and anger before mentally and emotionally melting down.


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