We are without a doubt living through a time of lunacy. It seems as if morals and right and wrong have been replaced with watching your step. Once upon a time, your neighbors were friends, and you could actually go next door and borrow a cup of sugar. But this past week, someone shared a story with me that depicts in a rather humorous way how far it sometimes seems we have fallen. Here it is:
I woke up to see the snow falling, the kind of fresh snow I remembered from childhood. As I pulled on my coat and boots and stepped outside into two feet of snow, I breathed in the fresh cold air. Instead of grabbing the shovel and being a responsible adult and shoveling the sidewalk, I instead allowed myself a moment of childhood fun before my kids woke up. I decided to build a snowman.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had allowed myself to indulge in some simple fun that had disappeared because I was an adult. With no one around and just piles of snow, I considered the moment I had stopped having fun. Instead, my days were filled with responsibility and working, everything seeming to take something out of me. So instead of picking up the shovel, I trudged through the perfect sticky snow and pictured the massive snowman that would be waiting for my children when they woke.
I rolled the three big balls, the one on the bottom the largest, the one in the center a little smaller, and the top one the perfect size for the head. I was breaking out in a sweat, as I had forgotten how much work went into rolling, lifting, and assembling the snowman. I snuck back in the house quietly and grabbed a carrot from the drawer of the fridge, then shoved it into the head for the nose. Two sticks for the arms, and I added an old straw broom that had seen better days to complete my snowman.
Just then, my neighbor, an older woman, walked out of her house and stood in her driveway with her coat zipped up. She took in me and my snowman, which I was damn proud of, and then she frowned. I could feel something coming that I knew I wouldn’t want to hear, as she clearly wasn’t happy. She gestured and said, “Why a snowman and not a snowwoman?”
It took me a moment to realize she was serious. I remembered the times, and she reminded me she was a feminist, not that I understood what that meant. I realized in that moment that she was somehow offended. She insisted times had changed and it should be a snowwoman instead.
So what did I do? As she walked away, because she is my neighbor, I changed my snowman into a snowwoman, and believe it or not, my neighbor came back out. She had been watching me from her window as I changed my masterpiece, a simple snowman, into a snowwoman. This time, my neighbor had no coat on, and I could hear the criticism before she even opened her mouth. She gestured and said quite loudly, “Your snowwoman’s chest is too big.”
Then she walked away, as a gay couple who lived two doors down were walking by and staring at what I had created. I realized they had heard my neighbor squawking and complaining. One of the two men groaned, shook his head, and said, “No, no, no, it should have been two snowmen instead.”
But before I could make sense of why everyone was having a problem with a simple snowman, a transgender man or woman—sorry, I mean a person, came over and added their two cents, asking why I hadn’t made a snowperson, nongender, with detachable parts.
As I was scratching my head, the vegans who lived just up the street suddenly showed up, and they too had a look on their faces. I realized something else was coming at me, and I could feel the knot tightening in my stomach when they said, “You shouldn’t use a carrot for the nose, because vegetables are food.”
I would have been a fool to miss how offended they sounded. It seemed all I’d heard all morning was one complaint after another. Someone else then walked up and called me a racist because the snowwoman I had built was white. And if that wasn’t enough, a Middle Eastern man who lived across the road stormed out of his house and over to mine and said to me, “Cover up that snowwoman!”
Then I spotted not one but two police cars, sirens flashing, pulling up in front of my house. Both cops stepped out of their cars, and the vegans walked away, and so did the Middle Eastern man, who hurried back across the street. The first cop said, “A complaint has been filed against you, as you have offended someone.”
I’m pretty sure my eyes bugged out. The second cop, pointing to the mess of my first snowman turned woman and the broomstick it was holding, added, “The broomstick you have there with that snowwoman needs to be removed, as it depicts a woman in a domestic role.”
Apparently, it was my feminist neighbor at it again. It was clear now that she’d taken issue with me.
I could hear my kids up inside the house now. Then I spotted my landlord, a wealthy young man who owned nearly all the houses on the block, pulling up in his black Range Rover. He stepped onto the curb beside the police and threatened to evict me because of the ruckus I was causing, upsetting the neighborhood. To make things worse, a local TV news van pulled up and parked behind the two cops cars, and a reporter walked over to me and shoved a microphone and camera in my face, then asked if I knew the difference between a snowman and a snowwoman.
“Of course I do. Snowballs,” I said with a ton of sarcasm.
Yet that didn’t end it. It seemed my mouth had landed me in a ton of hot water, as I was called sexist for my remark. The news media labeled me a suspected terrorist, a rapist, a homophobe, and a sensibility offender bent on stirring up trouble during inclement weather. I was then asked if I had any accomplices.
Because I had children, social services pulled up next and notified me that because of all the allegations against me, they were taking my children until I could prove to be a fit parent. And then, just because, the far-left protesters who were offended by just about everything marched down the street with signs demanding that I be arrested.
By noon, the sun had come out, and all the evidence melted.
There is no moral to this story, only a reflection on what we’ve become all because of a few snowflakes.
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