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The meteorologists starting predicting snow about a week ago, but since I don’t watch the local news I heard about it first from Jewish Friend. Being from Albany, she was mostly concerned about having to drive in it, and by concerned, I mostly mean annoyed.  “I just don’t want to,” she said.  I was glad to hear we were finally getting some snow, because after I’d heard that it was snowing in Las Vegas, I got a bit petulant and jealous.

Then on Thursday, I was watching the local news at the gym and all they could talk about was the snow.  Every school in the state was canceled, employers were urged to stagger the release of their workers to avoid clogging up the roads like last year.  I watched the news for  45 minutes, and there was not one story on there about anything but the impending snow– not snowstorm– but snow.  It was a pre-panic panic the likes of which I could not have imagined.

Now that classes are over, and I’ve been laid off from fancy library, I have more free time than I know what to do with.  When I realized that I could effectively bunk down and not leave the house for the duration of the snowfall, I decided that that would be the best course of action for me.  I have plenty of food, entertainment in the form of movies and books, knitting, and Gentleman Caller and I went to the Wal-Mart and bought six new board/card games.

The snow was predicted to hit around 3pm, but actually came at 1:45, thankfully, we were prepared.  Presently, it’s still snowing and I can hear drivers struggling to travel down my un-plowed streets.  If I was in Fargo, I would think nothing of this, but now I look outside and think I can’t drive in this.  That’s now actually true, I just won’t drive in this because everyone else is probably still out there panicking (plus the governor urged me not to travel, and I’m doing my civic duty).

At almost 24-hours of being holed up in the house, I’ve read about 150 pages of a trashy novel, watched one movie and 2 episodes of 30 Rock, knitted about six inches of a quilt square, played 2 games of Trivial Pursuit and one of Scrabble, and done 2 loads of laundry all while the snow falls quietly and prettily outside.

I love snow days.

As I mentioned earlier, I totally scored a free calendar for doing nothing more than mentioning off-handedly that I needed to get one. I had also mentioned to the same person that I recently took up knitting and needed to go out and buy more supplies. This wasn’t done in a calculating “little match girl” kind of way– just “I need to go do this one of these days.” The day after she brought me my calendar, my supervisor brought me a bag stuffed with yarn and knitting needles that she doesn’t use anymore.

A few weeks before that, I mentioned to the appraiser I work with that I was in the market for some ice skates. He’s lived here his whole life, and knows everything, so I figured he’d be a good person to ask. The same day that I got my knitting supplies, he brought me in a pair of skates that his daughter never used and no longer wants (at least that’s what he told me). Also, every day we work together, he brings me cookies.

Then yesterday, another boss and I were talking and she said “My boyfriend and I have something for you.” I’m sure I just looked puzzled, so she pressed on, “You know, he’s a doctor, and people give him gifts all the time. Usually it’s restaurant gift certificates, which we never manage to use because we’re always eating at our neighbor’s restaurant. So we have $50 in gift certificates for fancy Providence restaurant for you.”

And she just gave them to me– no strings attached– because in true Rhode Island fashion it takes a lot of effort to drive to Providence and back from where she lives.

So now I’m faced with a decision: Do I go get lunch alone for about three times and really maximize my food dollar in a totally selfish way? Do I splash out on fancy dinner with my equally poor friends? Do I wait until poor friend from cowboy ski-pole country comes and visits me? I’ll mull this over while I knit a free scarf and break in my free skates.

Ok, here’s what I really love. A very considerate friend of mine once called me “kind of a poor.” This was a bit jarring to me because I grew up comfortably middle-class and have reduced myself to poverty by pursuing one graduate degree after another. Now it’s gotten to the point where I’m hanging out with enough over-educated people that I don’t even have to say anything about being kind of a poor– they just understand, and give me things.