Like Spiderman, my “senses” began to tingle over the weekend . . . something was up . . . something bad. Now I consider myself to be a fairly average person . . . at least as normal as most of the standards put out by the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5; but, something was up . . . and it was driving my super-human senses crazy. I could feel that whatever was going to happen was going to be bad.
For several days, over the weekend, I read with fascination the National Weather Service’s webpage as warnings were starting to be issued for an impending storm and arctic front were to hit our area come late Monday afternoon. The prognosticators couldn’t make up their minds . . . first we were supposed to get between four and six inches between Monday night and Wednesday afternoon, but be very, very cold . . . then it was changed to about an inch a day and very, very cold . . . then it was pretty much thrown out the window as none of them even came close to the reality. Back and forth they toyed with my emotions and senses. In the end, my worst fears were realized . . . nearly a foot of snow, ice, and really, really cold (frigid) temperatures.
Zecoldephobia is not a real word. It doesn’t exist in any dictionary and probably can only be found in one place on the Internet—on the website Move That Body which is written by some anonymous writer about exercise. It was that unknown author who coined the word Zecoldephobia to describe the fear of winter. Surprisingly there is no such phobia in existence despite the fact that nearly a quarter of a million people in the United States of America claim to have this fear. Shoot, there are phobias for everything and anything, but not the fear of winter. That is a shame because upon discovering the word, I thought I had come to the root of my super-human senses that only seem to appear at this time of year.
Actually, I like winter. What I don’t like is the snow and ice that accompany winter. For that there are actual phobias. Chionophobia is the fear of snow. Pagophobia is the fear of ice and frost. We got plenty of both . . . snow and ice . . . and, lots of cold. Our temperatures for the next week are going to drop like a lead balloon with a high predicted by Saturday of a minus five degrees. Also, with such frigid temperatures, nothing melts . . . nothing! So, all of that snow and ice is going to stick around for a while making driving a real pain in the rear. It has been a real joy commuting back and forth between the homestead and the big city . . . see Montana at an average speed of 35 miles an hour! Snow and ice seems to have that effect on drivers. Over the weekend it was Chionophobia and Pagophobia—not my super-human senses—that were at play with my mind and body.
So, here it is . . . three days into the semi-predicted mess called winter. We got a heck of a lot more snow than the couple of inches the weather people were predicting—in fact, we shattered ancient weather records with the snow and ice. Snow is piled up everywhere . . . including on the roads, where it seems that most counties and state entities believe that solar snow removal is the best and cheapest method of removing snow and ice. It is cold . . . temperatures are dropping as I write this . . . dropping to unmentionable depths that are not supposed to show up until late January and early February. Winter came knocking . . . early as usual . . . and, it is scary. If this is the start of what is to come, what is the future going to look (more aptly, feel) like? My mythic Zecoldephobia (bolstered by my Chionophobia and Pagophobia) is going crazy.
I can’t sleep . . . I shake whenever I am standing outside . . . I speak incoherently as my teeth chatter . . . my thinking gets incoherent . . . I refuse to go anywhere considered unsafe if it involves driving . . . all I see is white . . . Zecoldephobia! Of course, before I discovered this descriptive word, I used to think that those were normal reactions to winter . . . especially when it snows uncontrollably like it did this week. Fortunately, I am not the only person inflicted with this or any winter related phobias . . . there are lots of us. Some are just smart and head south to warmer climates . . . places like Arizona or Florida where old people turn a roasted brown. But, that is just another fear I have . . . I’ll save that for some other future rant.
Whatever anyone wants to call it . . . it doesn’t matter . . . it is real. Winter has come, it is going to stick around for a while, and I have a real aversion to having to travel in this stuff. I think that is my biggest fear . . . it is not the weather . . . it is not the snow . . . it is not the ice; it is having to drive in it. And, I really don’t mind driving in it either, it is just having to drive in it with other drivers . . . idiot drivers who seem oblivious to the dangers of driving on snow and ice. Like the guy who was weaving in and out of the cars on snowy and icy road in the big city, with one hand on the wheel and the cell phone to his ear, going fifty miles an hour while everyone else was respecting the conditions and other drivers and driving a safe twenty-five miles an hour. The guy couldn’t even read my sign language when he zipped by, leaving me in a cloud of snow! That is what I fear the most about winter . . . other drivers.
I am thinking of petitioning the state to give me a special driving time before any other drivers can get on the road . . . I don’t think it is going to happen. Last I heard, they never heard of the word Zecoldephobia . . . or Chionophobia . . . or Pagophobia. They need to use the Internet a little more . . . everything on it is true . . . especially when it comes to defining my super-human senses that always seem to pop up at this time of year. I am glad I have names to put with these senses . . . makes me feel normal. Besides, I didn’t find anything about them in the DSM 5 . . . but, there is still time! Rise up, Zecoldephobians . . . claim winter . . . it is going to be around for a while, so we might as well have some fun with it!