Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Small Potatoes Small Talk

The weather. Always a great subject for small talk. An easy, safe conversation that establishes the fact that each of the players is cordial and considerate.

Except when one of the players is not.

In this case, it’s me.

Allow me to explain.

It’s May 2, today. Halfway through spring. That season where birds return and the grass greens up and daylight hours lengthen.

And this is what we woke up to this morning. About 6” of the white stuff.

May 2, 2019 snow storm


“I don’t want to talk about it,” I grumbled.

Then it started.

Some people commiserated.

Others, however, chastised me for focusing on the negative. “But it’s so beautiful!”

One or two suggested that my complaint is misplaced considering the fact that others are contending with far worse. Floods and severe property damage.

I managed to bite my tongue, but only just. I don’t buy those arguments. Just because another’s experience is worse, doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to express frustration that is neither inappropriate nor overblown.

Don’t suggest that I don’t see the beauty in a snow-clad landscape. I do! I love the fact that spring birds are flocking by the dozens to our feeder. I also hate the fact that our feeder is the only thing they have for food because of the dang-blang snowstorm!

Do I empathize with the home owners who watch their house slowly sink into the floodwaters? Of course, I do. But empathy for the flood victim doesn’t erase the snowstorm and the aggravation it causes.

I get it. I know that my grievances are truly small potatoes in the scheme of worldwide hardship.

I am safe, I am warm, and well fed. Hubby is out with the snowblower, clearing the drive, even though we have nowhere to be. I am not agonizing over this weather. I don’t identify with it. Oh, woe is me, oh the humanity. That sort of thing.

My writing today is about sharing others’ reaction to my response to the weather. I know that snow happens. I know that I will survive this. I know that spring will come, eventually. But I chafe when others chastise me for sharing my experience of my world!


Categories: In Other News

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45 replies

  1. Maggie you are right! We all need to be allowed to complain sometimes, just because we can and it should not diminish the hardship of what others worse off than ourselves are dealing with.
    I do this with work colleagues sometimes when policy or procedure is irritating me. I almost always remember to preface my whining with some sort of alert though… just to highlight to them that I understand my problems are minimal in the scheme of things 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course you are entitled to express your frustration over waking up to 6 inches of snow in May. And for the record, the flooding and extreme weather patterns and snow in May are all being caused by the same thing — climate change — the very thing politicians deny and ignore and do nothing about. So thanks to them and their ignorant ways we can all expect it to get worse. Grrrrrrrr

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We can enjoy and not-enjoy anything we want–free!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am solidly with you. If you were to turn that situation around, focusing on joy than upset, then someone should say that you shouldn’t find joy in small things, because someone else won a lottery, had a baby, got married, found a kitten. We are entitled to react to the world around us at some point other than the extremes.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You’ve landed on a pet peeve of mine – it’s encompassed in that expression ‘first world problem’ which implies that we should feel ashamed of ourselves for having feelings, opinions, or expressing profound frustration at the irritants that build up in our lives.

    Those annoyances are real!! … and so is that %^$#*!? snow!! Embrace your irritation, Maggie, and rant on. You have my sympathy!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You have every right to talk about the small potatoes that bug you. I’m not one for prolonged whining, but I am one for stating the facts of the matter. In this case, too much snow too late in the season is worth a good whine. IMHO. Well done, my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, prolonged whining is a drag for all parities involved, and I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end. Eventually, though, in the cases where I was the whiner,I heard myself and realized that actions were needed, not words. I think that’s what they call maturity, right?

      But I needed to vent, and am grateful for your supporting comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. People don’t seem to realize that when I grumble about my small potatoes (spring snows, for instance, or just too much winter)) that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize others’ potatoes aren’t much larger and more grievous. It just means that I’m sick of cold and snow, and ready for true spring, darnit! I’m entitled to those feelings, as we all are. Whine all you want, I understand!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I learned after two years of drought not to complain about rain, snow and hail. Anything that brings water. However I do hope you get at least some sun!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good heavens! Six inches of snow in May?! You are fully entitled to any reaction you feel . . . mine would be something along the lines of WTF. Something is seriously amiss!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with you. Nomatter what there is always someone who is sucfering more, even than the flood victims. Children in 3rd world countries sleep outside, have no food and die before the age of three. Most of us are aware. You aren’t whining about not having the perfect shoes for your fuscha dress. Not that that is a horrible thing. Still, all of the erratic weather goes back to the global changes we are experiencing and people need to be frustrated. Or at least allow others their moment of woefullness. Hang in there. The thaw must be just around the bend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cheryl – and therein lies the fundamental truth, to borrow from the eastern teachings – all life is pain and suffering. To say it another way, there is pain. And there is reaction to pain. It’s a matter of perspective, and a matter of how one responds to the pain.

      I like this line of yours: people need to allow others their moment of woefullness.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. One Mothers Day (2nd weekend in May..) having just come off of a weeks-long pneumonia, my mom came over to watch the kids so I could walk to a nearby McDonald’s and get myself a treat. It began to blizzard just then. I continued on, because I would surely die if I did not get a piece of hot aromatic beef into my mouth soon — it was all I’d thought about for 30 hours, lol. Walked back to the apartment eating the biggest burger ever. I’m relatively sure there’s no Mickie D’s in Cobalt, but if there’s anything similar, order something hot and messy and shout, “Screw you!” to the clouds. It helps. 🙂 And it stops one from shouting that to people who think you need castigating. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your comment. Would you believe that last night, as the snow pelted down, I briefly considered opening the windows and sending curses to the skies? I thought better of it. It would have scared the birds from the feeder.

      Seriously, though, I do keep my thoughts to myself, mostly. Blogging is my choice of primal scream therapy. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😉 I myself would probably pour a LOT of white Merlot if we got another 6″ drop of snow. Gosh, it’s May! I’m sorry, Maggie. I hope it melts fast and brings 2 new varieties of roses where you can see them!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember growing up in Michigan and having track practice for high school during this time of year. The temps would be beautiful, mid-sixties and even seventies, only to have snow and cold come roaring back just a couple of days later when we’d have an actual meet in which to compete. It was demoralizing to say the least. I’m sure the seeds of my exit plan to warmer climates was born at that time.

    I can (somehow) tolerate it when loved ones push back or question an opinion of mine, but I draw the line with mere acquaintances and strangers. Joke with me good naturally about it? Fine. But spare me your sparring! This ain’t debate class, nor am I running for office. Keep your opinions to yourself. Solidarity on this one, Maggie. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to say here, that while snow in May is unusual, it is not an extremely rare occurrence. We are in Northern Ontario, after all. I do appreciate seasons that know what they are supposed to do. But still, it’s been winter for nigh on 7 months now. I’m ready for the bugs! Bring on spring! (Something tells me I’m going to pay for that saucy comment.)

      Seriously, though. Thanks for this insight – yes, it is a form of sparring, isn’t it? And when I think on it, and the players involved, it doesn’t surprise me, given what I know of the personalities.

      Thanks, Marty. Appreciate the solidarity. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I have friends who contradict everything I say: sometimes it makes me want to scream (even though I know it’s 99% likely I’m such a smart-(|) that the temptation is too great for them).
    When you write “I chafe when others chastise me for sharing my experience of my world” I am irresistibly reminded of this fairly infuriating situation, Maggie …
    So I have come to the conclusion that there are people in this world who simply cannot let a statement be made without ‘topping’ it. A pox upon them.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. People like to “fix” us complainers and cheer us up when all we really want is to be heard. I hear you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “I know that snow happens.” heh heh heh….right there with you, Maggie. Oh, you who overheard what I said…..I didn’t mean for you to comment so mind your own beeswax. Why, yes, I do feel so much better.


  16. A late snow is about as welcome as a guest to Saturday’s party who arrives on Wednesday.

    I mean, the last things you say is: “Oh, what a lovely salad for the pot-luck.”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yikes! I say complain all you want. I would probably be complaining from the first snowflake to fall until the last to melt (and then probably continue until it’s at least 70 degrees).


  18. Me, upon seeing your snow this morning:
    Oh Canada.
    No more that.
    Is pretty.

    Is pretty is last, and I LOVE SNOW!

    I, too, dislike when my complaints are given comparison. It’s not good policy to force gratitude on people. Yes, it could be worse, but snow in May isn’t great, no one thinks it is. Pshaw.

    For the record, I am glad you’re warm and safe and I am sorry you have snow. IN MAY!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I just had this similar conversation with another blogger! About the right to complain. My mother (and her mother before, ad infinitum probably) used to tell me not to complain because someone somewhere had it worse than me. Yeah, but how does that help me, Mom? And stop invalidating my feelings, BTW (I would say to her now, but she’s been gone since 2015). I try very hard not to say this to my daughter (or anyone else, for that matter) but my mother’s voice inside of me is quite strong yet, and it’s the first one I hear.
    Go ahead and complain. It’s your right as a Canadian to bitch about the weather.


    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s the part that gets to me the most, that “kwitcherbellyaking” like my dad used to toss about. The implied message being, “Or I’ll give you something to complain about.”

      {{shudder}} Where did that deeply-repressed memory come from??

      Anyway, I thank you for commenting, and definitively thank you for the invitation to complain!!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. I bitched about the weather more in the last week than I have in the entire blog. 🙂 Here in SW Toronto it’s been so wet and cool, it’s wearing on me. But yeah, snow on May 2? BLAH.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I couldn’t imagine living with snow – the very thought horrifies me! I reckon I’d quickly get over any beauty aspects, too.


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