I turned my last paper in on December 11th, somewhere around 1:30 pm. And subsequently had nothing to do. I still had a few things on my calendar, like a department Christmas party and a friend's birthday, and two more tutoring sessions at the middle school. But nothing supremely solid and nothing that required anything resembling preparation other than putting on varying amounts of makeup. Then the snow hit. While it was snowing the wind blew a bit and made it a little treacherous, but once the actual snowing and wind-blowing stopped, there was only an inch or two on the ground. Completely innocuous by Eastern Washington and Utah standards, but enough to cause people here to cancel church and start school on a delay two days after it stopped snowing. The delay meant no tutoring. It also meant I spent the day watching the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with my friend the birthday girl and a subsequent sunny and snow-free day finishing Christmas shopping. This subsequent day brought bad news in the form of my dad's Christmas vacation being cancelled due to some work crises and the recent death of my aunt's sister-in-law. The first bit of bad news meant I was feeling sorry for myself about the nomadic, mostly solo, Christmas vacation I would be spending and the second bit made me feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself.
Wednesday brought real snow. The kind of snow that would find me housebound in Utah, let alone in a place so unused to 6 inches of snow. I realized that maybe the SUV with chains I had laughed at on Monday was driven by someone prescient instead of paranoid. It also meant that my second tutoring session was cancelled and that I would really have nothing to do other than finish wrapping and shipping Christmas presents. So, dear friends who receive packages from UPS on Monday, know that I risked life and limb in really bad weather to drive amongst lots of people who have little experience with such weather to get to the UPS Store to ensure you had surprises by Christmas. Not that I want you to feel guilty. Just appreciative.
Anyway, I was housebound. I decided to see if my theory that hibernation would be awesome was actually true. I slept in until truly obscene hours and then spent even longer lounging in bed doing nothing until my stomach told me it needed food, STAT. I only put on jeans to run outside and check the mail, justifying the return to pajama pants with the discomfort of jeans becoming wet with melting snow. I watched hours of TV and movies, mostly on my laptop. I caught up on my favorite shows, which took less time than expected because most everything went on hiatus at Thanksgiving. I watched two new episodes of Pushing Daisies and got all enraged (again) at it being cancelled when truly awful shows with similarly poor ratings remain on the schedule. But after two days of doing nothing, all that rage felt uncomfortable. Like the jeans I forced myself to wear for a couple of hours (or minutes) before returning to my pajama pants. So I stopped mentally drafting a blog post/open letter to ABC. It took too much energy. I watched Jane Eyre for the upteenth time and the watched a 1996 adaptation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I noticed that BBC adaptations are not immune to the Hollywood double standard that applies to women and men older than 30. Toby Stephens is the dead sexy romantic lead in both Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Tara Fitzgerald, who plays the lovely leading lady in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall plays old, evil, and dying Mrs. Reed in Jane Eyre, though there is only a decade between the two adaptations. And she wasn't yet 40 when Jane Eyre was filmed. Still, took too much energy to get all riled up about it.
My eating habits totally changed as well. I ate something after finally dragging myself out of bed, which could technically be called breakfast but usually to occurred to late to even qualify as brunch. After that, I might nibble on something when I walked past the kitchen on my way to the loo, but really only ate something resembling a meal, usually soup and toast after 7 or 8 pm. Other than that my only caloric intake was through sipping the 8 oz. of Coke&Lime allow myself to have in a day. The scale is registering a weight loss, but I don't really feel I have denied myself anything. Especially considering most hours of the day, waking or sleeping, during my hibernation has been spent on my bed under a pile of blankets. There is a new, me-sized, dent created on one side of my bed. I did venture out yesterday for necessities like toilet paper and milk, but the half hour I spent trying to get out of the Fred Meyer parking lot (because everyone and their Aunt Fanny was doing the same thing, usually in cars with tires not suited to snow that ended up stalling and/or sliding back down the inclined exit) convinced me to go back into hibernation. I also went to Target this morning, but only because they are forecasting another storm and I was up early because I had just cancelled plans to spend the day with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Seattle due to said winter storm warning. I was home by 9:30 am.
After 3 days of watching various dead sexy Brits in BBC adaptations, catching up on TV shows (and related TVboyfriends) and breezing through the first season of Supernatural on DVD (which only added to my conviction that Dean Winchester is one of the hottest TVboyfriends on the planet and also made me wonder if I needed to make an appointment to speak with my Bishop, even though I haven't done anything more than repeatedly think "Dean Winchester is wicked hot. And little Sammy isn't far behind him." and possibly fast forward through any part of the episodes that doesn't contain a Winchester in it, especially Dean) and one aborted attempt to watch Under the Greenwood Tree (Netflix's Watch Instantly program and my internet were not getting along. It took me an hour to watch 35 minutes of the movie) I decided to crack open a book. I am now halfway through The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World, which I highly recommend, for it is both funny and thought-provoking. And a great way to travel without getting out from under warm blankets.
It is supposed to start snowing at some point tonight, which means church might again be cancelled and my hibernation can continue uninterrupted. There is a weird sort of timelessness that has come over me. Since I don't leave my apartment, day and night don't really matter. I wake up to find I turned off my alarm and it is nearly noon. Conversely I realize I'm hungry and finally eat dinner at 9:30. I shower at 11 o'clock at night because I can. I finish watching The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and discover it is nearly 3 o'clock in the morning. Time passes at different speeds depending on what I'm doing. The 5 minutes it takes for Netflix to adjust its streaming to my internet speed seems prohibitively, obnoxiously long, but the 5 hours I spend staring at my laptop, simultaneously aimlessly surfing, watching TV, and chatting with friends, passes in a blink of an eye. In some ways it is the most boring 4 days of my life. In others the most relaxing, freeing time I have spent. It has been a busy and stressful few months, on top of a couple of hard, stressful, miserable couple of years. I kind of don't want to stop hibernating. But perhaps it is better to stop while I am still enjoying it. I'm sure at some point this sort of existence would become insupportable. But until then, I have some Doctor Who and Inspector Lynley DVDs that came from Netflix today calling my name. I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.