In A Drift

At lunch with a friend the other day I grappled with a way to describe relationships. All around me many of my nearest and dearest are struggling in their relationships with their significant others. An analogy came to me that, while not my best work, suited the situation.

Relationships are like snow.

At first, snow is a beautiful thing softly falling outside that you are happy to see.Β  It gives you a thrill. You don’t mind staying up late just looking at it. You want to run out and play with it. You want to feel that way about snow forever. You can’t even imagine not loving snow. You get all starry eyed just talking about snow. There’s adventure with snow: you make snow angels and ski and sled and have a snowball fight. You walk in its quiet calm. You take a lot of photos and in each one, you’re beaming.

The snow keeps falling and falling and falling so you go out to shovel it. You need a way through. You spend hours and then days shoveling snow out of the way so you can have a clear path. It seems that each time you clear the walkway, more falls. You wonder if it is worth it. But then you see a glimmer of its beauty and you press on.

Of course it is worth it.

But time inevitably passes and the novelty wears off. You’ve start to feel bored and restless. Seems it’s the same thing day after day. And you’re sick and tired of shoveling. Outside, the streets are piled high with unplowed snow. You feel stuck. You want past all the patches of ice and piles of snow but you don’t have the right tires.You reach out to a friend who has the right kind of car and they pick you up. Bumping over solid chunks of ice that coat the roads, you feel fear. You spin your wheels in a pile of snow in a parking lot and have to get out and push- getting your pants caked with mud in the process. You think that maybe not having the proper tires was a sign: You are not prepared for snow.

Along the roadsides, the snow sits in dirty clumps. Gone is the pristine purity. You forget why you loved snow in the first place. It seems a distant memory. You don’t know how to get back the elated feeling from the beginning. You start to wonder what you ever saw in snow. You long for Spring.

Until your allergies start acting up. Then you’ll long for Summer.

Until you get too hot and the fans don’t cool you fast enough. Then you’ll long for Autumn.

And so on.

And so on.


47 thoughts on “In A Drift

  1. I think the true challenge is finding contentment with the “snow” even after the newness has worn off. Sometimes snow is like unwrapping a present, but once opened you realize that the inside of the present isn’t everything the packaging promises. Sometimes snow is a quick, god I love you, gone the next day kind of fling. I guess snow can be a lot of things but it’s almost always exciting at first.

  2. I like it. And as then, in winter, you have a warm snap and the entire city turns into a skating rink, you slip and break your wrist… then you know your love affair is over.

    When I was a girl growing up, I had this dream that love would be easy. We would fall in love and every thing would be perfect. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s work, harsh, difficult but sometimes sublime and perfect…


  3. See, you stopped at Autumn because THERE ARE NO NEGATIVES ABOUT AUTUMN!!! Ahem.

    My response got too long for a comment, so I think I’d better make it a post on my own blog …

  4. On second thought …

    I was about to compare my marriage with Autumn since Bret and I got together in our 50s, but our relationship is certainly NOT perfect. It’s by far the best I’ve ever had, but it’s still a work in progress and always will be. But as long as the “goods” outweigh the “bads,” we’ll keep compromising and accepting and adjusting and allowing and all the other things life with another living creature requires.

    The key is to find a guy you love as much as your cats, so when he coughs up a slimy hairball or chews up your sweater or poops outside the box, you just sigh in exasperation, clean up the mess and move on, accepting the hassles as the price you pay for a warm, loving body purring next to you on a cold night.

  5. Continue through the analogy…snow begins beautifully, gets irksome/annoying, then as it melts into water provides for the very life & bounty o’ spring/summer/autumn. Maybe a better analogy would be water…

  6. I’m not as comfortable about using snow as an analogy for relationships, not that that can’t be done; but relationships are so much more complex then that. The trouble come in when you think that that one person is there is your Everything.

    Relationships are Hard Work. No one is a Mind Reader & even when you think you are, you know you aren’t going to be right 100% of the time.Human beings are complex and require many different things in order to be Happy- a Transient state at best.

  7. Word.

    There comes a point with snow and ‘snow’ when you just want to hit a pause button for all the other parts of life – work, family, and all other assorted responsibilities..because hey, as as long as we don’t have to go anywhere or get anything done all of the literal and metaphorical snow is pretty awesome. Unless the power goes out. Or you have to try to get to work. Or you try to go to the grocery store but the chains rusted on your tires. But eventually snow gives in to slush…and then I’m suddenly longing for snow again. *sigh*

  8. few of us are lucky enough to know love. even fewer get to keep it.

    it’s snow, not waterboarding. enjoy it while it lasts, you’ll surely miss it when it’s gone because you have pushed it away.

  9. first time commenter, long time reader! i can see your point about relationships being like snow – they seem perfect and unsullied at first, but then you hit rough patches.

    but this comparison also makes the relationship seem like this separate thing outside of you that you are trying to handle on your own. i wonder where the other person is to help you shovel and clear the path? but maybe that’s your point.

    my relationships have probably been more like hikes through snowy woods. sometimes the person is there with you on the same path, and you’re helping each other through it, and having fun. and sometimes he’s distracted by outside influences, and you’re left behind while he does battle with the snow and woods himself, which is sad because you really wanted to help him.

  10. I do agree, snow can get old, but when you live somewhere that has plows and can handle the snow, it isn’t so bad. I love it each and every time it snows :-), but it happens every year in Taos, so we know what to do and life is not slowed down one bit. I drive to work in a blizzard almost every week :-).

  11. I hear you. My last relationship was nearly 7 years and was quite a bit like snow. New and lovely at first, creating a safe quite space for building snow forts where we could hide away from everyone else. Then the winds picked up and well…I suppose I could find fitting wintery analogies, but that might get quite a bit too personal for a comment section.

    My new relationship is still in it’s early stages at under 2 years so I have no metaphor for it. We’re still learning each other and figuring out how best to communicate.

    It’s so difficult to be going through a rough time relationship wise especially whilst blogging. You want to talk it out, but still be respectful to the other person. It’s also unsure how things will turn out and you don’t want to say to much too soon and then be eating your words…I never did find a good balance at the end of my last relationship and got quite a lot of angered phone calls from the ex about things I wrote. Blah.

    Thinking of you…

  12. There are many apt analogies for relationships… but this one is as good as any I’ve heard. And none so apropops…

  13. I’m in the first snow period of a relationship now, so I’m all aglow.

    But I know that when the snow turns dirty and disgusting, often there is a little flurry that makes it all shiny and new again, and hides the flaws.

  14. Interesting analogy… And quite true, for the most part πŸ™‚

    I’m behind on my blog reading, so sorry for the late comment – and there will be more coming on other old posts soon! πŸ˜‰

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