Updated: Apr 14

On my 1st day of school,

It snowed. 36 inches!

It was beautiful.

I stepped outside, and for the first time ever, saw snowflakes falling from the sky! The ground was dusted in a sheet of sparkling white whipped cream. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.

I packed a snowball and threw it at my brother. He pitched one back and it hit me in the ear. I quickly learned that people from California don’t know how to dress for the snow.

When I got dropped off at school, I noticed everyone was wearing snowsuits. “Wtf mom?” I didn't even have a coat. I was wearing tights and a windbreaker.

At lunch, I ate my sandwich as slow as possible watching all the kids put on their swishy snowsuits. I hated the idea of going outside. One by one, everybody left. Soon, I was the last kid in the cafeteria.

The lunch lady came up for a conversation:

Lunch Lady: “Go outside.”

8 Year Old Valerie: “There's no playing in this outfit.”

Lunch Lady: “Your mother should have dressed you better.”

8 Year Old Valerie: "My mother doesn’t know how to dress for this. She works inside... Can I play inside?"

Ruth was her name, and she acted like a Ruth. “No,” she said.

8 Year Old Valerie: Ruth, I come from a place if it so much as rains, we play inside. I can just go to my classroom and pretend this conversation never happened.”

Lunch Lady: There’s no one to watch you…Unless you want Norm to watch you.

Who‘s Norm?

She motioned to a man in the hall. He was wearing a janitor outfit and skipping a mom of dirty bleach water on the tan linoleum. Norm was the creepy janitor. He had dark circles under his eyes and skin so white it tinged green.

I hopped up, without a word, and went outside.

I stood by the door freezing, watching my peers play in the snow. One was rolling a snowball. Another was licking an icicle. The sight of it all made me shiver.

Out of left field, a little girl came swishing my way. Her little snowsuit: Swish, swishing every step. “YAY! A friend.” I thought. She walked up to me and asked: “Are you Mormon?” I wanted to lie, but “No.” I replied.

“You’re going to hell.” She said.


"That's fine. At least hell is warmer than Utah."

©Val Douroux 2022