Snowbirds, can we talk? Now that the weather is warming up, many of you will be returning in droves (if you haven’t already). You’ll be tanned and rested, and full of carefree stories about walking here and golfing there and dining out nightly.
We Northerners who stayed put get it. You’re happy. And you’re especially happy now that our weather is improving. It’s why you snuck south, after all.
The problem is, we stay-putters are not feeling so jubilant these days. Much of our flinty resolve to embrace the winter has flown the frozen coop, so to speak, and we’ve had it up to our chapped lips with shoveling and layering and wiping our drippy noses.
We’re grumpy, okay? Which means that, as much as we’re excited about your return, we’re not. Truth is, we’re feeling a bit battered about and fragile, some of us hanging on by a thread. Whereas an April dusting of snow may be novel for you (“Honey, oh look! It’s all fluffy and sparkly!”), it’s downright spirit-breaking for us (“Honey, oh $#@! It’s (sob) not (sob, sob) fair!”).
All that being said, you returning snowbirds might want to take some precautions during your first encounters with family and friends to ensure a friendly visit.
You should begin by minimizing your healthy glow. Seriously, dust your skin with powder, wear colors that don’t offset your radiance, cover yourself from head to toe — do whatever it takes to make us feel more comfortable in our own pasty skin. Understand that our bitter comments about too much sun exposure are more rooted in envy than they are in sincere concern. Even though you may think it’s funny, do not ask, “Has anyone ever mentioned you have the pallor of a corpse?” We’ve already heard it, several times over.
Next, do everything in your power to erase this sentence from your memory bank, “I never cooked, not once!” Yes, yes, of course you hit all the early-bird specials, night after night, and you had a heyday doing so. But we don’t really want to hear about your blackened mahimahi or your pan-seared grouper or your conch fritters. Nor do we need details about your impromptu cocktail parties with enough appetizers to tide you over till morning. Being tethered to our hot stoves all winter long has been hard enough; we can’t bear to hear you never lifted a finger in your south-of-the-border kitchen.
By all means, suppress the urge to utter one more peep about the glorious weather you experienced: the brilliant sun, the silky breezes, the luxurious warmth, the wispy clouds. Listen, you tortured us enough over the winter with your daily weather updates, your blue sky background selfies and your crowd-gathering sunsets to look for that mysterious green flash — so we’re good. We don’t need any more words about your precipitation-free winter that incredulously cured all your nagging ailments. Not one.
Snowbirds, take heart: our chilly stance won’t last forever! With some sun and warmth, we promise we’ll thaw and be more receptive to your southern stories. Just keep them under a minute and we’ll be happy as a stuffed stone crab.
Anne Palumbo writes this column for Messenger Post newspapers. Her email is