The theory of reversal

Published 6:03 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

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In our home — OK it’s an apartment, but it’s home to our daughter, and to us, as that’s where the love is — we operate on the theory of reversal.

Meaning when we prepare for the worst, that doesn’t happen. When we don’t prepare, watch out.

For instance, the talk this week has been snow. Are we getting any? How much? Which forecaster is saying what? What are the models saying? Will there be school Friday? When is the last time it has snowed?

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Last winter, we bought our daughter a plastic purple sled in anticipation of her being able to ride it on the small hill we have in our neighborhood. We left it out in our living room all winter thinking that at some point we’d get snow. We didn’t — maybe some stray flurries, perhaps, but not enough to pull out a sled and slide down a hill, and certainly nothing toward which my Michigan-raised wife would raise an eyebrow.

Little did we know, it was going to stay warm. For instance, last February, the lowest high temperature for the month was 43 degrees, and there were 12 days of temperatures of at least 60 degrees in the city. That included five days with temperatures above 70 degrees.

Stretch that out through the course of the 2018-2019 winter season.

From October 2018 through March 2019 — a very generous timeframe for any kind of winter weather — Suffolk had just one day in which the high temperature was below freezing (that was last January) going by Weather Underground historical data at Suffolk Executive Airport. In that January, there were just four days overall in which the high temperature dropped below 40.

The point here being? We never got to use the sled, and it’s now in a storage closet.

By the theory of reversal, it means this winter we’re going to get snow. And if you believe the forecast, and it comes to fruition by the time you read this, then there will be enough snow on the ground to pull out the sled.

Of course, I’ve been wishing for snow all winter so I could see my daughter use her sled. And of course, because I’ve been wishing for it all winter, I’ve gotten some interesting looks from some of the folks in our office who have not shared my sentiments.

By the theory of reversal, you might be thinking that my theory is flawed because I wished for snow so much, therefore it isn’t going to snow.

However, when there’s such a strong counterbalance of people in your sphere of influence who are making the opposite wish — all winter long they’ll say, “don’t say that ‘s’ word” — it effectively swings the pendulum the opposite of what you’ve wished for, and it keeps my theory of reversal intact.

By the time you read this, you should see that theory play out, and I hope everyone will have a safe and fun snow day.

And if somehow you wake up, read this and there is no snow on the ground in the city, then I guess I have more pull than anyone could have ever thought.

But just in case, I’m going to leave the sled in storage until the blanket of snow is on the ground  — just to be on the safe side.