Well, it’s that time of year again – the annual migration of the snowbirds has begun. “Snowbirds” for those unfamiliar with the term, refer to all the people from colder climes that come here in the winter just so they can call home to their friends and brag that they’re not having to shovel sunshine. There are so many people here from the Midwest that someone once said that the definition of diversity in Phoenix is when someone from Chicago moves in right next door to someone from Minneapolis.
A quick trip to the grocery store this morning made clear that the snowbirds are on the wane. I did not have to swerve coming out of my neighborhood in order to miss some “high flying” snowbird with his top down, talking on a cell phone, and smoking a stogie.
Nor did I have to endure people turning left, no, then right, no, then left again because they didn’t have GPS in their car and can’t figure out our complicated street system. (I will say that having streets that dead end and then pick up again three miles down the road is a tad bit confusing)
And best of all, I breezed into the parking lot, found a space up close and was able to complete my shopping without having to stand in a long line of people stocking up on gin, cocktail napkins and sunscreen. Rest assured, the most beautiful sight we see this time of year are all the car transport trucks heading out of town.
The bad part about the migration is that most of my friends are snowbirds. They return this time of year to the mountains or the Midwest, carry on with their lives at home and leave the rest of us here to sweat out the summer. Just as they have their unique moniker, those of us who stay here are affectionately known as the “summer sluts”. At least I think that’s a term of affection.
In any event, last week a friend asked me if I actually looked forward to everyone leaving for the season. Since she was “migrating” back to Chicago the next day, I did what I thought was right. I lied. I told her it was awful here in the summer. And, of course, I do miss my friends. But the truth is, it’s kind of nice once everyone clears out. We can get into any restaurant we choose at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. We can arrive 10 minutes before the opening of a blockbuster movie and still get a great seat. Oh sure, you can fry an egg on the pavement in mid-August but that’s a small price to pay to be the first in line at the Nordstrom Annual Pre-Season sale.
But the best reason to enjoy the snowbird migration? No more dinner invitations. We control our schedule – from now until November we will not be on a social merry-go-round. We will only go out when we feel like it. We will not have to get dressed up. We can sit on our sofa, wearing Bermudas and a tank top, and download movies from Netflix. We can munch on junk food. We can drink beer and vodka tonics to keep cool.