Karma Boomerang



Illustration by Patrick Neil

As you read this, I hope Pittsburgh is in the early stages of colorful, cheerful bloom. I hope the grass is a bit more emerald green and less grayish green with every April day that passes. I hope the sun peeks through the storm clouds long enough to thaw your face. I hope you’ve packed up your snow pants and your hats and scarves and placed them high up on a shelf you won’t need to reach until November.

As you read this, I hope the mid-afternoon air holds a hint of warm promise. I hope the leaves are stretching, the tulips unfolding, the birds returning. I hope open-toed shoes are not completely out of the realm of possibility.

As I write this, I am picking splinters out of my backside, left there by the cruel, wooden sting of the justice-serving Karma Boomerang.

As I write this, winter is raging and whirling furiously around me, laughing hysterically at the column I wrote in November—the column in which I talked about how much I love winter and how much my mother hates it and how she gets all, “WHY, GOD, WHY?!” each February, and isn’t she so comical and [point and laugh].

As I write this, I am staring out of my living room window, peering into the driving, relentless curtain of snow that is waving outside. As I write this, I am banging my head on that window and pummeling it with double-fisted anger, railing against another 6 inches of snow falling on top of the 2 1/2 feet already on the ground, and I’m begging on high, “WHY, GOD, WHY?!”

As I write this, I have been snowbound with a 7-year-old and a 3-year-old for six days. In case you didn’t know, six days of being stuck at home will result in punchy children, metaphorically and literally. By day No. 3, they had taken to staging wrestling matches in the living room. By day No. 4, I’d watched enough SpongeBob SquarePants to know who won the battle of land creatures versus ocean creatures because I had watched that episode twice. By day No. 5, my toddler invented a fun game called “How Many Eggs Can I Throw in the Kitchen Before Mommy Finds Out?” The answer is three. Three eggs. By day No. 6, they were playing baseball in the house by throwing action figures into the air and slamming them against the walls with a plastic bat.

Karma. It really is a boomerang. Whatever you throw out there into the world, it will eventually whip back around and head straight for your backside. I made fun of my mother’s hatred of winter. I made fun of people who whine about the snow and the cold. I said, “Hey, this is Pittsburgh. We have weather here. Deal with it or move.”

I’m not saying I’m completely to blame for the winter of 2010. I’m saying I’m MOSTLY to blame for it. I threw the Karma Boomerang out into the cool, blue October sky, carrying words like “sissies” and “wuss” and “if you can’t take the cold, get out of the freezer.” The Karma Boomerang returned to me in February, through snowy, gray skies, carrying words like “boo-yah!” and “tsk” and “you really ought to know better, PittGirl.”

As I write this, the news is warning me that a real, live blizzard is heading my way and that it is scientifically a blizzard event because the winds will be strong enough to rip the mascara from my eyelashes. As I write this, my street is impassable, and I’ve been out of wine for two days, and I’m seriously thinking about dialing the city’s 311 line to see if they can rectify that emergency. “No, YOU don’t understand, sir. My children are playing hacky-sack with the dog, and I AM OUT OF WINE!”

As I write this, I am pledging to never again make fun of people who hate the Pittsburgh winters. I am pledging that the next time my mother calls me all, “I hate winter,” instead of telling her to put her big girl panties on, I will say, “Amen!” I am pledging to respect the ability of relentless snow to bring me to my knees.

As you read this, I hope the winter of 2010 is a distant, foggy memory frozen in the past. As you read this, I hope you forgive me for what I wrought with my careless handling of the Karma Boomerang.

As I write this, my son just rode his sled down the stairs.

What’s the number to 311?

Hot Reads

Made in Pittsburgh

Made in Pittsburgh

The city of steel always has been known for its industry – what we make. Today, that defining characteristic expands beyond manufacturing into every aspect of modern life: to technology, clothing, home goods and unique food and drink products as well.
Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

While he can walk largely unrecognized in his hometown, comic-book artist Ed Piskor of Munhall continues to win critical acclaim and international fame with “Hip Hop Family Tree,” a series of graphic novels telling the story of hip-hop music.
Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
Film Noir Fall Fashion

Film Noir Fall Fashion

Fall into autumn with a fashion landscape awash in black, white and nifty shades of gray.

The 412

Bryant McFadden Wants to Talk to You

Bryant McFadden Wants to Talk to You

The former Steelers cornerback joins the 120 Sports team to keep you up to speed on all things sporting.
Celebrate Our 'Up-and-Coming Nightlife City' Status With Pittsburgh Cocktail Week

Celebrate Our 'Up-and-Coming Nightlife City' Status With Pittsburgh Cocktail Week

Raise a glass to another 'Burgh superlative at these awesome cocktail parties.
Pittsburgh is One of the Most Cycling-Friendly U.S. Cities

Pittsburgh is One of the Most Cycling-Friendly U.S. Cities

Bicycling mag ranks the Steel City at No. 21 on its list of 50 metropolises.
Thrival Festival Rocked Bakery Square 2.0

Thrival Festival Rocked Bakery Square 2.0

Relive the two-day event that was part innovation and part musical brilliance.

Hot Reads

Made in Pittsburgh

Made in Pittsburgh

The city of steel always has been known for its industry – what we make. Today, that defining characteristic expands beyond manufacturing into every aspect of modern life: to technology, clothing, home goods and unique food and drink products as well.
Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

While he can walk largely unrecognized in his hometown, comic-book artist Ed Piskor of Munhall continues to win critical acclaim and international fame with “Hip Hop Family Tree,” a series of graphic novels telling the story of hip-hop music.
Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

PittGirl has had enough of the criticism of fanatics and asks the media to stop labeling everyone.
Film Noir Fall Fashion

Film Noir Fall Fashion

Fall into autumn with a fashion landscape awash in black, white and nifty shades of gray.
8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

Hoping to take a leaf-peeping road trip? Keep food at the top of your priority list and consult our lineup of eight destinations, most within 150 miles of the city.