Miss Dolly Ann (c) December 10th, 2008

They say every snowflake is different, each one unique and beautiful in its own way. I wouldn't know. I've never seen one up close enough to tell. Most of the time they just land on my shoulders as I rush to class, making my cheeks cold. If it's snowing hard, they'll even cling to my jeans as I'm walking; then, I get inside and my ankles are soaked and icy.

Luckily, I've never been one of those girls with the really long eyelashes. You have to be careful in the snow with long eyelashes. The snowflakes will catch, and then they'll melt in your eyes. The dangers to that? Walking in to brick buildings, stepping in dog shit, tripping over a cliff and permanently losing feeling in both legs. The same girls usually have long, chestnut brown hair. It's always chestnut brown, and it's always "dappled" with snow. Frankly, it never looks like it's dappled with shit to me. Just looks like a bad case of dandruff.

Guys don't think that way though. They have winter girl fantasies, tiny girls with beautiful soft bodies covered by coats just waiting to be stripped off by a fireplace. There's usually a remote cottage a mile or so away from a ski lift, but they get avalanched in, and then they have to fuck on a bearskin rug. Most girls find that romantic too, I guess. If it weren't for the reality of guys, maybe I would too.

But see, I always think about what happens after the bear rug fucking. Because after the bear rug fucking and the helicopter rescue and the return to their everyday lives, the girl suddenly discovers she's pregnant. And, oh no, she's a Christian! (Big surprise, right?) So, she can't tell her parents, otherwise they'll be totally pissed. But she can't tell her boyfriend either, because then he'll stop dating her. And somehow the school will find out. And she'll be a whore. And the other girls will hate her if she has an abortion. And they'll hate her because all the boys think she's easy. And either way she'll lose in the end.

Meanwhile, Johnny Semen Squirt goes on to meet Cheerleader Sally, they become Homecoming King and Queen, and Johnny graduates as football quarterback with a 3.7 GPA and scholarship. He doesn't look at "her" in the halls.

Yeah, so screw having snow dappled hair and long eyelashes.

Yet there's this pervasive drift that I seem caught up in no matter how hard I try to escape. Everywhere I turn, I see the same damn thing. To be a woman is to be beautiful. To be beautiful is to be loved. To be loved is to have a guy. To have a guy is to be happy. So even though I know Johnny Semen Squirt totally ruins lives, this blizzard of my everyday life tells me otherwise.

And then somebody posts a picture of herself kissing her boyfriend on Myspace and I watch as their hot, wet lips roll over each other. Something burns inside of me, and I feel hot, melted snowflakes well in my eyes. I want that too, I can't help but think. I want to be kissed and loved. I don't know about fucking on a bear skin rug, but maybe my bed with the electric heated blanket would be nice.

Just, I want it in the context of an emotionally connected, committed relationship. And I want the guy to sincerely think I'm pretty—he can't pay the lip service before running back home to ogle the Internet porn, the Playboys… god, the girls in the Sears catalogue are prettier than me. The fifty-year old actresses on TV are prettier than me. Wait? What was I saying? Is this about him? Yeah, I don't want him to think of me like that. Even though, as hard as I try, I'm programmed to think that way about myself.

True, every snowflake's pretty and unique. But when they all fall to the ground, can you ever fucking tell the difference between them? No. They're all just part of this huge frozen blanket that covers the ground, and anybody without a microscope can't distinguish shit. Some try and glitter and sparkle and shine, but ultimately they're all just part of this giant mass of snowflakes that usually end up gray and tarry once the plows have pushed them around; they only melt and die when spring comes around.

I don't dream of a guy with a microscope. That's for girls who like Twilight. They think some magical dude is going to pick them out of all the other snowflakes for something unbelievably unique and special about them. They forget that every other frigg'n girl that likes Twilght has that same damn ambition. They all end up like snowflakes. The only thing that's different about them is how long their crystals branch out and whether when you cut them out you get snowmen or Christmas trees in the gaps.

Think I'm harsh? I am. Cuz I ain't no snowflake. I'm more like the giant dog shit you find in a winter field. Try taking a microscope to that. Nobody finds anything beautiful about it. And guys are sure to tell you too—to your face. You're an ugly bitch. Nobody will ever fuck you—not even if you're the last girl on earth. Why don't you do the world a favor and die? Then we won't have to look at you anymore. Cue hysterical male guffawing.

I press my hand against the pane of my window, my breath fogging up the glass. I stare out and watch the snowflakes continue to fall; in the dark, it kind of looks like the streetlights are crying. Something hot drips on my face. I silently hate whoever decided my happiness depended on my ability to be a snowflake.

Fuck that. Open the window with a loud screech. Disregard screen. Fling yourself, like a suicide diver, into the white oceans and don't worry about drowning. Feel the cold sweep through your hair and fill your lungs, until it hurts to breathe and you feel like polar bear slushies run through your veins instead of blood. Just run. Run until your toes go numb. But don't give in. Don't let the snowflakes eat you. Shake your coat like a dog's fur and run fast until your cheeks are so red, the icy devils shriek and die upon contact.

Then wrap your arms around a giant tree trunk and sob. Sob hysterically. As loud as you want. As pathetically as you want. And don't stop until you're done. Because unlike snowflakes, the pulse in your veins is evidence of your being and the tree will know. Press your baby soft lips against that coarse, dark bark. Rest your temple against its middle. Slide down on the ground and cry at its base. The roots will suck up that grief. Then it'll be all gone.

Quietly, with meaningful steps, return back. Feel each icy gust of air fill your lungs and wonder at the indigo, star-peppered sky. Climb through broken screen and re-enter room. Shut window. Stare at your footprints in the snow. Let the warmth seep back into your skin. That pulse, your blood, your heartbeat – you are not a snowflake, you never were, you never will be.

But that doesn't mean you can't be happy.

Turn up your electric blanket and dream.