Forecast: Blizzard warning

Danielle Deraleau, Featured Columnist

   It’s easiest if I just come out and say it- my dad and I are addicted to Blizzards.

     The love of this frozen treat was instilled in me by him from an early age. I can recall moments of glee when he asked me if I wanted to go by Dairy Queen. The rest of my family was indifferent. “Sure, yeah. Whatever.”

     But me, I was ecstatic.

     This was not some childhood phase I outgrew. No, if anything it got worse with time. It still continues now, even as I prepare to graduate high school, supposedly more mature than when I entered.

     All it takes is a look to bring me back to the giddiness of childhood. My eyes connect with that of my dad after dinner on some nights, and there is an understanding. “Blizzard?” he asks, and I nod.

     He always drives, making easy and frequent turns as my feet rest on the dashboard. We’re pros. We know where the best Blizzards are, as we’ve tried every Dairy Queen within driving distance. We know how much they cost too, and have exact change ready when we pull up to the window. I could probably name each flavor in a blindfolded taste test.

     Perhaps these “Blizzard runs” as we call them are so much fun because my dad and I are extremely similar. From our quick wit in any situation, to our trademark sarcasm. Our love of hockey, and our tendency to be realistic. We get each other. And these treats are yet another thing in common between us.

     We talk a lot on the drive. I can’t even begin to remember how many important decisions I’ve made or things I’ve realized with a cold Blizzard cup chilling my hand. It was one of these nights, long red spoon between my fingers, that I made my official decision to attend SMU as opposed to the other colleges I’d been looking at. I was savoring the taste of the chocolate swirled in with ice cream when my dad told me that he reads all of my stories online, and I was so touched I was at a loss for words. Once, when my dad tried a Banana Cream Pie Blizzard and I had my usual Chocolate X-Treme, we laughed hysterically when we noticed a woman flossing her teeth while driving. These moments that highlight my senior year have two things in common: my dad, and the Blizzard.  

     Not much deters us if we decide tonight is a night for a Blizzard. Not rain. Not ice. Not even one of our beloved Stars hockey games. We turn the radio to “The Ticket” and listen as we drive, talking about fantasy points, defense and goaltending, and hiss a “Yesssss” if the Stars score. When driving though, we swerve back and forth as we move up, attempting with desperation not to lose the signal and therefore the game.

     Each new month sparks the love of Dairy Queen up again, as a new “Blizzard of the Month” is announced. We check online to see what it is. My dad, being the more adventurous of the two of us when it comes to food, is usually willing to try it. This is where we differ. For him, it’s anything with nuts, bananas, or caramel. For me, all I need is chocolate. Somehow my spoon usually makes its way over to his cup though, just to sample and make sure I’m not missing out.

     My dad is the only person I go to Dairy Queen with. If someone else were to ask me to go with him, my first response probably would be something of a mix of horror and offense. I can’t imagine eating a Blizzard with anyone else. It seems alien to me- like having pancakes without syrup.

     My dad works all day. I see him briefly in the morning, and then again after 5:30 p.m. These moments in the car are usually when we catch up. Talk about what’s new and share a lot of little stories, instead of just focusing on the basic important ones. If I’m sad or mad about something, as soon as I get in the car I feel more at ease, knowing the comfort of sweet chocolate and my dad’s brilliant words mixed together will bring me to a better emotional state then I was in.

     I’m lucky to have such a good relationship with my dad. I’m lucky to have these moments with him.

     And we are both oh so lucky that Dairy Queen invented Blizzards.