I have a theory. Mainers secretly wish each year that this year the snow won’t come. That is why we wait until past the last possible minute — until the first snow storm — to prepare ourselves and our vehicles.

I see the same thing play out year after year. The first snow storm hits, and it always hits everyone hard. They claim it was a surprise, even though the meteorologists called for snow. Everyone drives 10 mph to work, despite there just being an inch of snow on the roads. And then they drive 10 mph to the mechanic, dealer, tire warehouse or wherever it is that they get their tires changed to have them switched over from summer to winter.

Why? Why? Why? Why do people wait?

It is frustrating in the extreme — particularly for those of us who have prepared and whose cars are willing and able to drive over 10 mph through a measly inch of snow. So, namely, me.

Every year, people. They do this every year.

You know that saying about how the definition of insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result? I’m not point fingers, but — OK, I’m pointing fingers.

But seriously, it’s like people are inwardly hoping that by not putting snow tires on their cars, sandbags in their trunks, having hats, gloves or a shovel on hand that climate change will suddenly take full effect and Maine will have no winter.

Sorry to break the pretty little bubble of delusion, but that is not going to happen. Winter might come late or be mild by comparison, but it is not going to magically disappear within a year.

Maine has four seasons, and it has for a while now. Four. We all learned about them in school. It was a long time ago for some, I know, but it’s pretty basic stuff. For those of muttering under their breath that Maine has two seasons — the one that shall not be named and construction — haha, we’ve heard it.

Quick recap for those who have coincidentally forgotten, Maine’s seasons are as follows: spring, summer, fall and … winter. It comes every year. Like it or not. Accept it. Embrace it. Prepare for it — preferably before the first snowfall.

People, winter is upon us. The first true snow — at least, the first true snow for the Bangor area — has fallen. If you are not prepared, do not complain because my sympathy meter is low.

Buy tires, weigh down the car with sandbags, but do not be caught out driving in the snow with a car that is not prepared for it. Doing so puts yourself and others — again, namely me, as I kind of, sort of value my life and that of my child — at risk.

So now that it has snowed, if you’re not prepared, rush in — or really, rather don’t, because we don’t want you getting in a crash, so drive safely — and have proper tires put on your vehicles. And next year make sure you get your car ready for winter before it hits.

That would make the world such a better place. Or if not the world, then at least our small piece of it known as Maine.

Melanie Ann Thurlow is writer, and she is ensuring her wit and sarcastic charm carries on to future generations through her 4-year-old daughter and the written word. She lives in Hampden.