It’s cold outside. Have you noticed? No? Well, let me tell you: IT’S BLEEPING COLD OUTSIDE. And living as we do in the Northeast, we must A) whine and moan about said bleeping cold while B) laughing and C) feeling damned self-righteous about our capacity to endure it. You know the routine.
YOU: It’s bleeping cold out, isn’t it!? Ha ha ha!
NEIGHBOR: Sure is! Brrrrrr! Ha ha ha!
YOU: We choose to live here! Ha ha ha!
NEIGHBOR: Yeah, we could be in Florida! Ha ha ha!
YOU: But here we are instead! In the bleeping cold! Ha ha ha!
NEIGHBOR: Ha ha ha!
Of course, all of us really do have the power to relocate. Every single one of us could up and move to some place where “winter” is defined as any fleeting meteorological state requiring the rolling down of sleeves or, when it gets truly nasty, the zipping up of fleeces. Again, we CHOOSE to live here. We CHOOSE to submit our digits and schnozzes to circulatory distress on a regular basis. We CHOOSE to encase our bodies in 18 layers of long underwear and sweaters and snuggies and down this and wool that and saran wrap and rolled carpets and garbage bags (clean) and dryer lint and mouse droppings and beard shavings from forest elves and anything else lying around that happens to possess magical properties of insulation.
We’re not that picky. Style is not our Number One Concern; rolled carpets, when properly worn, also protect the wearer during traffic collisions. This is why every single woman who resides in the snow belt owns and wears a knee-length hooded black down parka, not because we like them, really, but because they prevent our arms and legs from going numb and provide the added charm of making us look like an invading regiment of Parka Clones from the Planet Nordstrom.
I neglected to provide this particular nugget of advice when speaking earlier this year with a newcomer at work from warmer climes. She had never experienced the bleeping cold before, so I laid out all proper coping mechanisms in the starkest possible terms.
ME: Wool socks.
HER: Oh, okay! Thanks! Wool socks!
ME :Wool socks.
HER: Ha, yes! Wool socks!
ME: Wool socks.
HER: Got it. Wool socks.
ME: Wool socks.
I did not, at this point, regale her with my Theory of Northern Cities, which I’ve expounded upon previously on this blog and represents my positive spin on winter, shoveling after a major snow dump and its la-la-kumbaya effects on community spirit. I’m not talking up any of that happy-peppy shit right now, because right now it is roughly 8 million degrees below zero, and that’s Fahrenheit, babies. Right now I am feeling cold and aggrieved. Right now I am recalling the sound my car made this morning when I first turned the ignition, which reminded me of the peculiar and unsettling mewling noises emitted from a sick infant. Again you know the routine.
ME: (Turns key.)
CAR: Eeehhhmmmm. Eeeehllll. Uhhhrrrr. Blurgfffh.
ME: Please turn on.
CAR: You’re kidding, right? (Cough. Cough. Spit.)
ME: I’m actually not.
CAR: (Spit. Spit. Cough.) It’s bleeping cold out.
ME: It is. Ha ha ha.
CAR: Right. Sorry, not laughing. And why aren’t we in Florida, exactly?