As a creature of the sun, I hold a deep appreciation for some of life’s finer offerings made possible by warmth; open windows, seasonal produce, and near-nakedness. And you know, being warm. For approximately five months a year, wool and central heating are long forgotten, and I’m free to prance about my apartment wearing nothing but skin and mane with no threat of hypothermia.
Skin stays hydrated, compliments of natural humidity. Piggies can breathe because socks are not necessary. Errands don’t require coats and boots, or pre-planning for road conditions. Bane is free to thrash about the dry pavement. Running outside is an enjoyable thing. Bikinis are acceptable apparel. People are generally happier.
Snow arrived on Monday.
I stood slack-jawed staring out the window at the falling flakes like I was witnessing murder. It’s much too early. I’d forgotten what the cold felt like—I forgot its icy sting and its bone-reaching chill.
This powdery fiend is a stark reminder of darker days to come. Having dialed the clocks back one hour in conclusion of Daylight Savings, evening activities are now a race against the setting sun. Darkness blankets the mitten at 5:10 p.m; a mere 10 minutes of post-work sun. And if that fun fact hasn’t slaughtered your soul, the darkness will continue devouring daylight until the winter solstice arrives in five weeks.
It feels so oppressive.
The cold requires extra effort and extra patience. It requires time. It requires layers. It requires moisturizer, Kleenex, and lip balm. And gloves, hats, scarves, and boots. And pre-heating the car. Ice scrapers. Shovels. Salt. Daily routines require reworking to accommodate the winter woes.
I’m whining—I know this.
After 24 years as a Michigan resident, I should be more well-adapted to winter months. It’s a fact of life, and unless I plan to pack up and haul ass to the deep South, this is my reality. That’s not happening.
As the northern hemisphere transforms into a frozen tundra, I find myself rethinking my misery. It’s so easy to hang on the depressing notion that for the duration of winter, I will be forced to rely on artificial sources of heat to protect me. Last night, as I buried myself in the 8-layer cocoon of blankets that is my bed and watched the flurries swirl beneath the moonlight, I felt 24 years worth of guilt consume me for pouring so much negativity into this season. The snow was so lovely.
If I’ve learned anything from my stint as a single, a little positivity and open-mindedness can salvage the soul. Maybe it’s time to learn some appreciation.
The cold is the culprit. If winter were warm, I’d be all about it. So I’ve come to the conclusion that if I keep myself as cozy as possible, and do everything in my power to alleviate the struggle, perhaps there’s hope for seduction.
This week I purchased a new winter coat by Michael Kors. The beast is packed with down feathers, water-slicking polyester, a fur-lined hood, a thick knit collar, and enough pockets to house an entire department store. I also purchased a brand new set of tires for Bane. I’ve already confirmed they’re conducive to donuts.
I’m making a habit of keeping my slippers bedside, and my gloves available by the door. I’m taking advantage of my free heat. I’ve promised myself I will not wear sockless shoes to work without first shoving them in a bag, and putting on my boots.
I’m investing in virgin coconut oil, vitamins, skin-protecting moisturizer, and tubes of Chapstick. I’m splurging on the aloe-infused tissues. I’m making a conscious effort to drink more water. I already scheduled a botanical hair treatment for January.
I’m rediscovering the beauty in thigh-high wool socks and my snuggly ass robe, and how well they pair with my lace underpinnings.
I solemnly swear to warm my car for 10 minutes on days where my breath is more visible than the Earth. I also solemnly swear to participate in winter things, like sledding, ice-skating, snow-shoeing, and hot chocolate-drinking. Spiked; I can’t do this alone.
I will not apologize for openly berating the humans that leave their holiday lights on until March, and I will allow myself, though sparingly, to bitch about the dirty brown snow that muddies the streets.
I promise to give this winter a chance.