Winter Wonderland

Posted By on November 12, 2008

It’s winter here in Chicago. Yes, I know the calendar and the equinoxes say it isn’t so, but yesterday frozen moisture was falling out of the sky. (I mean, I am pretty sure it was sleeting. I don’t think the birds were tapping on my window to say hello.) When rain freezes, it’s winter. I won’t mention that it was like 75 degrees 10 days ago. Because that will make me sad and make me put my flip flops on out of reminiscing. And it is cold in here and I like all 10 toes that I have.

Tuesday night I was walking around outside, for no good reason really, just to spin around in circles and stare at people passing by and celebrate the awesomeness that is the iPhone. I kid. No, I was walking down to meet Rhi for dinner. And as I was walking in my wool coat and gloves and hat, in the freezing rain, I realized I hate rain in the winter. (Again, know it isn’t winter. But it is cold enough to be, calendar be damned.) Seriously, if it is going to be in the 30s and be cold enough to snow, I prefer snow. There, I said it. At some point if I’m wearing a winter hat, I want it to protect me from snow. Because if you’re wearing a hat and it is cold and you need the warmth for your ears and forehead, rain is no good. Why, you ask? Because then you’re wet AND cold. Which is a BAD combination. Because if the rain is freezing, that means at some point, your cold, wet body might freeze into a giant HUMAN ICICLE!

Anyway, so as I was walking to meet Rhi, I realized how much I’ve changed since I’ve moved back to a colder climate. I lived in either Arizona or California for 10 years, going back to when I was still a teenager, so when I moved back to Chicago in March of 2005, I was unprepared for cold and snow. In fact, on my drive from California to Illinois, I didn’t even have a snow brush. Which meant, when it snowed 6 inches overnight when I stopped in Montana, I had to clean it off with the arm of my jacket. WITH NO GLOVES! I swear, it was like I didn’t grow up in Chicago AT ALL.

Since I’ve been back, I have had to re-acclimate myself with winter coats and scarves and gloves and hats. I admit to being a stupid teenager and not wearing hats and gloves when I was in high school. But then again, I didn’t have to walk very far in the cold. Yes, I’ve been lazy since then.

Now it is a different story. At the very least, I have to walk outside to my car, which is usually a block or more away. And if I take public transportation, there is walking to the bus or the train and then the WAITING in the cold. And let me tell you, you haven’t felt cold until you have to stand on an elevated platform waiting for your train in January with wind chills below zero whipping in your face and right through your soul.

So now, I am prepared. I am prepared to the point of unfashionable. Because in the middle of January when you are walking around outside, or waiting for a bus, you want to be as warm as you can. It isn’t possible to be that warm when it is -25 outside, but a good coat and a good hat can go a long way.

I look stupid in ski hats. I know this. But I have also learned, this is the best way to keep warm. Because I like my ears and I do not want them to fall off. When I first moved back, I went to Target and bought the cute hat and matching gloves and scarf. And then January came. And that hat didn’t cover my ears and I almost became Vincent Van Gogh. AND NOT BY CHOICE.

So then I grew up and threw fashion out the window. Because that tacky Chicago Bears hat I have is the warmest I own. And you know what? I WEAR MITTENS! Oh yes, I do. Because they keep your hands warmer! And I wear a big, long down jacket. I look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. If he was a Bears fan wearing MITTENS.

And I don’t care. Because it keeps me as warm as I can be. Because during Chicago winters, warm trumps cute, every time.

Oh, and Rhi and I had a great time at dinner. We talked and drank lots of beers. It was teh awesome. She needs to move here now.

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


23 Responses to “Winter Wonderland”

  1. Kathy says:

    Oh goodness! I felt so envious reading that. I want the cold to come! It’s supposed to be in the 90s tomorrow. I don’t want 90s! I want 50s! Or lower! Something so I can wear my Uggs! Mmm! Snuggly warm!

    Kathys last blog post..Late Night Post, Early

  2. Mahnee says:

    I’ve lived here all my life but there are some years you’d think I was dropped here by some aliens. Like last winter when my boots sprung a leak and I didn’t immediately go & get a new pair. NO MORE!!! Two pairs of snow boots this winter and a new down coat for the really cold days. They’re coming. I just know.

    And that rain the other day….I got drenched in it down to my sox walking home…and haven’t warmed up yet!

  3. Charmed says:

    I also have a long down filled coat that I love. I look like an ass but I don’t care. I’ve already had to wear it so I agree with you. IT’S WINTER!

  4. I feel you on this one. Boston winter weather has finally arrived and I’ve stopped wondering whether I can wear a black coat with my brown pants, all I care about is not getting frostbite on my way to my car.

    nancypearlwannabes last blog post..Testing… Testing…

  5. Bailey says:

    So true. Every year I’ve lived in Chicago I look more ridiculous in the winter in my quest to stay warm. My coat has gotten longer and puffier. I also wear mittens–totally hideous but super warm shearling mittens. At least today will be warmer.

    Baileys last blog post..Yesterday

  6. Michelle says:

    I used to have boss who said the dorkier you look, the warmer you are.

  7. I don’t know how you do it, but I don’t think I could survive a Chicago winter (yes, winter, if it snows, it’s winter!). And hey, how exciting is it that BlogHer will be in Chicago for 09?!

    La Petite Chics last blog post..Exhaling…

  8. whoorl says:

    Oh, how I DON’T miss Chicago winters.

    (You gals are super cute.)

    whoorls last blog post..My current crushes

  9. barbra says:

    What’s a snow brush?

    For that matter, what’s a coat?

    barbras last blog post..Vet bills and strep throat

  10. Lori says:

    Since moving from CA to AZ I have so many cute jackets and scarves that I can rarely wear anymore.

    KJ, if you get too cold, you can always come visit me! Lola misses her BFF. It’s going to be 85 all weekend. And I’m not bragging about that because I really want it to be cold. But like 50s cold, not teens cold.

  11. witchypoo says:

    You forgot ugly boots. Warm and waterproof. They do not make cute warm and waterproof boots. Uggs? Merely warm and ugly. Need waterproof. Ask your resident slush puddle.

    witchypoos last blog post..Mining the Search Strings

  12. JRM says:

    I honestly can’t think of anything worse than that 30-40 degree rain. You have my condolences.

  13. Corey says:

    With weather like that, I can’t fathom why Rhi wouldn’t want to move there ASAP. I could never live there. I thought I was going to die when I moved to the north part of my southern state!

    Here’s to you being warm all winter!

    Coreys last blog post..Angelina Jolie in Cloche Hat

  14. Giggle Pixie says:

    Okay, I’m laughing WITH you, not AT you, but ohmygod I’m laughing my ass off at this post. You’re right, it IS winter. We have had the sleet and rain a couple times here already. Tuesday it was horrible, the sleet actually HURT when it hit you.

    But what really makes it funny is that hubbs grew up here, same as me, but then went to Oregon for college, then to California for many years, then to Arizona for many years (sound familiar?) and only returned here after his divorce 6 years ago to be near family again. And he’s so fucking spoiled that even after 6 years of Hoosier winters he STILL whines every time it sleets or snows or the temperature goes lower than 50.

    I feel for you both, ’cause I understand your pain. But it still makes me giggle. Just a little. 🙂 Yeah, I’m a bitch.

    Giggle Pixies last blog post..The Cutest Little Lemonade Award

  15. OK, that is almost my worst nightmare. I just don’t get how people live in places that (a) you KNOW get butt-ass cold in the winter or (b) have a whole SEASON for tornadoes, hurricanes or some such thing that can relocate your house. Y’all are strange.

    Can you tell I’m from CA??

    thecoconutdiariess last blog post..It’s The Crazy Ones That Have the Good Pills

  16. Melissa says:

    OMG, this is so funny! I just bought a trendy winter jacket and I’m so going to freeze my ass off this year…but I’m going to look damn good doing it! 🙂

    Melissas last blog post..Another Hopeism….

  17. Carri says:

    Brrr baby!
    I was there in November a few years ago and watched my nephew play football at Lake Forest.
    I swear it is the coldest I have ever been 18 degrees and not even a dozen beers could warm me up.

  18. Ree says:

    Oh sure. GREAT way to sell Chicago.

    I wonder if I’ll be able to get my Chicago coat out of the closet this year?! What about the Chicago boots that came home with me last week? Oh noes! I have a whole Chicago wardrobe that those of us who don’t walk anywhere just look stupid in.

    Rees last blog post..Cars – Past in Polaroids 12

  19. Crikey Cold….bugger.

    (Totally off the subject, shocker..: I’m trying to figure out your celebrity-twin and it’s driving me absolutely bonkers! Who have you been told you look like???)

    The Over-Thinkers last blog post..Hangin’ (Tough) with Over-Thinker. That’s right, I went to a NKOTB concert. Jealous? No? Suck it then.

  20. Jessica Bern says:

    It is going to be 94 degrees here tomorrow (los angeles) it is unnatural and believe it or not I miss winter, yup, I do. Why? Cause I look waaayyy better in my winter clothes.

    Jessica Berns last blog post..WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?

  21. Angella says:

    Aw, two of my favourite girls!

    Cold rain is the WORST. SO FREAKING COLD.

    Angellas last blog post..On Adultery

  22. Rhi says:

    All I know is, next time I come to Chicago, I’m packing effing socks.

    Rhis last blog post..Not a stitch to wear, NO REALLY