Posted By Kristabella 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.