Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cold Hard Facts

I don’t want you to think that I hate winter. I really don’t. But February is about the point in the year in New York when dramatic frustration starts to set in. Here is why.

The cold is getting annoying.

I know I don’t live in some frigid place like Chicago, or Canada. You guys have it way worse. I get that. But it’s all relative, and as far as New York goes, the last 2 weeks in this city have been frigging freezing.

All this super bowl coverage of Miami isn’t helping either. I wake up and watch a special report from the pretty people pool at the Fufu Shishi hotel with all these tanned and glistening bodies in the sun.

 And then I go outside and the cold hits me in the face like a frozen punch of awful.

It’s been so cold in New York lately people won’t even walk down the streets. They are outside mind you, but they aren’t walking. They are running. But not just running, they are running down the streets screaming curse words at the top of their lungs.

Specifically the F word. That one is extremely popular.

So I’ve started doing it too. I first tested it out in Chicago over New Year’s. And let me tell you, it really does help. In fact while you are doing it, it feels kind of cathartic. It is the only thing that makes sense when it gets this cold outside.

Before I go any further I would like to tell you about a scale I have invented to determine how cold it is outside. The next time you go outside start counting. The amount of seconds it takes you to curse is equal to how awful it is outside.

If it takes 10 seconds it is pretty bad outside. If it only takes 4 seconds, it is really bad.

I went to a play last week with some friends and we had a dinner reservation at a restaurant about 5 blocks away.

Well I couldn’t even count how cold it was outside because before I even left the theater I was swearing up a storm. It was so $#&@%’n cold I thought about just lying down in the street and calling it quits because I didn’t think I could make it.

But I didn’t call it quits. I started sprinting and shouting. And in my sprint I passed other people doing the same. We were like a bunch of screaming fireworks passing each other the middle of the street.

But it’s not just the weather itself. Cold all the time always, ok, it’s awful. But it is the putting on of hats, gloves, dickeys, etc. that I find so exhausting.

Here is what you need before you leave the house in the summer.

Step 1. Get dressed.
Step 2. Leave the house.

I remember finding out that I had gotten a scholarship to Arizona State University. Tempe is known as the Valley of the Sun and temperatures regularly reach 115 in the summer and winters are extremely pleasant. I remember telling all of my friends that I was getting rid of all my pants. Arizona State University was going to pay me to not wear pants.


A couple winter weeks at home during break was easy. Plus it was Christmas, it was New Years, there were friends to catch up with. And just when the cold started to get annoying you were headed back to school for one of the 330 days of sunshine that Arizona provided every year.

But I am going on my 5th winter living in New York and it sucks. I mean waiting outside on the train platform is enough to make you go crazy. Now I understand why people carry flasks.

Here is what you need before you leave the house in the winter.

Step 1. Get dressed
Step 2. Select coat from your winter assortment.
Step 3. Put on scarf. Tie yourself some sort of Boy scout/sailor knot hybrid
Step 4. Button, zip, and cinch your coat
Step 5. Put on gloves
Step 6. Put on hat

Then you hustle outside, and get in a car or a train where you stay bundled until you get too warm so you take some of your accoutrements off. But then you arrive at your destination so you have to put them on again. So you rebundle and make your way to work where once inside, you unbundle.

I am not even including all the other ridiculous things you need to do like put on skin moisturizer, and lip balm, and special hand crème that smells like something used to lubricate jet engines because your cuticles are shot and its so frigging dry out you’ve got dandruff and your back hurts because you’re a decrepit 26 year old who tried to squat press his friends when he was 15…

Ahem. I digress.

So by 9 am you’ve gotten dressed and undressed like 4 times already.

God forbid you have to go out for lunch, or you need to run an errand. Any trip outside means bundling and unbundling again. And unless you plan on spending the night at work you have at least 1, possibly 2 bundle/unbundlings ahead of you.

By the time you get to the end of your day you’ve bundled and unbundled 12 times. And for what? Just so you don’t die? I’m honestly not sure it’s worth it. I mean that’s like 60 times a week for at least 3 months. That’s over 700 times a season. No wonder everyone is so frigging tired in the winter. I’m surprised more people don’t end up in the doctor’s office because they pulled their “coat muscle.”

And god forbid you have to wear those modern earn muffs they call 180s that wrap around the back of your head. Now admittedly they work, so I own a pair. But so do half the people on the street. They are an awesome invention. But something must be wrong when half the city is walking around looking like they got their head stuck in a clamp.

If I wasn’t so damn pale I would just move to one of those islands in the Caribbean where guys walk around in a bathing suit and no shirt and make a living unloading the shrimp boat.

Granted I’d probably get melanoma after about 40 minutes. So yea that’s out.

I guess I’ll just stay here. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go finish tying my scarf


Travel Bug said...

I couldn't help but laugh when reading that post - it is currently close to 100 degrees here right now!! Ha ha! I did spend a Christmas in Quebec and a New Years in NYC, and although as a tourist I found the snow/cold absolutely beautiful (especially since we don't get snow in the cities here), I can definitely empathise with you on having to live through it EVERY winter! I almost pulled a "coat muscle" in the 2 months of dealing with it - I'd hate to imagine what my chiropractic or massage bill would be if I had to go through the rigmarole every year! Bless y'all over there for putting up with it! You need to plan a vacation Down Under every February! :)

whalechaser said...

Oh Boomka...
Wish I could send you some sunshine from sunny Costa Rica and Florida. the weather here is MUCH BETTER than there...but there are no busy streets and great shows and great food..Well, I think you see what I mean. Every place has its own "pull". There is a lot to be said for not having crumbly cuticles though, mine have just recovered from the December winter weather!

It's All Good said...

I've lived in Florida almost my whole life, but the 2 winters I experienced in Jordan was pretty bad (yes, it snows in the middle east, shocking!) But hey, atleast your not surrounded by old people like me =( (no offense old people)

Pat said...

Oh you poor baby! I thought I'd miss the snow when we started wintering in AZ, but guess what? Not so much! We still fly home at Christmas so I get a dose of it and that's about enough. I'm always cold when we go home those two weeks - I wear long underwear under everything.

Here in sunny AZ, the only muscle I may pull is in my shoulder as I try to rub suntan lotion on my back. :)

Old School/New School Mom said...

You know, I think I may try the cursing while walking down the street. It must be very cathartic! There's something so amazing about the "F" word.

Caroline B said...

It wasn't until you pointed it out that I realised just how many times I must have bundled-unbundled this winter already - that's terrifying! I've not just pulled my coat muscle, it's irrevocably damaged. We have more snow predicted for this week and I'm soooo depressed by the prospect....I'm the lone dog-walker in the blizzard muttering something about the far-canal........

The Girl said...

I've been going through the same thing over here this winter. It's so frustrating though because I walk in to work and I don't know if there's something wrong with me but I get hot really quickly. Like really quickly.

So I put all the stuff on before I go out and then from about the halfway point I start disrobing as I walk along the road, until I'm down to just a tshirt because I'm so hot I want to kill myself.

Although I prefer the bundling and having to take it off halfway home than I do when I stay in Arizona, wear minimal clothing and am still so hot I want to kill myself.

Rowena... said...

I guess building an army of snowmen is out of the question?

Nancy said...

You always have a way with words! I laughed out loud more than once during this tirade. But of course I was also shaking my head in agreement. I don't know why, but this winter is really getting to me too. We have had several feet of snow most of the winter. I also despise putting on all those clothes to go outside. I know I should be walking, but it's hard to walk in snow boots! And I either have too much on or not enough. I've taken to wearing my pink robe as a kind of "duster" - a radical cowboy look. Not a cute one.

Cassie said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! I, too, would have stolen all available candy.

I like your stuff-- entertaining! Good reading for someone who's been cooped up for five days straight.

Kathy said...

Thanks for stopping and commenting on my blog...the "scary" doll head creation! lol'
I am loving my visit, your blog is great fun.
Nice to meet you via blogland.

Anonymous said...

Hi B,

I'm in Canada and it's not bad here--no snow and sunny. Went for a 30 min. walk today and almost got a sunburn! I think you guys got all of our snow this year.
Thanks for stopping by and comments on mine.

Holly said...

Hey, thanks for the comment, Richard! I agree; sounds like the book makes an interesting point, one I've (mostly) been trying out myself.

And good points yourself about the cold. I laughed about the coat muscle...Yeah. Winter is not my favorite time in New York, for sure.

Holly said...

(Oh, and I like "The Sweater"...cute)

charlie said...

remember that for the first time EVER, that i know of in my 24 years, england has had it had bad too. Nothing compared to New York, but as a UK resident, we can't stand the cold, unless it's in summer. We've started calling in 'snowmageddon' check the weather for manchester, england. it would usually be about 10C by now, it's -1c, and lower! we're not used to this! we share your(sort of) pain!!!!