Tuesday, October 04, 2011

10 Things About Right Now (As Soon As I Stop Shivering)

I have tried to listen honestly but sympathetically all summer long while the nation wept at high temperatures, high humidity, and high dudgeon. For a girl who just about finds her groove at 85F I felt I didn't get much of a summer. I spent a week in CA just when it was getting good on this coast and came back to that wicked uncertainty of cool mornings, blazing noons, and roulette wheel evenings.

This week I have heard the refrain, "Isn't it lovely?" countless, teeth-gritting times. "What a great day!" they trill as I pull my hands up into my sleeves to hide their bluish tinge. I'm going to try pretty hard here not to complain, I know there is so much worse on the way, but here are 10 Things that happen for me when the weather gets like this.

1. I can't get out of bed on time. It's dark, it's cold, it's probably wet. I should get out of bed earlier because there are more clothes to be donned before heading to the park but I the dread won't let me.

2. I can't get out of the shower. Despite being late to the park which means late back home which means late to work if I don't hurry the hell up I can't leave the blessed, steamy embrace of my shower. It's cold out there, why would I?

3. I look for excuses to shorten the dog's walks. This is made much easier when one walks a small, shortish-haired desert dog instead of a beefy, all-terrain shepherd. The poor dog is shivering, I guess we must go in. Whew!

4. I use the blankets and robes and throws in my house. City law does not require buildings to turn on their heating until October 15th unless the temperature goes down to a certain level, I think 45F. This is the one 2-week period in the year when my apartment is cold enough for throw blankets and flannel robes over PJs and the like. Of course I'm so cold it means I use all of them at once!

5. I wear my shoulders up around my ears. This is a consequence of telescoping my hands up into my sleeves to keep them warm when it's too cool for comfort yet too warm to justify gloves.

6. I tsk tsk tsk at people wearing shorts, sandals, or the like. I know plenty of people who don't bring out the long pants until it dips below 40F but when I see you just know that I am thanking every deity available for long underwear and wool socks and boots.

7. I (even more) obsessively watch the weather. Everything is so variable that each day requires me to pack as though I were going on a weekend jaunt. Coat and scarf for the morning. Tee shirt and jeans for the afternoon. Light jacket and boots for the evening. This also serves as evidence for why I do not live in San Francisco. You have to pack like that year round!

8. My home is littered with jackets. Rain jacket. Leather jackets. Fleece jacket. Heavy sweaters. Jean jacket. Corduroy jacket. Blazer. Who knows what I'll need for the day in store. Yesterday between dog walks and commuting I needed three different ones (rain, leather, and fleece). In winter there's one jacket. It can double as a sleeping bag when the apocalypse inevitably rains down.

9. My face goes blank and my head points down. I hate to be cold. As much as I hate bananas I hate being cold. It's demoralizing and ugly and painful and just takes so much fucking energy. I use all my spark planning and executing moves to stay warm, I don't have any to spare. (By the by I'm writing this from my office where the AC is still running and I can barely feel my fingers. All summer that's also the case but I can go out and walk around the block to warm up. Now I just have to tough it out or put on the space heater.)

10. I actively think of summer and push away thoughts of winter. I know it's going to get colder before it gets warmer. Memories of having to bundle up in multiple layers plus the sleeping bag coat just to give the dog a last pee dance around behind my eyes but I banish them. Instead I think of how hot it was for those three or four triple digit days and how I didn't even have to turn on the AC this year because the dog was as blissed out as I was. I can't look forward to the time when I am never wearing less than that kid in A Christmas Story. I have to look back. I look back and remember, it's a cycle, it'll come around again.

Can't wait!


  1. I always know, that right at the exact time on the calendar I'm breathing easy, feeling creative and full of power, sitting in my backyard around the firepit and sipping cider...that you're out there cursing and shivering. I hate that for you as much as I love it for me!

  2. I hate the cold too. This morning I really had to question if the ride in was worth it. I was a pop-sickle by the time I made in. But now it's beautiful outside, like 82 or something. My ride home will be perfect. That's the only reason I keep it up.

  3. I live in So Cal and I think it is too cold HERE. I can't imagine what it is like where it ****shudder**** snows.

    I'm with you on the bananas. I sometimes eat them if they are on the verge of greenness, where they have little banana flavor. If they are tinged with brown or mooshy...oh gah no.

  4. In this, at least, you and I are sisters.

  5. Misti, I think if I lived in a place where cooling off at this time of year was more into the high 70s and low 80s I'd be all about it. We ride the line between the mid 70s, where no jacket is required, to the high 40s where I'm about to kick someone in the 'nads.

    Sueb0b, I just gagged thinking about brown bananas. Ew!!!

    Chili, too true.