First, I would like to state, for the record, that I am not under the influence of any mind-altering pharmaceuticals (legal or illegal) as I write this. I hate winter as much as any sane person. Here in the northeast, we are about to have our first snowfall. In October. True, it’s not a “real” snow, but it is a dark omen of a dismal future, and offers the perfect opportunity to commiserate with fellow winter-haters.
If you are not an Eskimo, you have only one word for snow. Me too. It consists of four letters, and I’m not allowed to use it here. I know it’s probably hard to tell, but winter is not my favorite season. That’s not true. I despise winter. That’s closer to the truth, but not quite right. Winter is the seasonal equivalent of a double date with Dr. Phil and Lindsey Lohan. If you live in the northeast, and you have even a speck of common sense, no further explanations would be necessary. Especially by end of the first week in March.
But perhaps you’ve never experienced an actual winter. You think it’s (gag) pretty or something. Or maybe you think you like winter because you have that beautiful snow globe sitting on your mantel. In your Miami beach house. Whether you’ve gotten too much sun or been hit in the head with too many snowballs, allow me to state the obvious. Winter blows. It is also, as we know from bitter experience, unavoidable for most of us.
My intention was to write an article about 19 things to love about winter. I do like a challenge. It turns out, however, that I must first express my dislike for everything about it. I think they call that fair and impartial reporting. Or bitching in print. Either way.
The things I hate about winter include, but are not limited to:
Sliding into snow banks.
Skidding into signposts.
Sliding down icy stairways headfirst. Ice belongs in margaritas. Ditto for salt.
Slipping off the sidewalk into traffic.
Shoveling, scraping, salting, forgetting the salt.
Falling down (In front of witnesses).
Freezing or forking over the massive amounts of cash required to heat the house.
Stepping out of your winter boots and into the melted puddles of snow you just tracked in.
The total and utter lack of not only the feeling in your extremities, but of all color whatsoever except every shade of gray, a color which, it turns out, is a synonym for the word depression. Perfect.
Nose icicles, perpetual goose bumps and static electricity.
Blizzards, black ice, and that the season of winter is three times as long as every other season.
And, if winter is not punishment enough, every winter hater is plagued by at least one sick, twisted individual who actually loves winter. Sub-zero temperatures turn them into ruddy, giddy morons. They don’t even twitch at ominous predictions of week-long Nor’easters. They think driving on icy roads is fun, and they voluntarily subject themselves to 60 mph winds, dangling in mid air just to slide back down the side of some mountain. Sometimes they do this several times in the same day. I know. I’m shaking my head too.
We all know there are more than 19 things to hate about winter, but now that I’ve gotten some of them out of my system, we can move on to the 19 things there are to love about winter. There is always, as my uncle used to say, something to be happy about if you’re an idiot.
Even for non-idiots, however, the simplicity of walking into your warm, welcoming house provides a whole new level of happiness in the winter, especially after you’ve been right outside your front door, frantically searching for the house key you just dropped in the snowbank. (Anyone who’s ever done this knows exactly what I’m talking about – give me a needle in a haystack in a nice warm barn any day.)
I must also say I am thankful every single day of winter for the plethora of innovative designs that radiate, retain or transmit heat – woodstoves, wool socks, electric blankets, mittens, ear muffs, Dunkin Donuts’ pumpkin spice coffee, car starters, and warm blooded people who smell good and like to hug.
Getting into your flannel pajamas at 4:30 in the afternoon and not feeling one bit guilty because it’s already too dark to see anything and too cold to go anywhere.
The grass stops growing, the weeds die and you, as the homeowner and by association, seem less lazy.
The mosquitoes die. All of them. At once. It’s hard to ask for more than that.
The air conditioner stays off, and the arguments about whether or not it should be turned on end.
Baseball season is over.
Leaving your shades down all day doesn’t get you labeled the neighborhood weirdo.
You can’t see what your weirdo neighbors are doing because they have the decency to leave their shades down all day.
Ugly, comfortable shoes come back in style for six months.
Bulky sweaters conceal the results of chocolate related sins better than bikinis.
There is a total lack of sweaty aftereffects to snuggling on the sofa.
Hot chocolate (preferably with some form of alcohol for the additional, internal warming effect.)
Simmering homemade soup on the stove all day.
Taking pictures of winter scenery. From the car, with the zoom lense and the heat on full blast.
Your boss tells you to stay home or sends you home early – a big kiss to bad weather and wimpy bosses.
The first snowfall. On Christmas Eve. That’s kind of pretty. Everything looks new and clean and sparkly. Then, ten minutes later, it doesn’t.
Snow angels. There, call me a hypocrite, if you must, but I will voluntarily fall down into the cold, clean, fluffy white stuff, let the ass of my pants soak up the icy wetness, and make a fool of myself flapping my arms and legs. Unless I can talk someone else into doing it for me.
In conclusion, I do want you to know that I have not actually converted to one of those winter-lovers. And barring an accidental lobotomy by Frosty the Snowman, it’s doubtful I ever will. I must confess the very best thing I’d truly love about winter in the northeast: free airline tickets. To anywhere south of the equator. I hear it’s summer there. Maybe we can get a group discount.