It’s Not Cool to be Cold*

I. am. so. cold.

I feel like there was no gentle transition into winter this year. It was rainy and fall-ish for so so long, then all of a sudden… BAM. A wee taste of January two months early. It was -19C when I left for work this morning. I bundled up and sang along to Christmas music on the radio to try and keep warm, but I swear I didn’t feel the heat come on in my car until I was already halfway to work.

At least the sun is shining brilliantly, even though it feels a little deceptive. While I was driving home at noon the sun was so bright and hot in my driver’s side window that I swear I was getting a sun burn on half of my face. And then I stepped outside and got frostbitten on the other side.

While I was waiting at a red light near the school I had just left, I saw a herd of teenage girls walking back towards the school. I was in my vanimal with the heat on high, rocking out in my parka, headband and leather gloves and I was still cold. These girls were wearing thin green army style jackets, zippers open, no hats, no gloves and jeans that had more holes than jean. I was so cold just looking at them.

I remember that eternal struggle when I was in high school: to be warm, or to “look cool”? Obviously it’s cool to look as if the weather doesn’t bother you… frostbite goes with everything. I feel like kids today (oh my, I just said that. I’m officially OLD) have way more options to have stylish outerwear that I did. Remember the one piece snowsuits? Or the enormous black Sorel boots? Or the huge buckskin mittens that were the only thing warm enough to survive the walk to school when it was -40C out?

My favourite was having to leave early enough in the morning so that I could leave time to run to the changeroom and put my makeup on at school. If I tried to do it at home, then the mascara would run everywhere when my eyelashes inevitably froze together while I walked.

Sometimes that feels so surreal to me. I grew up in a place where it was normal to walk to school in -40 and have your eyelashes freeze together. Northern Ontario is so lovely. <3

So, as I sat bundled up in layers in my cold car, I knew there was no way those girls weren’t freezing. They still had a good 10 minute walk back to school and I hope they could still feel their fingers when they got there. It made me glad that I’m past that phase… but mostly it made my grateful to have a mom who taught me that it was never cool to be cold. I proudly wear my random collection of winter wear and laugh it off. I’ve made some improvements since my one piece snowsuit days, but as long as I’m toasty and warm, that’s “cool” enough for me.

 

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