No amount of coffee could get me out of bed this morning. (Okay, maybe it could. It probably could… it definitely did.) But mornings were so much more enjoyable when I didn’t have to unravel myself out of a cocoon that is my bed comforter or face the black hole that is a winter morning. Let’s get something cleared up right away: when cold days encroached on college campuses, you gave yourself the option to cancel your class. You thought, “Hey, attendance points, who needs you? What did you ever do for me?” (They actually probably saved your ass from a midterm, but hey no judgment here.) You could saunter into class a casual 15 minutes later and be relatively unnoticed. But now, now you have to be a human being.
The fact of the matter is, Midwestern human beings really, really like talking about how cold it is outside. I got the go-ahead nod from my boss last night to leave work an hour early, just because it was icy outside. The plus side of this cold weather is that it’s no big deal if you leave your lunch leftovers in the car. Your vehicle is a fridge, to-go. We get to say words that are foreign to people outside the flyover states like, “Sleet.” “Slush.” “Black ice.” We get to take pride in the knowledge that there’s a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. But most recently I’ve just been noticing how snowfall becomes a competition. It could snow all afternoon, but the real determining factor: ”Yeah, but did it stick?”
Most of us are probably still welcoming these first few dustings. By the new year, perceptions of snow will start to shift: Snow. AS IF IT’S WARM ENOUGH TO SNOW. But until then, we can revel in being white girls while we snuggle up in sweaters with Starbucks and romcoms. That is, until you get to the Starbucks drive-thru and realize your window has been frozen shut, leaving you to open your car door and jam yourself between the Starbucks exterior and the driver’s seat in order to get your drink from the barista, baking in his hut of heat.
You’re driving home, sitting on the edge of your seat as your peer through the 1×1 area of your windshield that isn’t fogged up. Is that a red light ahead? Nope. Brake lights. That was close. You take a casual look to your left and see a male figure in the car next to you. A recently pinned image of Ryan Gosling wrapped up in Christmas lights leads you to wonder – who is this potential holiday hottie? Suddenly you’re compelled to open your car door (window is still frozen shut) and offer a flirty, “Hey, how much windshield washer fluid can your car hold?” ‘Tis the season.
Personal side bar: what was with people telling me I wasn’t allowed to be cold because I’m from Minnesota? (Joke’s on you. I’m a Phoenix native.) The fact of the matter is that shouldn’t matter. I don’t give Iowans grief when they’re not constantly gnawing on a corn cob.
Anyway, here are some smart and quick ideas to keep the warmth this bone-chilling season.
1. Put blankets/clothes/towels in the dryer a few minutes before you plan on using them — nice and toasty.
2. Use lotion — even if you’re a dude. Scratch that. Especially if you’re a dude. We like when your beard is scruffy, but we don’t like when your skin feels the same way.
3. Avoid falls — easier said than done. But hey, not wearing Uggs would be a good start.
4. Heat up your car before you get in it — duh.
5. Focus on the good things — hot chocolate, Christmas music/presents/lights/movies, snow days, hockey/”hahckey”, spending extra time with family and friends.