Dig Baton Rouge

Shedding our winter coats

Whether passing a stranger or trying to fill an awkward silence with acquaintances, the weather is still the most cliché of talking points. Lately though, the weather has actually become an interesting topic.

Instead of being mundane, the weather has become more like a Spanish-language soap opera character: a dramatic and fickle mistress.

After missing a shift of work due to our “snow day,” I felt left out of all the weather gossip. My next day back I couldn’t wait to hear all the tales of road closures and treacherous commutes. All my coworkers and I literally gathered round the water cooler to talk about the weather.

As someone who has lived in a colder climate, I feel somewhat guilty about my preparation for this unseasonably cold winter. Most everyone I know has been struggling with their thickest pea coat while I’ve been bundled up in my sub-zero sleeping bag jacket and knee-high Uggs.

I don’t like cold weather. After five years of being in New York, I can say that definitively. Though I might have a leg up on the wardrobe, I no longer seem to have the cold weather stamina that was once necessary for me to survive this weather. I’m back to being a winter wuss once again.

Some people just aren’t meant for cold weather – the same way some sweaty-folks just shouldn’t live in warm climates. I don’t think it’s an acquired attribute, but rather something we’re born with: in our blood and DNA.

Some of us are lucky enough to be born in our perfect climate. Living up North I realized my body works best South of the Mason-Dixon line. I’m not saying Louisiana has the most perfect climate. The humidity and constant pressure changes certainly wreak havoc on my hair and sinuses. Still, I’d rather be sweating than stuck under a blanket any day of the week. Even a Snuggy gets in the way every now and again.

Humans are like dogs. Some of us are just built to thrive in certain climates. When you look at a husky in Louisiana during the summer you just can’t help but feel sorry for it. It’s the same way you looked at that one guy in high school who always wore shorts and flip-flops in the dead of winter. Just move to Colorado already, weirdo. You’re making people cold just looking at you.

It’s a different type of person who loves the cold. I noticed that New Yorkers seem to be go-getters types, much more than Southerners. It’s not just because they live in a huge metropolitan city and probably moved there to pursue a lofty dream. New Yorkers do more before they leave their tiny apartment than most Louisianians accomplish all day – just because it’s cold.

A New Yorker has to choose pants, a shirt, a sweater or warm layer, a jacket, a hat, gloves, at least one pair of socks and an optional pair of long johns. Plus, these items all have to be somewhat clean. And if that New Yorker is a woman, then all of these various items have to match. And you wonder why so many New Yorkers only wear black?

It’s just too difficult to start the day in cold weather. I love living in the South for many reasons, but mainly because I hate restrictive clothing and picking out socks. This yo-yo weather is killing that for me.

Each day this winter has been so vastly different from the next that it’s almost impossible to prepare. My dirty clothes bin from the last two weeks contains halter-tops and thick cable knit sweaters. The Latina mistress strikes again.

When the winter blues starts to hit, remind yourself it’s only temporary. Despite what that stupid groundhog said, warm weather is on the way. We’ll be complaining about the summer heat before you know it. And hey, at least we’re not in Russia.


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