Thursday, December 9, 2010

Help Me Help You.

Happy fucking Winter.

Let's not shit ourselves, it can be awful.  I like to bitch as much as the next person about the blustery midwestern winter months, but in the past 24 years of enduring such trials and tribulations, I've come to semi-appreciate them and realize that this season is survivable, albeit not for the weak of heart. Relish in its eery beauty, warriors of the cold!

As a sort-of self proclaimed expert on cold weather survival for those eternal summer-y bound souls such as my own, I've compiled a list of guidelines to ensure this season causes you the least amount of misery possible.


Practical footwear is a must. While heels are more likely to get you laid than say, winter boots, save them for the big-ticket nights like New Years Eve, not every day attire to the office. That's actually the only night I can think of in the winter where I will be caught in footwear that isn't amply insulating my little tootsies from the cold. And that's only because NYE is magical and based soley upon drinking heavily and looking past the previous year's shortfalls with actual full hearted intent to do it better in the next 365 days. But seriously, no one at the office gives a shit what you're wearing on your feet unless you're Lauren Conrad circa Teen Vogue internship years. Get over it. (Is it just me, or was she an intern for an abnormally long amount of time?) 

Baaaaaack to my point, this advice is two-fold, so read carefully. Not only will it be worlds more difficult to feel sexy with a body covered in bruises and a black eye to match from getting schooled by a common and treacherous patch of black ice, the likes of which seem to coat every surface this time of year, but it's also not ideal to lose a toe or two to frostbite and end up looking like a past-prime ballerina come the elusive warm-weather months. Trust me, people will notice a marked difference in how much more pleasant you are to be around now that you've switched to wool socks = people will like you more = I just helped you become happier and more popular =  you're so welcome.

 Liquor. Drink lots of it. This should basically be self-explanatory. Shit keeps you warm- Or at least makes you feel warmer. I'm not sure which is more scientifically correct or more accurate, but it's pretty much a proven fact, so la la laaaaa do it. I prefer whiskey because it's potent and because I'm a total badass, but really, anything over forty proof in semi-large quantities will suffice. Just don't try to go the rugged route and wander outside to pee on the side of a house, passing out with your pants around your ankles in negative ten degree temperatures. Those kind of choices cause those who care about you to panic, and it's how people die from exposure.... you know who you are and you're still welcome for that rescue, by the way.

Shower strategically. I'm serious. It's cold, wet hair is miserable. Emerging from the steamy bathroom after a hot and emotionally fulfilling shower into the stark and freezing reality of the rest of the house is possibly the worst feeling in the entire world. My solution? Cut showers out whenever reasonably possible. I submit to the philosophy that the hair grease freezes therefore rendering grease a non-issue. Plus it's cold so you sweat less, right? Right?!

Keep your living area colder than is really comfortable. Honestly, wear a sweater, it's not going to kill you. There is logic to this. It's freezing outside. If your body is always just a little miserable, it will just get used to it and protest less when you subject it to the actual cold temperatures of the outdoors. Also, you will have less of an excuse to hole up in your little caves and cease to really live while the temperature is below freezing. Miserable is a state of mind. Keep it moving.

I hate douchebags who are too cool for hats and gloves. You look idiotic. Wear them.

One of my favorite things about colder weather, or maybe the only thing that I find actual joy in during the winter is layering. OMGZ eye lufff ewe, LAYERZZZZ.  God. Layering means you basically have 4+ outfit options ON YOUR BODY at a time. Choices are timeless. Choices are priceless. If you get hot in your layers, BOOM, take off a shirt and you've got a new look AND a new temperature comfort threshold. Cold weather makes it necessary and acceptable to pile on as many clothes as possible, hiding bodily imperfections and leaving a lot of body shape and size to the imagination. It's like saying,  'Oh, I'm really a size two, it's just these layers I have to put on to keep my tiny, taut, and slim little body warm that give the illusion of bulk, fooled ya!' Layers. Fuck, yeah.

Embrace the sport/outdoor activities that winter has to offer. AKA Snow, WTF?! Awesome. White stuff that falls from the sky in totally unique shapes. Yes, please. I don't know if people realize this, but when you're moving around, getting your heart-rate up, your body temperature actually rises as well, making you way less cold. So do it! Make a snowman, sled, hit the slopes for some ski or snowboard action. That shit is actually fun and will DEFINITELY take your mind off how depressingly cold it is.

Hot tubs. Hot tubs were created for this time of year. You know that semi-weird gal or fella on the outer cusp of your friend group? The one whom you vaguely remember once, in a poor attempt to win you over, mentioned their parent's hot tub? Friend them on Facebook, IMMEDIATELY. This person will be your new best friend until the weather breaks. You probably think I'm kidding. I'm not. They were the ones who brought it up first! Hot tubs = drinking in hottubs= hot tub parties with partial nudity and warmth= oh hello, unaldulterated glee, I haven't seen you since the temperature notch dropped below freezing, WELCOME to my hot tub party.

Cuddling. Cuddle up with your honey, cuddle up with your pet, cuddle up to a mildly desperate stranger if you have to; cuddling in the winter beats the shit out of shivering yourself to sleep under 89273489374 blankets that cumulatively weigh enough to crack your ribs and somehow manage to provide you with little to no actual warmth until you finally get comfortable and then, BOOM are hit with the sudden need to pee. Just me?  Plus cuddling in the winter isn't ridden with sweat and misery from the heat of bodies and the overwhelmingly stifling temperatures of the summer months in the midwest. You'll be glad you did.

Learn your car's ability on ice and err on the side of overusing the 4WD. Or, if you're a complete ass-hat behind the wheel, avoid driving to avoid pissing off a million people every time the slightest amount of snow falls. DO NOT PANIC. Also, pump-up music doesn't hurt. Try Hockey, they're pretty jazzy at that sort of thing.

 Don't become an amateur photographer this winter. It's annoying. Yes, yes, I get it, you're overtaken with creativity with the barren and desolate beauty of the season. I don't care. Now is not the time to decide you've discovered your inner artist at dawn at the community park while I'm trying to get my dog-walk on. EFF OFF.  This piece of advice is really more for my own benefit. Thanks.

FIND A HOBBY. Porn and lottery tickets don't count. Other than amatuer photography, the sky is pretty much the limit. Don't live your life by the commute to and from the office until late March. THAT will surely make you go crazy.

Good Luck, God Speed, and You're Welcome. 

XO Sara

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