Friday, February 7, 2014
Well, here we are. The cold and slushy slog that was January has ended, only to welcome another round of Polar Vortex-inspired ice storms turned more slushy nastiness. It seems like it's never going to end, that we'll be knee deep in snow until next winter and never again get to feel the warm sun on our bare shoulders as we lay out in a verdant park as puppies and children frolic nearby.
For a while, I thought I was alone in my winter blues. I assumed that everyone else was doing just fine, prancing along on snow-covered streets and not minding at all that we were immersed in yet another single-digit-day. So I did what any self-respecting almost-30-something female would do - I took my frustrations out on my boyfriend by yelling about something completely silly and unrelated, cooked a "won't you please forgive me?" dinner, then finally got my act together and realized that the best way to beat cabin fever is to just get out of the cabin. I put thumb to phone and asked to hang out with my friends. And you know what? It worked. Really well. I learned that we're all having a heck of a time this month - no one ever really likes an icy blast of arctic chill to the face, not even those tis-the-season-winter-wonderland-let's-go-skiing-type people. Over cups of hot tea, giant bowls of steamy ramen, and $1 lattes, my friends and I did what we humans do best - commiserate over the weather.
In doing this simple act of gathering and conversing, I slowly started to break through my funk. Nothing magical or life-changing happened while hanging out with my friends - but I came to understand that like most things in life, this weather is temporary. Before you know it, we'll be complaining of the heat wave/massive subway rats/omnipresent garbage smell and dreaming of cooler days. So in the meantime, we soldier on. We put on extra layers. We drag ourselves over the ice and into the bagel shop for freshly baked breakfasts. We put on more layers. We appreciate the beauty of an ice-covered tree in a snowy park. We simmer winter vegetables for hours on the stove, relishing in the comforting tastes and smells that come from a homemade soup. We snuggle under the covers, using the cold as an excuse. We add that final layer that turns us into a cross between a burnt marshmallow and the brother from A Christmas Story. And we take comfort in knowing that every person on the street wearing two hats, four sweaters, and three pairs of socks looks as ridiculous as you feel.
Stay warm, my friends.