To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the house 60 seconds later. Apparently, it’s not enough that we shovel a path out to the yard for him when it snows. Now he wants the path peppered with heat lamps like the fancy people in L.A. have when they eat out and the temperature dips below 70.
On the flip side, though, one day I accidentally left a bag of refrigerated groceries in the car and when I came down the next day, all the food was frozen, so I guess there’s that.
When we had first looked for a house in the ‘burbs, I was actually the one to push for a place where we would have a change of seasons. But when I said a change of seasons, I meant spring, summer and fall. Not that other time of year when my driveway turns into frozen tundra, my neighbors construct an igloo on their front lawn and my friend Nanook invites me to go to our local lake to look for narwhals.
Not being completely frozen-hearted, I do actually appreciate a good snowfall and am just as excited as the kids when they suggest we build a snowman. Of course, when I say “build a snowman,” I mean, they go outside and freeze their patooties off while I sit by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa and watch reruns of “Baywatch.”
Clearly, many people have higher and lower thresholds for temperature comfort than I do. My parents, who live in Florida, put on their winter woolens when the temperature dips below 65. My friends who live in New Hampshire think spring has arrived when the temperature rises above 34. My comfort zone is actually between 70 and 72. If you weren’t counting, that means I’m happiest when it is 71 in the house. I’m so sensitive to this, in fact, that if my husband lowers the temperature by one degree, I will insist that he change it back or I will bury us beneath enough down comforters that he will wake up in the middle of the night wondering if he had been smothered by Jabba the Hutt. He may, in fact, be the only man on the planet who prays for his wife to go through menopause so I will have my own internal source of volcanic hot flashes.
Meanwhile, back at the North Pole, my husband suggested we go skiing for the weekend. To be honest, I don’t actually ski. I slush. I have heated boots, mittens and a heating pad that goes on my bottom. The result is that when I ski, I leave a stream of melted snow in my wake so that the next person behind me can actually water ski rather than snow ski. Still, there are some temperatures that even I won’t venture out in, because, seriously, who in their right mind would think it’s fun to propel yourself down a mountain with 25 mph winds when it is THREE degrees out? I thought about it for three seconds–one for every degree it was outside–and then I emphatically told him he was out of his mind.
In all honesty, there are really only three situations when I would go outside if it were 3 degrees out:
1. My house is on fire (and even then, I would probably stay longer than I should to enjoy the warmth of the inferno).
2. My neighbor’s house is on fire (and then I would just usher everyone into their emergency igloo).
3. I was captured by the Abominable Snowman, which would be OK as long as he keeps his house between 70 and 72.
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