Saturday, February 14, 2015

Zero Dignity Cold

Today (or yesterday, since that’s when I went grocery shopping) it is -34c/-29F with the windchill.

There’s an extreme cold alert issued by Environment Canada.

It’s stupid cold. Make your face hurt cold. Exposed skin freezes in minutes cold. So cold your frozen fingers fail to register on touchscreens as human skin.

Or, as I call it: zero dignity cold.

What does that mean exactly? Well, aside from encompassing the descriptions above, it’s so frigid that anyone not wearing a hat or coat or mitts stands out, receiving shocked glances and—if the person in question is a child in the schoolyard—looks of horror and pity on their behalf.

(Let it be noted those children are hassled by present adults to zip coats and put on their hats/scarf/mitt/insert-cold-appropriate-gear-here. Usually these kids are making executive decisions outside of the realm of their parents’ gaze. In the past I’ve contacted the school regarding serial offenders and their possible lack of owning winter gear in the interests of anonymously gifting them some, to be rebuffed by administration. Then there’s also the parenting philosophy of giving their children access to abundant gear yet, “if they want to freeze, let them. They’ll learn.” I prefer to browbeat my children into their gear. It’s a parenting choice I own.)

My point is that anyone not dressed appropriately for the weather stands out. It’s expected. It’s natural. If you’re bundled you blend.

This translates to public dress in that when you’re outside every adult is interchangeable unless people recognize your coat/hat/sunglasses, etc. Seriously, no exposed skin. We’re covered, except for maybe a band across the nose and cheeks.

(A girl's gotta breathe.)

So. Don't know what I'm wearing or what I'm driving? You have no mother-loving CLUE who I am.

It's freeing.

And when you’re inside? Like say, grocery shopping, or at work? Well, everyone has toque head. Don’t bother doing your hair—your 'do will be frizzy, or staticky, or dented from perpetual hat head. Might as well succumb to a ponytail until we can all see grass again.

Hell, even makeup is sandblasted off your skin in the extreme wind. Eyeliner and mascara smear or run when your eyes drip from the cold, and your cheeks glow with a natural blush thanks to windburn. So why bother?

Yes, you will run into everyone you know. Get over it. They don't even notice. Trust.

Out and about sans makeup with pony-tailed toque hair. This is an everyday winter occurrence.
And there’s no point in trying to look slim and sexy. Big clodhopper Kodiaks or Merrells are what keep you warm, not thigh-high leather boots—unless you’re pulling snowpants up them, anyway.

The accidental cell phone shot that inspired this post, as I'm swish swishing my snowpanted way through the grocery store. (Yes, everyone hears me coming a mile away.)

Nope. No sexy boots. It's sensible all the way. There’s no cute-to-look-cute coats, either, unless you want to freeze, they won’t fit over the rest of your gear. Any cold weather lovers, survivors will tell you you need to dress in layers.

Daily I wear a long sleeved tee, under a short sleeved tee, and a hoodie over all. Oh, and a neck warmer. That I wear to bed. I have four identical black and grey fleece neck warmers I rotate through the laundry and perpetually sport.

Read that again: I sleep in a neck warmer in the winter time. THIS IS NOT A JOKE.

That’s some sexy, folks, just ask Mr Lannis.

In -34c, I wear snowpants whenever I leave the house.

Whenever I leave the house.

This is the rule.

So, when driving the kidlets to school and then heading out grocery shopping? Oh, I’m absolutely wearing my snowpants (regardless of the fact that I'll likely be inside businesses over an hour at a time). And likely two pairs of pants underneath: leggings and plush sweatpants.

Literally three pairs of pants, and one has an insulating layer.


You know what? No one cares.

Zero. Dignity. Cold.

Bad hair. No makeup. Bulky clothes.

And that’s the norm.

So this? This is the upper tray of my shopping cart. My mitts. My infinity scarf, my hat, and my Tim Hortons steeped tea (it's Roll Up season—j’ai gagné un cafe!), and below in my bin of reusable bags: my purple winter jacket.

Not pictured: my sunglasses.

Because zero dignity cold generally comes with one upside: it’s so damn blindingly bright you can’t help but enjoy it.

Well, if you're dressed right...

No comments:

Post a Comment