Monday, September 14, 2009

Have an Ice Day

Some people say everything is relative, and I tend to believe that myself. And really, I can think of no example in which it is truer than when it comes to weather.

Think about it: 58⁰ sounds great in January, but here in the midwest, we’d recoil in horror and crawl back under the covers if we hit 58 in August. Sure, we ride the roller-coaster of highs and lows, but we generally enjoy a reasonably pleasant climate.

Yet the truth is, I am a complete and total weather wimp. I bundle up if it's less than 65 or 70 degrees out, and I'm miserable if it's over 80. If I were being totally honest, I'd have to say that I'm only actually comfortable in about a 7-degree range of temperature. This is not to say that I'm a complainer about it; I tend to try to keep this under wraps, so to speak. But that does not equate to happiness, or even a modicum of comfort.

It’s the norm for me to find myself surrounded by people wearing much lighter attire than I am. At home, I’m the one in the turtleneck under a sweater with the aptly-named warm-up jacket over it. The hubby’s in shirts sleeves, asking, “Is it warm in here?” It is not.

On one of our recent days of record-setting warmth, I noticed that I was hurrying in to the supermarket because I was only wearing a light jacket, while others were sauntering through the parking lot in tee shirts and shorts. And yet, during air conditioning season, I don’t even dare to venture into the frozen food aisles. If I’m in shorts, and I absolutely must grab a bag of frozen peas, my teeth chatter and I morph into a Mom-sicle. I guess my internal thermostat is out of whack.

In February of this year I flew out of town when the mercury read 34⁰. Not bad for the season, certainly when I look back at the record setting low temperatures accompanied by ice and snow which we had experienced only a few weeks earlier. All the same, I wore my heavy winter coat. Of course.

My first flight took me to Las Vegas. Upon landing, our pilot announced that it was 63⁰. A collective gasp was heard. The couple beside me began to strategize their move into survivalist mode. They were Vegas residents who had thought they would be coming home to warm weather. I thought 63 was warm for February, (or as close to warm as I’m likely to get), but to these Nevadans, this was a serious cold snap.

“Are they nuts?” I thought to myself. “They don’t know what cold really is! They should experience the joys of a Midwest winter, complete with below-zero wind chills if they want a real blast.” I personally frown upon the grousing types. (After all, we are here to judge.)
As I took a seat in the airport awaiting the next leg of my trip, I couldn’t help overhearing several more conversations about the unexpectedly cold temps. Again, my inner voice piped up. “Geez, Louise, don’t these people know when they’re well off?” I wondered.

When we lined up for boarding, I found myself next to a couple from Iowa, who had also been on my first flight. They were rolling their eyes and laughing about the "weenies" who think 63⁰ is an emergency situation. I laughed along with them, and agreed that they didn't know what 'cold' was.

Ninety minutes later I deplaned in Sacramento, my destination city. Temperature: 60 degrees. Conditions: sunny, with a light breeze. My daughter pulled up at the curb to greet me. She was dressed in a business suit and heels. I was in wool pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a wool cardigan sweater, and my heavy coat. Zipped up. All the way. She looked at me and said, "Your winter coat? You’re in California!" I know, I said, but it's three degrees colder than Vegas.


  1. My family glaze over when I talk about the weather - and I don't work well in fahrenheit either.

    Let's just say that I like it hot and we're just leaving winter now. Let the good times roll!

  2. I'm one of those rare birds that just take what is given to me, weather wise that is.
    Except for the hot. I don't do hot. Like 90 and over hot. That kills me. But everything else? Bring it.

    Winter coat in Cali? You definitley stood out as a tourist!

  3. HAHAHA...I love to be warm but have a huge affinity for coats and never really gets cold enough here for my entire collection. My Hub wants nothing more than for me to rid our garage and its three closets of coats I never wear. LOL. I think someday...someday it will get chilly enough.

  4. I think you would DIE in utah!!! DIE. Most days the temp changes 20 degrees...

  5. This made me laugh. Having grown up in Southern California, it is a state of emergency when the weather rises above 80 degrees or below 65. Needless to say, I am a terror when living or traveling anywhere else.

  6. This is awesome. I've been known to break out my (faux) fur coat once it dips below 50, so I can relate.

  7. Haha.

    You'd die in Wyoming then. Our temperature fluctuates on a daily basis and it's windy as heck here.

  8. I think one of the miracles of nature is how the climate works. We have fall and spring to gradually get us acclimated to the changes in temperature. Our bodies definitely get used to whatever it is. I can't stand the stifling heat of summer, though. It gets above 90 here for most of July and August and stays there. But the humidity is the WORST. You can't even breathe!

  9. Hey.... I want you to be my first feature blogger... I want to send you a list of questions... you answer them send them back.... me turns into a blog.

  10. You are so right! It is all relative. I hadn't thought of it like that before.

  11. I agree with you.
    I laugh at you.
    I picture you as Diane Keaton, sporting gorgeous turtlenecks in warm weather, so you can't fault me for mocking your winters.
    I'm from Northern Wisconsin living in Southern Illinois now.

    I barely exit my house in July and August, yet I wear a jacket in the AC.
    I make HILARIOUS remarks about hanging meat in the sub-zero supermarket, movie theater, etc.
    Hilarious, I tell myself.

    Hey, are YOU the Leah Rubin that won the Erma Bombeck writing competition?
    How cool is that? Way to go.
    Who WOULDN'T get some mileage out of that?
    Write ON!