Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter is the graceless season.

Those of us who labor under wintry skies know that to truly be warm, one must dress in layers. There must be an undershirt, thermal pants, a shirt, a sweater and for me, a hoodie then my coat. Actually I don’t have an actual winter coat; I just have a thick jacket that I bought in Vegas for $20. It’s thick, made of some strange fake velour and I’m happy with it. I don’t like to spend money on outerwear; it’s the optimist in me. Winter will only be three months, why buy clothes that I can only wear for brief time? So I have a baseball-type jacket which I can wear for several months, fall, winter or spring. I add a thick hoodie in the winter for added insulation.

I bring this up because by the time I get out for the day, I feel like a bumbling, stuffed sausage. Sometimes, if it’s really cold, I wear double socks; don’t laugh until you’ve walked in my shoes. That’s where the gracelessness begins.

How do you swing your arms in careless abandon as you walk down the street feeling the sunshine on your face? Your arms are in a permanent position of being stretched out, bending them is a feat of strength and the only thing exposed to the sun, if you have sun that morning, are your eyeballs.

I have a knitted sweater hat (handmade by mom) that is itchy and scratchy and makes me look like I have a really big afro hair do with no forehead or eyebrows. The hood comes over that and the scarf that has stretched out to 4ft long (It’s my homage to Doctor Who-although it isn’t multicolored) wraps around my neck twice. Effectively cutting the range of motion for my neck, with the hood narrowing my peripheral vision, when I turn to glance around me, my shoulders have to rotate completely. It’s a bitch when I drive. When I drive, whatever freedom of movement I could pretend I had is effectively taken from me.

So inevitably, when I get out of my car, I do my version of ‘spilling out’ I open the door, release the seatbelt and roll sideways in a 360°. When I am on both my feet, I am facing the back of my car, as if that’s exactly how I wanted to be. Two days in a row, I have caught my seemingly growing scarf in the seat belt and any movement to straighten out jerks me back towards my car as if I’ve just been clotheslined.

Then as I grab my things and stumble in the parking lot, spinning around to make sure no one saw me, I have to watch the ice patches or I will do a double back flip and an inadvertent roundhouse flying kick that results in my landing spectacularly on my back. Which I have done before as someone (a stranger) who was heading towards me, simply walked over me as I flailed like a turtle stuck on its shell. At that time, I had on a backpack full of books which cushioned any actual physical damage. Then it took some tries to get back up before anyone else saw and try to regain my dignity.

Winter is a graceless season where one learns that embarrassment is one snow boot away.


  1. smiled and giggled. reminded me of growing up in indiana. great imgages!

  2. Yikes! This is funny and scary.... it is right that I do not live where it is that cold. I commend your bravery for facing the elements. ;)