Sunday, January 23, 2005

Dear Winter,

I've had enough. I hate you. Go away.

When I was a kid, I used to have a certain fondness for you. I would build snow castles outside until my mittens were soaked and refrozen, and I would have to place them on the baseboard heaters to have them defrosted for the next day. I would trudge up a snowy hill in clothing so thick I couldn't bend my own limbs, only to catapult myself down on a thin metal object, knocking down my friends like chubby little bowling pins, and knocking out my front teeth too. And if you were especially kind, winter, you would cause the pipes at my school to burst, meriting us some days off. Or else you would make it too cold to get the yellow buses started up in the mornings. We could stay home to skate on our pond instead of going to school, eating Mom's chicken noodle soup instead of baloney sandwiches, and it was a pretty great trade-off in the end.

But since the age of 12, I've hated you. I look forward to the first snowfall like I look forward to a visit to my prone-to-spasms gynecologist.

I'm sick of dry, bleeding, chapped lips. My house is being overrun with chapsticks. Here's one on the keyboard. I have one in my nightstand, 2 in my purse, 3 in the bathroom, one in the car, one in the junk drawer, one per pocket per winter coat, one in the kitchen, and about a dozen others that seem to go from one location to the next, and almost always end up in Jason's pants pockets, about to get thrown in the washing machine (and worse yet, in the dryer, where chapstick melts, and makes 'artwork' out of all your favourite clothing). I must spend $400 per winter on this never-ending chapstick supply, and still, I smile, and the scab on my lip cracks open, and I'm tasting blood again.

Then there's the toque hair. Now, I don't often wear hats of any kind, especially in the winter. I risk frostbite to my cute little ears, and for good reason: when you take off the toque, your hair is tragically crushed. No matter how long it took you to style it in the morning, it's gone by the time you get to work. All the hair on the crown of your head is flat, irrevocably, but if that wasn't enough, the rest of your hair is subject to intense static electricity, so while the hair on top looks like a helmet, the rest looks like you've recently been spending time a little too close to the sockets. Attractive combination? No. Damn you, winter.

Damn you for the salt marks that eat away at all my favourite leather shoes. Damn you for $800 heating bills. Damn you for Jason's cold toes pressed against my back in the middle of the night. Damn you for the feeling of frozen nostrils. Damn you for tempting children everywhere to see if it's true what they say about sticking your tongue on a pole. It is true. And it's psychologically damaging for the rest of the kids to have to see his/her taste buds ripped off, and left behind on that pole for the whole rest of the winter.

Oh, and then there's the joy of car ownership during the winter. You have to set the alarm early to plug in the block-heater 4 hours before you expect to go anywhere (and if you lose your head and have a craving for a Big Mac in the middle of the night, be prepared for a long, snowy walk to buy jumper cables in the morning). Then, you have to let it run for half an hour to warm the motor, and saying a prayer to the auto god, wasting gas and running up the bill. Then you have to brush the snow, scrape the ice, pry the doors open, and convince your numb fingers to grip the icy steering wheel while wiping your windows clear from the cloudiness that accrues from the fog of your breath. And that's just to get things started. Next you have to navigate the snowy death roads. Now, sometimes we experience 'white out' where you may as well have skipped the clearing of your windshield because you can't see anything anyway. But even in the best conditions, if there's snow on the roads, you can't see the lines. You could be driving down the middle of a road, or not on the road at all, which is more common than you'd hope. You have to constantly fiddle with the buttons, going from heat to defrost, possibly cracking a window just to see even if it lets jack frost nip at your nose. The ass of your car never stops at the same time as the front: you slip and slide, and pray to not die. It's fun, really. And then there were these 2 fun occasions:

1. Trying to turn left at an intersection, I slid right into a snow bank instead. It took forever to back out of it, meanwhile I backed up traffic, people honked (thanks dudes, the honking really helped...there I was, just taking my time, spinning my tires for fun, and your honks made me realize that okay, I guess I should speed things up a bit).

2. Getting snowed in in a parking lot, and having to dig out my tired with bare hands. I had to do it in shifts, burying my fingers in the cracks of the seats just to warm them up a bit.

But still, driving isn't half as much fun as trying to fend off nasty colds and flus. I wash my hands obsessively. I avoid public places. When Jason is sick, I make him sleep on the couch. If someone's nose even looks slightly red, I yell DON'T INFECT ME! at the top of my lungs until said person backs away. And still, we all get sick. We all set aside our Chanel no.5 in favour of Vicks Vapo-Rub (mm, sexy). We carry cough drops and those special kleenexes with the lotion built right in, but it's never enough. It sucks to be cold and sick.

And yet, winter, I have saved my chief complaint for last: wet socks. Dang I hate wet socks. The minute you step outside, you enter the world of frogger. You hop over here, you hop over there, trying to avoid the wet spots, but you can't keep it up forever. Either you let your guard down, or you meet the puddle from hell, that is too large to make your way around and too wide to jump across. Your foot sinks into an icy, slushy, dirty hole of the coldest water ever. Your shoe fills with water, your toes feel like they may fall off, and your socks will not dry out all the day long. You'll have the cold clammy feeling until you can change your socks again, which is a pointless activity anyway. The hamper fills up with dirty wet socks, your sock drawer never has enough warm socks. And even if you manage to make it through the outdoors obstacle course without getting wet, you come in the house, track in snow, take your shoes off...and you have to put those dry socks somewhere. Down, on the wet floor. Like it or not, they're going to get wet. It's going to be gross. Allllllllll winter long.

So winter: take a hint. Take a hike! If you stick around for another 3 months, there's a very good chance that one of us is going to get it right in the ear (and it ain't gonna be me).

Sincerely (I mean it),



Jay said...

Hello Love,

It's about time you wrote a strongly worded letter to Old Man Winter. I will join your crusade right after I find my chapstick. I too have terrible wintery stories, one from today in fact. I wondered out into the coldness, started the car and turned on the fan to full blast. Seems there was a lot of snow on the fan intake and I got a face full of snow, while I was in the damn car! Enough is enough, Winter. Take the hint and move your sorry, no rent paying, eating the last of the good ice cream, fat sorry ass to Delaware.

Yes, I mean you too Mr. Snow Squall, I will kick your ass.


Jay said...

Listen, we both know you're the one who ate the dang ice cream. Fess up and take it like a man!!

Brendon Donnelly said...

spent the weekend in Santa Monica. 67 degrees. perfect blue sky. shorts and a t-shirt.


BeckyBumbleFuck said...

I was listening to a comic yesterday, who went on a rant about Minnesotans who complain about the weather in January. He posed the questions: "Do the people of Maine complain about their rocky ocean shorelines" or do the people of the midwest say, "Why have we moved ourselves to this place of beautiful open plains?" Then how can Minnesotans (and Canadians ;) ) complain of snow.....?
I still feel for you, though.

transience said...

no tank tops for you anytime soon, jay.

Harry said...

We found so many ways to have Winter Fun here in Hoohooville. One is turning on the defrost and watching our windshield explode.

Jay said...

Gee Harry, you should try not to play that game too often.

And Becky, the thing about that is: the shore, and the planes, are a geographical feature. If for some reason you don't like the shore, you stay away from it. It doesn't show up at your door stop, ruin your shoes, cause car accidents and digits to be amputated. Have you ever had frostbite? I have, it hurts. A lot. Have you ever been in a snow-related car accident, where the brakes don't work and the tires keep sliding and you have no control? I have, it's scary. I've also lived through the ice storm of '98, during which the pipes in our homes burst, basements flooded, we went without power for 3 weeks (and we were lucky because some went without for 6-8 weeks), lived in a state of emergency that cost us billions of dollars, and ended up killing thousands of people, hundreds of which froze to death in their homes. So why do you we complain about the snow? It sucks. Just ask poor Harry about his windshield.

Rimmy said...

Heh. For a while I lived way up north, in one of those happy little places where your breath freezes to your face. Seriously. That's why all the men up there affect to wear beards - it's not to keep their faces warm, it's so they can brush the frozen breath away without removing skin.

I never get sick. Nor do I wear a hat. Being a freak of nature helps sometimes.

Of course, here we've been getting rain because it's too freaking hot to maintain snow. The past few NIGHTS at work, it's been 10C. Can you believe it? I'm sweating like a bastard. And watching parkades flood up to the ceiling.

But I wanted to ask you Jay... "thanks dudes, the honking really I was, just taking my time, spinning my tears for fun, and your honks made me realize that okay, I guess I should speed things up a bit"

Can you really spin tears? Is it only honking cars that increase your productivity, or does the honking of geese help too? I've been looking for a hobby, do you have an instructional video?

Winter is only fun in hindsight. And we're not quite over the winter hump yet to be able to look back, damnit.

Jay said...

Thanks for pointing that out, Rimmy.
I meant spinning my tires, not my tears.
Although how I managed not to cry that day is beyond me.

I was 17, and I had just plowed my mother's van into a snowbank. I was blocking traffic and I couldn't get out. The tires were spinning and spinning, I kept trying it in reverse, then in drive, deeper into the snow, trying to find some way to get a grip on wheels while wracking my brain for any helpful driver's ed tips.
Meanwhile, cars were honking at me.
Why do people honk?
It's not like I thought I'd just found some peachy-keen parking spot.
Oh no.
I knew my ass was blocking traffic.
No mistaking that.
I was terribly embarrassed.
The honking didn't make me solve the situation any faster. It was making me panic, and think irrationally, and it has traumatized me for life.
Just so those people could hurry up and get to the Tim Horton's.
I hope it was worth it.

Come to think of it, geese can be kind of cruel too.

Woody said...

People honk because they're too lazy to get out and help. Your rant was right on - winter is getting old. However, it is warming up here. We're supposed to get above freezing for a day or two.

On an unrelated note, I figured out how to put links into the sidebar of my blog, would it be OK to put a link in to Kill The Goat? Thanks - woody

random-girl said...

gosh jay, malaysia has no snow. you think you could send some over? i want to try out that whole pole licking thing for myself, and i've had the same chapstick for almost 2 years and it's still not finished. i'll trade you with some heaty tropical sun, and as a bonus, i'll throw in some coconuts - with the pretty little cocktail umbrellas too. deal?

Kris Singleton said...

Poor me, I wish we got snow.....:D
I've never even seen it!

Our winter is almost exactly like our summer except cold, with a colder, drier wind, but just as sunny, which gives you the impression you are getting ripped off.

Monica said...

the weather is the same here!!!!

and yes I'm addicted to chapstick, and chapstick like products....

I have them EVERYWHERE also, in my car ashtray, my pockets, my purse, my old desk at work used to have a million, I cant find my favorite Root beer Float anymore(anothr brand)!!

When I went to the 90% off store closing sale recently I stocked up on 20 cent chapstickish stuff, some other brand but I DIDN'T care!! I bought 15 of them!!!!!!!!!

Vics said...

heya, I did pop back in to say 'cheers!' for that lovely comment you left me - thanks to you I am now once again whole *grin*
But winter - yup, sux the big one. I'd recommend vaseline over chapstick for cracked lips though - much better (though not as tasty).

Kelly said...

But since the age of 12, I've hated you. I look forward to the first snowfall like I look forward to a visit to my prone-to-spasms gynecologist.

that comment made me spasm. ouch!

and yet another comment in the chapstick comment section: i have lots of lip balm too. i have it everywhere. beside my bed is the easiest to find. the other locations are often forgotten. i keep one, always, in my arm. sometime when i switch up arms, i put it in my purse so i have one with me. this morning on my way in, i forgot if i had switched or not switched. i gave the arm a good ol' shake and heard the reassuring clunk clunk of my lipbalm in my forearm.

i love how weird that sounded.

winter will soon be over. although i am am enjoying my intentional fish-tales. they make me giddy. and the other drivers nervous.

if you turn up the volume and look manical enough, they tend not to honk. or you tend not to hear it.

but, in all honesty, drivesafe!

JeN said...

Jay, you've summed up a good ol' Canadian winter perfectly (good thing you don't live in Nunavut or something).
I'll admit, I'm addicted to Chapstick year-round so obtaining more isn't too much of a deal for me.
Why does snow have to look so pretty (while it's still white and not that gross slushy brown) when it's really the Angel of Death?

Cal the Wonderdog said...

"Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours"

Don't know who said that but I know there is a little llaso apso down the block that would have even harsher words for winter. But because he is has these violent shakes everytime I see him walking around the block, its hard to get a bark, ruff, or butt-sniff out of him edgewise.

Yesterday while I was playing in the snow, he walked by and I thought I heard him say something like:

"f-r-r-r-i-c-k-k-k-k-k-i-n-na-na-na c-c-ca-col-d-d-da"

Then he slipped on his butt on a patch of ice and his human carried him home - what a wimp. Anyway thanks for sharing your thoughts on Winter, I'm glad you enjoyed it when your were younger, it really can be fun sometimes.

But most of all, I'm a bit concerned about your gynecologist. Don't you think you should get one that isn't prone to spasms? Just looking out for you on that one.


Monica said...

HEY!!!! Brendon Donnelly


you havent read the news headline

"Weekend Blizzard Linked to 16 Deaths"

I'm in NY and just got done digging 21 inches of snow away from my car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jay said...


Monica, thanks for stepping in for me there.I am having trouble posting comments to my blog, and on others, and things were getting lax. Way to take care of that.

Woody, above freezing, eh? That's dangerous; around here, when the temp dips over the 0 mark, people start walking around in shorts, and that's how you "catch your death".

Idalisa, Ooohhhh, tropical sun. Yeah, I could use a vacation right about now. Feel some sun kiss my skin, I need that, and I totally love those little umbrellas!

Kirs, shuttupa yo face.

Kelly, I remember the rattle of your pencil in your arm. I would say that sound-memory is big time linked to the old high school days.

JeN, yeah, you always make the mistake of thinking how romantic snow looks...and then you pull your back muscles shovelling it, and you've got 4cm of vaseline accumlated on your lips, and it's not so romantic anymore.

Cal, my doggie Mabel used to have this leather coat that she loved to wear in the winter, it was lined with leopard print, very class for a cockapoo, I assure you. But I was wondering: what is your take on doggie boots? They seem to walk so funny with them, I know it throws them off, but is it better to keep those toes warm, or is it not so much an issue? I think some breeds have more sensitive pads than others...and some dogs are just wusses. What's up with that?

BeckyBumbleFuck said...

Hmmm, well, the comic was actually *funny* when he did his little skit on winter complaints from people up North, apparently the way I wrote it, it was not.
But, I *do* sympathize with you! I lived in Rochester, NY for the greater part of my life: through the ice storm of 1991 (where we too were out of power, for us it was 10 days, I believe, although more for other people) and through more than one ice/snow related car accident. Last year Rochester had the most amount of snow of any US city.
Anyways, cuddle, drink cocoa, keep posting, girl.

Cal the Wonderdog said...

Ok - I'll give you my thoughts on dog booties if you'll you give me your take on this:

Now, on dog booties. I come firmly down in the camp of those who believe they are for wimps with a couple of exceptions:

1) I am pro-dog booties if you happen to be talking about booties that are good to sniff and happen to be on other dogs (you knowm-sayn, come on girl)
2) I am pro-dog booties if your neighbors insist on throwing that salt crap on their sidewalks that get stuck between my pads and start eating away at my flesh

Ok, there you have it. Now about your views on the "Bad women drivers/hormone linkage" . . .

Thanks, Cal

Harry said...

Just to say we, or I rather, played only once, J.

And then I shall forgo the open opportunity to fill this sterile box with any sorrid comments about Blogger and it's slow-ass connections today, since I am tiring of hearing so many others bitch about it.

Na, I'll wait until things slow down before saying Shitfuckpiss.

It is tempting, though, I hafta admit.

flannila said...

Just how cold does it get over there? I've heard stories of it being below 30 degrees! I whine when we get to minus 8!

Jay said...

Hey Becky, I was mostly just teasing you in my reply.

Harry, way to show some self-restraint.

Flannila, what a name by the way, totally pimpin, and yeah, here it gets in the -40s with the wind chill, which is brutal, but it's worse in western Canada, in the prairies, I've heard the windchill drop it to I count myself lucky! This is why Canada has so many great attributes: our government knows it has to do something to keep us here! Although, I have family in B.C. where it is sometimes cool, mostly rainy, but they never visit us in the winter because they don't have any proper winter clothes. This country is screwy.

And Cal, well, what can I say? I can't believe that my site now has references to dog heinie! And as for that article, well, that's interesting. I tend not to put a lot of stock into studies comprising only 40 student volunteers, not exactly random sampling, or very deep in scope, but then, I've done too much research to let that slide. Plus, it also went on to tell me that my fingers indicate that I am a lesbian! I wish! Not to mention that my mother is the most aggressive driver you or I will ever meet. Well, maybe not driver anymore. She had a hearing with the dmv about losing all her demerit points, so possibly her license has been taken away. But still...