Monday, February 05, 2007

Brrrr!

I hate being cold. Even in the summer, I often wear a sweater because the AC is too chilly for me. One would think that my plentitude of body fat would insulate and warm me, but that isn't the case at all. I own a lot of sweaters, thick socks, and wool scarves/wraps and I tend to dress in layers. We keep afghans and blankets on every sofa in the house even though the house itself is quite warm and comfortable. Even still, my butt is often as cold as a Butterball turkey. I'm sitting here right now, wearing multiple layers and -- I am not making this up or exaggerating in any way -- I actually have the neck of my sweater pulled up and over my nose and ears.

Pete of course doesn't get it. He wears shorts, even in January. Of course, adorable dork that he is, he often wears the shorts with a flannel shirt and his ski jacket -- his concession to winter weater. Hey, how he dresses does not reflect on me personally.

Graceful understands my plight, because she is often cold herself. She starts wearing fleece pullovers and sweaters on about September 1 and doesn't put them away until at least mid-May. These days, she leaps out of bed in the morning and quickly dresses in fleece or flannel pants, a turtleneck , and a sweater or fleece pullover before coming downstairs for breakfast. That girl has a lot of fleece in her wardrobe.

Elegant understands cold weater but prefers to dress for style, because, hey, if you look good then you feel good. So one day last week she prepared for school by wearing a terrific t-shirt, thin leggings, and those marvy sequined shoes I wrote about in another post. Pete and I told that she'd probably get cold on the walk to school since it was 28 degrees outside and that she might want to consider dressing more warmly. She ignored us -- natch. I could have made her dress more warmly, but 1) she has a great winter coat to protect her when she's outside and 2) she needs to learn the consequences of her actions. About two minutes into the 10 minute walk to school, she was complaining mightily. At least she looked fab.

It was 14 degrees when we walked the girls to school this morning. Do you know how cold that is? I thought the skin on my face was going to calve like a glacier. I think my nose was running, but I'm not actually sure because my face had no feeling. When I breathed in, I could almost feel my lungs crackling from the cold. My lower face was so numb when I got home that I couldn't speak clearly. I sounded like a drunk Paula Abdul during a radio interview.

Our bedroom is on the chilly side, but we manage to stay warm. In addition to the flannel sheets and heavy quilts layered princess-and-the-pea style on the bed, I have a spiffy new electric blanket, which I ratchet up to H ( for "hellfire") when I put the girls to bed so that the bed is toasty by our bedtime. Then I dial the blanket down to L (lukewarm, duh) for the night. That, plus the warm body in the bed next to me, and I manage to get through the night without developing hypothermia.

With this current cold snap freezing Virginia -- yes, I know, it's called "typical February weather" -- I've been whimpering a lot lately. I realized this weekend, however, that I really don't have it quite so bad. Some neighbors moved to Vermont this past fall and were down for a visit this weekend. Our weather felt, um, almost balmy compared to what they're dealing with. It was -10 one morning last week when they left to take the children to preschool and go to work. Yes, you read that correctly. Negative. Ten. Farenheit. That's 42 degrees below freezing. It takes a solid ten minutes for them to bundle their kids to go out. It's like the scene in "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie's mother gets Randy, the little brother, ready to go outside. He has so many thick layers that he can't put his arms down -- they just stick out to the sides like a snowman. So I guess I can't really complain about our weather.

I just checked the weather forecast for tomorrow. It's going to be four degrees at 8 a.m. when we walk the children to school. Let me repeat that: Four degrees. And, it might snow tomorrow evening.

I think I'm going to stay in bed all day.

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