A question for the rest of you suffering through this cold snap: Do you wear long underwear? I do. I’ll show it to anyone who asks, too. My January/February life got measurably better when I came to terms with winter and started wearing long underwear.
I used to own a red wool/flannel union suit from L.L. Bean (in fact, it could be this one), until I washed it wrong and it lost its shape. I liked it because you could throw it on with a pair of jeans on a Saturday and, theoretically at least, go out and run errands. If you got too hot, you could unbutton a few buttons at the top, for that Northern Exposure Vixen look. Yes, it was utterly unfashionable and fairly ridiculous, but man oh man, it did the job. I bought it after a winter trip to the Upper Peninsula, where everyone has one or two.
Of course, today we have miracle fabrics, and I have graduated to Patagonia Capilene separates, medium-weight. I wear them — bottoms mostly — anytime the temperature dips into the teens. Dog-walking is misery without them; going out in jeans alone exposes half your body to the elements with only a thin layer of denim between them. We top-load our winter dressing because, as we’re reminded by helpful newspaper tip boxes every year, you lose heat through your head. OK, so wear a hat. But don’t forget your butt, either.
I bought Kate a pair for last Christmas. To date, she has worn them only on her head, for laughs. She’d rather die that put such a thing on her body.
I should probably have waited another 20 years. That’s how long it took me to come around.
One more tip: Lands End, L.L. Bean and lots of other mail-order houses offer flannel- and fleece-lined jeans and chinos this time of year. They are…heavenly.
This concludes today’s edition of Too Much Information.
Day two of the no-school freeze-out. Hey, that’s OK — I have nothing important to do, just report a story and get into my essay-writing head for something that’s long overdue. And someone’s calling for a get-acquainted professional chat, so I have to sound wise and with-it and all the rest. That should be easy to do with squealing cabin-feverish children stampeding through the house.
Something else I’d really like to do this week, while conditions are right: Go for a walk on the lake. Nothing crazy or stupid, just a little shoreline amble to see the majesty of winter whipping through the Great Lakes. With subzero temperatures at night and nothing above the mid-20s forecast for the rest of the week, conditions should be ideal. If I fall through a soft spot and die, please don’t read this at my funeral.
Of course it’s cold, but be strong: You could live in Washington D.C. Everything’s relative — nothing like a few subzero days to make 20 degrees feel positively Floridian — but man, getta loada this:
The National Weather Service said today could be the coldest day in Washington since Jan. 10, 2004, when the mercury dipped to 8, which was the chilliest reading in the past decade. Such conditions can cause frostbite and hypothermia, forecasters said.
Well, yes, I guess that’s true. But wearing clothing (see above) can be really effective against such threats. Read the story, anyway; the word “cold” or “coldest” appears 14 times, mostly in quotes where people express the idea that it is, indeed, cold outside. This is why reporters hate to write weather stories.
Zero-gravity catfight! What happens when two astronauts vie for the romantic attention of a third? Me-ow!