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The Column

It’s Getting Less Cold in Here
3/14/04

We are now significantly in the month of March. Or as it was called last year, February Part II – This Time, It's Personal.

Last March was terrible. And last April and May weren't much better. This March, however, isn't as bad in most places. March first in New York was actually t-shirt weather. Last March first, the only way you could get away with wearing t-shirts in New York was if you sewed them together in a quilt.

I don't know what last spring was like in the rest of the country. I also don't know what last spring was like in New York, because we didn't have one. Last year, winter lasted from October to May, with a few blasts of Super Winter thrown in. Super Winter, for those of you who do not follow the latest developments in the weather community, is a genetically altered version of winter, imbued with the power to freeze your patooties off.

I do not want to get too excited about the weather being warmer than it was a few weeks ago. In all fairness, most ice cubes are warmer than it was a few weeks ago. But I can't help get excited at the thought of being able to wear my leather jacket again. It is warm enough to put away my big poofy winter coat, a garment that is as dorky as it is useful, and it is extremely useful. It makes sense that something that keeps me very warm also prevents me from ever being cool.

I have been a New Yorker long enough to know that the northeast gets one more shot of cold before everything warms up for real. It has often snowed after March 21st, which is unfair because that is supposed to be the first day of spring. If god wakes up in the morning and wants it to snow, he ought to look at a calendar. Making it snow in spring is like wearing white after Labor Day – you're just not allowed. Which makes things difficult for god since, according to movies, he wears white constantly. (As an aside, how much fun would it have been to write "for god's sake" in that paragraph?).

I am a big fan of warmth, which makes winter difficult for me. This year, I spent a month of it in Los Angeles. I know, I cheated. But it was for a good cause. Cause I didn't want to freeze my patooties off.

Where are your patooties, anyway? Men and women both seem to have them, and they're plural, meaning they are not your butt. Unless a patootie is a butt cheek. Whatever it is, I freeze mine off constantly.

My final two years in college, I tried a different kind of cheating by getting to spring a week early. I went to spring training in Florida for spring break, figuring that by the time I got back, it'd be warmer. No. By the time I got back, it was just as cold, albeit later in the year. But it felt even colder since I'd just spent a week in shorts.

And then it got worse. Mid March is when it's still cold but all the landlords shut the heat off since it should be warm by then. I was left shivering, having to do all the schoolwork I didn't touch while on break, with no patooties to be found anywhere.

There are people that purposefully live in Vermont and Washington and (gasp!) Canada that deal with cold a lot more than I do. My worst winter probably pales in comparison to their best, though anyone who gets as little sun as they do pales in comparison to anything. There's a reason why people in North Dakota and Minnesota have those accents. Because their mouths are frozen about a half inch narrower than everyone else's. There's also a reason they call it "pop." Because saying the name of their states taught them that words rhyming with "soda" sound funny coming from people whose mouths are frozen about a half inch narrower than everyone else's.

My mocking aside, I do have a great deal of respect for anyone who lives in any of those places. I respect anyone who knows how to put snow chains on a car, who considers fifty degrees spring, and who can deal with cold on such a regular basis.

But not while they're wearing those big poofy winter coats. Those just look silly.

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