Dear Chicago Winter 2014,
I’ll start by admitting that I am a winter wuss. Born in Nigeria, a tropical climate, I see no reason for temperatures to ever drop below 65 F (or 18 C). And even then, that would be a cold day. Sure I didn’t live in Nigeria beyond 4 and a half years and indeed you can take the girl out of Africa, but you cannot take Africa out of the girl. Or her affinity for warm temperatures. But I also know that even the die-hard, perplexing human beings who claim to love winter, are tired of this shit.
As I write this, it is 9 F and it FEELS like -2 F. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “It could be worse. Remember when it was -40?” Yes I do, at least in theory. I remember not going anywhere for two days during two different weeks. Well, I had to go to my grad class on one of those nights. And on that night, I remember freaking out/having a mini panic attack because in my 10-minute walk from the L to my apartment, I genuinely believed that I had lost my big toe. This is despite wearing triple socks, long Hunter socks, and Hunter boots. Sure you could say I was overreacting, but I am still going to blame my irrational thoughts on it being so damn cold.
Your first problem is the fact that you exist at all. But whatever. I have lived in the Midwest for almost seven years, and clearly I must be a basketcase to choose to put myself through this. (Rest assured you are a major reason why I know my days in this wonderful city are surely numbered.) And I have learned to accept that you are a part of my reality now, but I did not sign up for these apocalyptic temperatures. THIS IS THE COLDEST I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. And I believe I speak for everyone who is under thirty years old. As well as the Lincoln Park Zoo polar bear.
I knew I should not have had any hopes at all but last winter you were tolerable, and in 2012, you were G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S. I remember it being in the 80s F that year on St Patty’s Day. Granted your much more good-looking sibling, Spring, might have decided to take over the reigns early that year. (How is Spring doing by the way?) This year I have no illusions; you will likely feel like -10 on St. Patty’s because you tend to get extra shitty on holidays. Now while you are not keeping Chicagoans away from enjoying holiday celebrations or weekend festivities, it is more or less a moral debate deciding to go outside these days – to the gym, to the grocery store, etc.
Did you really have to start in November by the way? (To be honest, I was already cold in September.) But is this some kind of sick-twisted plan to ensure that we never wear anything but puffy coats, and boots that feel like a 10-minute workout to take off? And let’s talk about the fact there has been no respite! Well, apart from that one day when it was in the 30s, and I was seriously debating whether to go to the lake and play beach volleyball. Other than that, you are either snowing like a banshee (a phrase that I am still uncertain as to what it actually means) or it is so bloody cold that my tear ducts are producing tears after 5 seconds of being outside.
All I’m saying is you’re basically ruining my life. And everybody else’s. I get it; technically it’s partially “our” fault because of climate change. But I recycle, I don’t have a car, I use reusable grocery bags. Why must I suffer with all the plebes who choose to be in denial about the fact you’re pissed. I AM A GOOD CITIZEN OF THE EARTH. Please stop punishing me. I am tired of freezing my ass off. I’d really like to run outside again. And be able to wear TOMS. And drink Moscow Mules in the appropriate weather, on a rooftop. So in a nutshell, if you could go straight to hell Winter 2014, I’d very much appreciate it.
p.s. The first person to complain about the heat this summer is getting punched in the face.