One year, I had tickets to both the Bears and Cubs home opener. The day of the football game, it was 105 degrees on the field. The baseball game? Was snowed out. We know the weather is bipolar in Chicago, but somehow we are continuously surprised by it. “I don’t remember it sucking this much last year. Was it this hot last year?” “Remember last year on this day, when we went to the beach? Why is it snowing? WHY???” We have approximately seven days a year of perfect weather, and generally even those are marred by the impending bitchfit we know Mother Nature is brewing. Oh, are you enjoying this unseasonably warm day in March? Opened up all of the windows and pulled out the grill in anticipation of an early spring, didja? I have two words for you, losers. WINTRY MIX. What? You’re surprised? Don’t worry. I’ve got a tornado I’m working on for next week that’s going to make this miserable shit seem like rainbows and sunshine.
That being said, this winter has been particularly brutal. Snowstorm in January? Not surprising. Wind chills of negative 40? That’s new. And being that it’s only January 9th and we’ve already had nearly two feet of snow and several days in which Alaska was enjoying temperatures 30 degrees higher than here, I think we have a legitimate argument that spring should probably start next week. Here’s a couple of signs the weather is winning.
You Have Worn More Than One Pair of Pants. To Work.
I don’t generally even pull out a coat until it dips below 25 or so. This year? I had seven outfits on at the same time. Once arriving at work, it was like the unsexiest strip show ever - and I wasn’t alone. The whole office was like a graveyard of outerwear. Boots strewn about, sweatshirts laid out on desks, extra socks under desks; coats, scarves, and hats ripped off haphazardly to counteract the 80 degree difference in temperature between the ground floor and the 29th.
Every Single Person You Know Has a Cold.
Coughing, sneezing, sniffing, that gross clearing of the throat and sound of snot in Kleenex – these are your days now. The only place I’ve found to be comfortable is in a sweatshirt, yoga pants, thermal socks and slippers on the bathroom floor with the shower running full stop to create my own personal sauna. Sometimes I bring whiskey to make it a party.
If You See That Post About How Beautiful Chicago Looks Under Ice Posted One More Time, You’re Going to Punch Someone.
So many of my social media friends – currently not in sub-zero temps but instead in places with reasonable weather like California and the South Pole – posted this article this week. Yes, it IS beautiful. Unless, perchance, you happen to be attempting to walk through it. Then, you can’t stop to admire the beauty. You know why? Because YOU’LL FREEZE TO THAT SPOT FOREVER if you stop moving for even a second.
Ditto to the “Chiberia” Folks.
Just, ugh. Fucking stop it already. That’s worse than “Chiraq.” Sometimes I hate Twitter.
Your Kitchen Floor Looks Like This.
You’re About to Spontaneously Combust At Just About Any Second.
It’s so dry in your house/apartment/workplace due to the constantly running heat that shuffling along the floor on carpet is a deadly game of Russian roulette – the next thing you touch might be your last.
You’ve Developed a Love-Hate Relationship with Your Mode of Transportation.
I can’t speak to those of you poor souls trying to drive in this nonsense. But those of us taking the CTA have developed a drug-dealer-like dependency on our bus drivers. “Please, please, please, be on time, you miserable f-ing piece of garbage. Please. I’ll be nice. Please just show up. Please don’t make me wait out here longer than three minutes, you f-ing jerks.”
You Forgot How to Walk Like a Normal Person.
Anyone who has thought that they were walking on innocent snow or slush who has violently found the black ice underneath is terrified of it happening again. So we all walk gingerly, which, in boots, is more of a slow uncoordinated clompstomp across the street. Walking the full block and a half from the El to work becomes a terrified mantra of “Don’t fall don’t fall don’t fall don’t fall WATCH OUT SEWER COVER don’t fall don’t fall don’t fall please please don’t fall.”
You’ve Done This. Or At Least Watched a Video of One of Your Friends Doing This.
For those of you lucky souls who aren’t currently dealing with Mars-like temperatures, this is what happens when you throw a pot of boiling water into the air when it’s 14 below. (Also, yes, I am considering a second career as a cinematographer, how did you know?)
Gray, Dirty, and Wet is the New Clean, Shiny, and New.
Nothing you own will ever be the same. The slush alone is enough to ruin the best of pants and shoes, no matter how hard you try. Just let it go. You need all of your strength just to not fall on your fucking head and break every bone in your body. Everything is ruined. We’ll start again next year.
So thanks, Polar Vortex. For making us appreciate this so very much more.