Today’s the kind of day when the snot in your nose freezes when you take your first breath outside.
So you wrap a scarf around your neck and mouth and breathe through your mouth, not minding too much the taste of polyester, or the fear of breathing in one of those little balls of fabric that congregate so happily in the dryer lint-screen. Better to breathe in some warm lint than ice-cold air. After a while, you notice that the outside of your nose hurts; it feels as if the wind has encrusted it in ice. As you continue walking, you notice that now you don’t feel your nose at all. It’s a welcome numbness that takes the place of where your nose used to be.
Keep walking. You notice that the wind is whipping through your legs, just below where the coat covers, and even though you have warm, thick sweatpants on, they are no match for the arctic chill. Suddenly you notice that your fingers have a thousand tiny pins prickling your fingertips and kick yourself that you wore your cheapo $2.99 gloves instead of the nice “Made in Norway” gloves that are home collecting dust in the basement, inside a Rubbermaid container. You move your fingers to circulate the blood again, but the needles still hurt and now you notice that the previously frozen snot is now beginning its descent down the inside of your nose, and do you have a tissue handy, or did you use up all the paper towels while cleaning up the dog’s poop from the side of the road?
You see a neighbor pull their car into the driveway, but you speed up your steps and pretend not to see them. This is not a day to be chatting outdoors while standing still. By now, your toes are starting to complain because they have been shoved into sneakers and not boots, because you are so tired of wearing boots and sneakers are more comfortable, but as the little dog in 101 Dalmations said, “My nose is froze, and my toes are froze..”
Thankfully your ears are not cold because you are wearing your Whiteface Mountain hat, which you overpaid $40 for in May of 2013 in Lake Placid, when it snowed there but the locals were all wearing shorts. You get nervous when you wear that hat some places, because with all the racial tension in the country, you get afraid that someone may not have heard of Whiteface Mountain, and may misconstrue the meaning of “Whiteface” sprawled across your forehead.
You finally get back to your driveway and even though Bailey pulls on the leash because he wants to take another lap around the cul-de-sac, you pull back tightly and let him know that we are going into the house, sorry but there’s no compromising today, and you’re already spoiled enough and I’ll give you cheese if you just let me get in the house without a tug-of-war.
The first stop inside the house is to the bathroom to grab toilet paper to wipe your nose, as you forgot to buy tissues again, and the water-repellant sleeve of your coat just won’t do. It is a warm 65 degrees indoors, but the sudden change in temperature feels like a hot flash, and you begin ripping off your outer clothing and dropping it in a pile by the door.
But this too shall pass.
Stay warm, my friends.