It’s cold outside. How cold is it? It’s so cold, we decided to go to a movie because the suicide hotline told us to stop calling. (I am allowed to make this joke because I am a therapist and understand its ramifications. Also it’s my silly blog.)
It is March second and it is minus 20 degrees outside. The sun is shining, oh yes, but it is for show only. It practically mocks us and, at this point, simply serves as a really bright flashlight instead of the great ball of fire it is supposed to be.
I, for one, am a self-proclaimed lover of winter. Hot summers do nothing for me aside from cause me to sweat in unnecessary places just by sitting still. I find those three months to be overwhelming – everyone wants you to do everything fun in a short period of time almost to the point where if you aren’t taking pictures of margaritas to put on Facebook, then people wonder why the hell you have no friends. Instead, I love winters with our real fireplace and red wine and lots of time to binge watch television shows everyone stopped talking about three years ago. I like the snow and the crispness of the cold.
But it is now March second and it is minus 20 degrees outside. Carrie and I have been broken by this weekend.
Friday night, we actually played a “get to know you” game using a book called “List Yourself” that prompted us to make 800 lists. I had filled out approximately 9 of these questions in 2003 so we just went through the other ones together. One of the prompts was “List everything in the cupboard under your sink.” As I rattled off words like “Swiffer” and “Cascade,” I realized that things had gotten a little out of control. Carrie confirmed this when we decided we were done and she announced, “God, that only killed an hour.”
Saturday, we drove to our old stomping grounds in Rochester, Minnesota, a city that appeared to have given up on road clearing and decided to let Darwin do his work. Rochester to us always seems snowy, windy, and filled with angry people. After navigating the icy highway, honking at a driver, and watching Carrie yell at another car while stopped at a red light, we stood in a dog park while it was 5 degrees outside and waited for the prospective adopter to arrive to pick up Manny. She drove to the south dog park instead of the north one. We stood outside for 30 extra minutes. We were not dressed warmly enough.
Saturday night, Carrie fell asleep at 8:45. I stayed up and read a new novel, Damned, which is a wonderfully irreverent book that takes place in Hell; I identified with the 13-year-old protagonist and then proceeded to go to bed. Carrie and I decided to switch sides of the bed recently. She says it’s because of her shoulder. I believe it is because winter has beaten us so far into submission that we are resorting to things like this to “change it up” and to remind us we are alive.
But Sunday finished us off. It is March second and it is minus 20 degrees outside. I wanted to walk on the treadmill, but I was still in my pajamas and I could not conceive of putting on a bra because my hands were so cold that I did not want to touch my own skin. When I finally garnered up the courage to put on a shirt and shorts, I found myself wandering between our bedroom and the spare room and, at one point, I stopped with my long sleeve white t-shirt in hand and actually found myself lost and wondering how I got in that particular room, not even addressing the problem of what I was doing there.
I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes and a spring training baseball game began. The attractive sideline reporters in tank tops spoke with players who were sweating and instead of my regular joy at baseball being televised, I felt murderous rage against their warmth and actually shut off the game. March second made me hate baseball.
We then decided to go see “Monuments Men” because it was the most attractive of the options. We reflected to each other our insanity-inducing boredom by adamantly proclaiming the revolt we would take against our bodies.
“This is why people drink,” Carrie announced, “because they cannot think of another thing to actually do with their sober selves.”
“I assume we’re getting popcorn,” I said to her.
“Oh of course,” she replied. “And Milk Duds. I don’t care if they pull the crown of my tooth anymore. Do you hear me, God?!? I just don’t care!”
“I’m going to get Mike and Ike candies,” I defiantly stated, even making the fist motion for “so be it” to emphasize my point.
“And red whips,” she chimed in. “I’m going to get all of those things until I am sugared beyond recognition and then I’m going to wash it down with a Pepsi and the world can just suck it.”
I wore a lighter coat than usual and a baseball cap because why? Because it’s March second, that’s why, and someone needs to be reminded that I shouldn’t have to wrap my head in nine layers of wool to stay warm. The movie was fine except they didn’t have red whips and she had to settle for Twizzlers.
On the way home from the movie, we saw four (assumed-to-be inebriated) college students in shorts and t-shirts running around in front of a house. I understood them more than they could ever know.
But now we are back in our house. Carrie is reading and I am typing this blog and our dogs are asleep and I am waiting until the acceptable time to eat again and drink wine and the only godforsaken thing saving me is that the Oscars start at 7 and I get to host a fubbing party.
Because there is no other hope. March second has broken us. And now, as the sun peacefully sets having done absolutely nothing resembling its job, I realize it is only going to get colder.
And then, as Jesus did, I weep.