So I've kind of decided that winter is my least favorite season. It used to be one of my favorites, because in the South it's really mild and basically amounts to an excuse to snuggle under blankets and eat chocolate and sausage balls and celebrate the birth of a religious figure you may or may not actually believe in. I always hated summer more than the other seasons, because I despise sweating when I'm not actually doing physical activity, which is essentially the definition of a Southern summer. Summer in the South still might be one of the worst things ever, but compared with winter in New York, it ain't that bad.
Winter in New York is more terrible, because it's a stealthy little bastard. Summer in the South sucks, but at least it sucks immediately. You walk outside one day in mid-May (or April) and, fuck, it's summer. You're wearing jeans and a tank top and you're suddenly aware that it's far too hot for such garments. You turn around, go back inside and put on a cute little summer dress with flip flops. You come back outside and shut the door behind you. Your dress would blow in the wind like in a cute indie movie, but it doesn't, because there is no wind. It's just hot as balls. Stagnant. Sticky. Thick. Sauna-y. And, immediately, you're like fuck this. Then it continues for three to four months, the entire duration of which your hair is in a ponytail because if it's down it sticks to your neck and is completely disgusting. Then suddenly it's fall and you remember why life is bearable.
By contrast, winter in New York starts out delightful. It's cold, but it's bearable, and it's kind of fun walking around in your big heavy coat and cute new scarf and vintage snow boots. All your friends are bundled up too, and you might go tromping through Rockefeller Plaza to see the Christmas tree. You might stop and get hot chocolates on the way. There are little stringy lights up everywhere, and you're all AHHH! Christmas in New York is so magical! You go home for Christmas but you can't wait to get back for New Year's. The snow falls outside your window, light little tufts of gorgeousness that settle into a big pile of happiness.
This continues for, like, a month and a half. Mid-January rolls around, and you suddenly realize you like winter a little less. The snow gets harder, and grayer. Piles of snow-happiness turn into mountains of hard, packed together snow-ice-street-grunge... stuff. It gets in your way when you are walking to the train. Then it melts and huge puddles form on street corners but they look like pavement at night and you step in them and your foot sinks a good four inches so it's a good fucking thing your mom gave you these awesome vintage snow boots because they are the Army tanks of shoes. Snow becomes wintry mix. You're like ugh but you deal with it because what else are you gonna do?
Then the end of February rolls around, and you're a fucking fire-breathing dragon, vengefully melting snow drifts, icicles, and possibly any people in your path. You turn the corner on your way to work and an icy cold blast hits you in the face and makes it impossible for you to breathe for three to four seconds because you just got the wind knocked out of you by other wind. When you can breathe again, you take a deep one in and then yell FUCK! or maybe even FUCK YOU! Snow is still piled on sidewalks but all you see is death and destruction, be it real or imagined/hoped for. You stay inside your office at lunchtime and order takeout Thai, refusing to acknowledge that weather even exists anymore. You scarf it down shamefully, flinging rice noodles and dumpling bits all over your desk and keyboard because you just don't give a shit. You snap at coworkers who kindly ask for bagels from the kitchen. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the office mirror and you barely recognize yourself. Who have you become? What has this New York winter done to you? Is that caked dumpling sauce in your eyebrow?
And then sometimes, you get a reminder that nothing lasts forever, and that this too shall pass. Yesterday, the universe - via the 4/5 train - gave me such a reminder: a woman carrying a bouquet of red tulips - my favorite flower - in her eco-friendly grocery bag. It was so New York, so Spring, and so very welcome. I took a photo and played around with it on my iPhone - yeah, I have Photoshop mobile, what? - and decided to make weekly(ish) segments called iPhone Inspirations, in which I post stuff I've seen/written/pondered on my iPhone. I do this a lot, especially whilst traveling by train or bus.
Happy early Spring, everyone.
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