Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Keeping warm

My mom tends to be slightly obsessive on the subject of proper winter attire. During the colder months of the year, she can frequently be heard saying things like,

"You're wearing a v-neck??! I always wear a turtle neck in February. I can't stand to have my neck exposed when it's this cold out."

"I have to wear fingerless gloves to bed at night to keep my hands warm while I read, because the thermostat in the bedroom is set to 48 degrees."

"What's the fiber content of that sweater? Oh, it's a cotton blend? I stay away from cotton in the winter. I usually make sure to buy sweaters that are 100% wool for this time of year."

Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I check my fiber contents constantly, too. I'm annoyed by the many Bostonians who think that rain boots are appropriate to wear during snow storms, or worse, sopping wet Uggs. (Those are SLIPPERS, people!) And I've noticed recently a tendency to be somewhat disdainful of suitors whose winter wardrobes are not up to my standards.

I have a tiered system of winter coats, 1 through 4. #1 is a lightweight wool coat that I don't really consider to be winter attire, and 4 is a winter parka that is rated for 50 degrees below zero; it usually makes only a couple of appearances per winter.

In the fall, as soon as the weather became slightly nippy, I noticed that many people jumped straight to a level 3, a midweight down coat. I was pleased to see that Trusty, who I was dating at the time, was one of the few people who wore a level 1, a wind-blocking fleece: points for Trusty. After all, if one starts to wear winter coats too early, your body doesn't acclimatize to the cold.

Later, in January, in the midst of the polar vortex, I found myself on a date (wearing, naturally, my level 3) with a man who was clad in a lightweight COTTON jacket. I could only imagine how my mom would react to this. He shivered as I questioned him about it, explaining that he left his winter coat at his parents house... in November. Nearly three months later, I could see no earthly reason why his coat should still be there, especially considering that he had made several trips there in the interim. And then came the kicker:

"It's really been fine so far. Like now, I don't feel cold at all."

I could tell just from looking at him that this was not true. Moreover, this is a guy who bikes just about everywhere, so he probably WAS much warmer walking with me than he usually is. I made a mental note: lacking in common sense.

When I broke up with him a few days later, he asked if it was anything he had said or done. I thought of all the possible responses, but really, what was the point? Someone else might find his cotton jacket charming.

"No," I lied, hoping to come across a down-clad, wool hat-wearing suitor soon.

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