I’m sorry to write something that may be unrelatable to the tiny portion of you who didn’t experience this week’s taste of the Ice Age, but I’m not really that sorry, because you didn’t have to endure the gripping fear that your eyes would freeze shut every time you blinked on Tuesday. While you were in a casual sweater and jeans (maybe even a tank top), the rest of us were donning Eskimo-in-training gear and wondering how we’d survive the walk from our house to the car/train. Arlington reached a bone-chilling 7 degrees, but I’m well aware that 7 practically sounds like a heat wave compared to the -50 degrees of other regions. Either way, I think we all learned a few things about our tolerance levels, priorities, and career choices.
Here are the 10 things I learned about myself during the 2014 arctic blast:
1. I have no sympathy for children
Kids across the nation got a full day off of school because of concern that standing at the bus stop in single digit conditions is unsafe. The argument was that too many children don’t own heavy coats. First of all, if a kid didn’t own a coat before this arctic blast, the bus stop had already been a problem since about November. To the kids who truly were never provided with a coat, my heart goes out. To the rest of average America, here’s a newsflash: kids bounce back. Sorry to be harsh, but I grew up having to go to school unless I had a fever higher than 100 or a hurricane was about to turn my street into a current-dwelling river. A little discomfort is good for a kid. They’ll lean on that experience when they run out of sick days and still need to pay rent. Now, the -50 degree areas are another story…if you made a child go out in that, you’re in the ranks with Tanning Mom.
2. If I love something enough, nothing can stop me from reaching it
I saw Frozen last Saturday with my little brother and quickly became obsessed, mostly because the writers used me as their inspiration for the character “Anna.” It’s very flattering to know that Disney secretly followed me around in order to get Anna’s little nuances just right. Obviously, seeing Frozen only once was simply not enough, so I tried to find time for the movies this week ASAP. My first free night was Tuesday, mid arctic blast. So be it! I may not have been willing to go grocery shopping for dinner, but by golly, I was going to see that fantastic cinematic production. Again.
3. Eating is not as important to me as I thought
This was one of the most upsetting and thrilling discoveries I’ve ever made. In general, food takes precedence over just about anything, including my health and safety. Somehow, this arctic blast took what I knew about life and turned it upside down. I had no desire to make the trek to Harris Teeter, and I had nothing to eat at home, so I just didn’t eat dinner. I know what you’re thinking, “But you walked to see Frozen!” Yes, I did. This highlights my priorities. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.
4. My response to being freezing is similar to being hangry
Speaking of food, I’m usually a walking terror when I don’t eat. Let’s forget the weird not-eating phenomenon that happened during the arctic blast and look at my general reaction to hunger: I get really hangry (Urban Dictionary: When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both), leading to irrational hate towards every human. Period. Every. Human. Along the same lines, other humans were the bane of my existence on Tuesday. They couldn’t walk fast enough, keep the heat appropriately high in every building, or simply leave me alone so I could freeze in peace.
5. I tip in accordance to how bad I feel for delivery people
I couldn’t bring myself to order in food, thinking about the pain the poor delivery guys (they’re usually guys, not girls, so that’s what I’m sticking with) would endure. While walking to Frozen, however, I noticed that most of you are not as empathetic when it comes to ordering delivery. Delivery cars and bikes (even worse) were whizzing past me like the Lion King stampede. I mean, the number was shocking. I felt the need to give a $20 to every man carrying a bag to the door of a building. When I lived in New York, my Indian delivery guy got $5 on a sunny day, $10 on a rainy day, and $15 if it was snowing. The arctic blast tacks on at least another $5. That is, if I’d had the gall to ask someone to bring me food in those conditions.
6. I will never approve of Ugg boots in the workplace
I don’t care how cold it was, I still judged girls wearing Ugg boots with their work attire. If you are running to Target or Total Wine- fine, girl, do your thing. Work? No excuse. Not even arctic conditions.
7. My nose is the strongest part of my body
That little nugget protruding from my face can handle anything. My fingers didn’t work if they left my coat pockets, my forehead was the source of an automatic brain freeze when exposed to the air, and my legs would barely move me forward due to the ache in my knees (listen, I’m not joking with this granny stuff). But my nose? It laughed in the face of the arctic blast. Somehow it could be abused by the cold for significant lengths of time without developing frostbite, which I’m pretty sure started developing on my well-protected feet. You go, little nose!
8. I will risk my life to keep my body temperature regulated
I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed, but turning your head while wearing a huge fluffy scarf is not an easy task. Instead of a simple blind spot check over my right shoulder when driving, I had to struggle with a full body twist beneath my already-tight seatbelt. Halfway to work, I couldn’t handle one more back-breaking lane change. Yes, I completely agree that forgoing a blind spot check when changing lanes is dangerous and stupid, but guess what? Arctic blast took over my sound judgment. And for you New Yorkers or non-drivers out there, something tells me you weren’t quite as meticulous about looking both ways before crossing the roads.
9. I always want a job that requires me to work in extreme weather conditions
Though part of me envied people who were excused from the office for the day, I know that the expectation to work despite the mood of Mother Nature means one of three things:
a) Your job is indispensable
b) Your company has a strong reputation of getting things accomplished within your industry
c) You work for yourself
Any or all of those things are just fine by me!
10. I need a dog
Someone grab me a tiny violin, because I don’t think anyone should suffer sleeping alone during the coldest night of their lives. This is not just an arctic blast notion for me, though. I want to have a pup to cuddle with every single night. It’s either that or the boyfriend pillow…and I have way too much pride for that contraption.
Hmmm…I wonder what I’ll learn about myself during the inevitable heat wave this August!