I like being warm. I even went a step further this year and spent a stupid amount of money on knee socks (well, in actuality, they are over-the-knee socks, but due to my gargantuan calves and relative tallness, they barely get as far as a knee) because I HATE a draft up my jeans (and I don’t like the bunchiness of long-johns). I have a variety of polar fleece and GoreTex and wool outerwear. I am prepared for almost every eventuality cold weather-wise. Hell, I frequently wear a tuque indoors à la 1967-era Mike Nesmith because my office is drafty.
The truth is, I’ve pretty much always been this way. Canadians are rugged folk, generally, but also, by and large, not stupid when it comes to extreme cold. Nonetheless, I’ve noticed more and more that the young people these days seem to take this ruggedness to, dare I say it, Newcastle levels. I mean, our scantily clad young clubbers will wear jackets, at least, but MAN the bare legs? When we’re in the sub-zero temps? I a) stupid, b) dangerous, and c) deeply unattractive once the mottled, semi-frostbitten redness kicks in.
I decided around age 15, when waiting at a bus stop ca. November, while wearing a denim jacket and, probably, wool socks under Birkenstocks (no, really, my high school was full of people ready for a Phish, or, rather, a Cult or Hip concert at any time), that warmth would triumph over all from that point on.
I freely admit to premature fuddy-duddiness. I actually exclaimed “WHERE IS YOUR JACKET, YOUNG LADY?!” to an 11-year-old trick-or-treater on this year’s snowy Hallowe’en. I’d like to look fashionable out in the cold (not that these chavvy and misguided young women in the Mail look particularly classy or hot), but hell, I’m rarely fashionable in good weather (Blundstones are appropriate work attire year-round, right?).
A few weeks ago, I went to Montréal, that city where everyone else seems to have shopping luck except for me, and attempted to find a new wool coat that was warm, classically fashionable (ie nice but not trendy) and not a million dollars. I could not find anything that even met two of those criteria. But that’s okay. If I find something that covers the first, I’d be perfectly happy at this point. Regardless of how unattractive a winter coat might be, at least I won’t look half as stupid as these people.