I hope you don’t mind, my friends, but I’m feeling a bit angsty today. If you asked Hubby he might say I’m a bit bitchy too. If you’ll excuse the profanity. Maybe even a teensy bit complain-y. Funny, but yesterday once I was bundled up to head out to the ski trail, cursing my neck warmer and my two layers of gloves, and taking ten extra minutes to get everything zipped and tucked, I asked Hubby out of the blue if I was hard to live with. He looked surprised and said I wasn’t hard to live with at all. “Right answer,” I said and laughed. But I wonder if that’s the answer he’d give today. Ha.
I was going to write about something else completely, you know, but when I sat down at the computer today, this just came spilling out. So please bear with me while I write myself into a better mood.
One of the things I hate most about winter is the sheer number of layers we have to wear to stay warm. Bundling definitely makes me bitchy. There I said it again.
I remember as a kid being so bundled up in my ski pants and heavy winter jacket, scarf tied by mum behind my head and over my hood, which was pulled up over my hat, that my legs would hardly bend, and turning my head was impossible. That made tobogganing particularly difficult. Especially on our old wooden toboggan. The person in front would stick their legs into the curled front of the toboggan, and the next person would put their feet in the first person’s lap and so on, until everyone was loaded. Loaded and overlapping. Ha.
If we weren’t actually on the precipice of the hill everyone would push with their hands hoping that we could take off without anyone having to unwind their legs from the person in front. Then, if we tipped over halfway down, we’d lie there in a tangle for a few minutes until one of us began the process of extrication. Rolling away, staggering to our feet, hats pulled sideways so we couldn’t see. A couple of us clearly finding that just lying there was the easiest thing to do. Sheesh. I’m tired just writing about it. I guess that’s why we all cheered when the snow turned crusty and we could slide on old pieces of cardboard boxes. So much easier, and way more fun.
And it’s not only kids who hate wearing so many layers. Sometimes even now, I hate being bundled up. Sometimes so bundled up I can barely turn my head when I’m driving.
I recall with a shudder all those years of commuting to work in the winter. The commute was always much longer once the snow came. And after a big storm, morning traffic would be backed up for miles, and at very busy intersections I’d sit through green light after green light. Bundled to the eyeballs in a heavy coat and a tightly wound scarf. The defrost on full blast to keep the windshield of my little car clear. And after a few minutes, the top half of me would begin to sweat, while my feet froze.
One day I had the bright idea that I would open my thermos of tea and have a nice cuppa while I sat in traffic. Might as well make the best of it, I thought. Oh… bad idea. Half an hour later I was not much further down the road, not daring to pull out of the line of traffic for fear of never getting back in again, and wondering if I could shift and operate the pedals of my standard-transmission car with my legs crossed. Ha.
Just the other day I mentioned to Hubby how January always makes me think of the first winter we were dating. And not for any romantic reason. That winter we had a ton of snow; the snowplows could barely keep the streets clear. Let alone the sidewalks. I shared a house with friends downtown and had two teaching jobs. I taught English during the day, and Chemistry two nights a week.
My day job was in the far west end. Oh god… I recall with such clarity struggling through the snow to the bus stop that winter. In my burgundy leather boots (the same ones I’d fed the cows in the year before) and my long coat, muffled to the ears in scarves, and with a dreaded hat squashing my hair. My boots might have looked fabulous, but they were not warm. I lugged my lunch, and two days a week my supper, in a canvas bag, and used Hubby’s old leather briefcase for my books and papers. I cursed that Chemistry course every morning. That frigging textbook weighed a ton. It took me three buses and two hours to get to my day job at the Adult High School. Luckily I didn’t start teaching until 11:45.
I still remember arriving at school all disheveled. Mascara running, hair either flat as a pancake or sticking up in all the wrong places. I’d try to repair the damage in the bathroom mirror before class, and vow not to bother with my make-up or hair the next day as it seemed of little use. How I envied people who could stay all pristine in their nice warm cars and not have to stagger to the bus stop through three-foot snow banks. Or wait for the second bus on the windiest corner in Ottawa. I’d have been happy to sit in traffic gridlock that winter if it meant I was out of the elements.
Gad. I’m happy I’m retired. All that palaver, just to get to work in the winter. Now I can have my second or my third cup of tea before I even have to think about getting dressed. It’s amazing how recalling annoying situations of the past makes one so much more sanguine about the present. I mean, if there’s any time of year for a stay at home order it might as well be winter. Right?
I think that stay at home order is what is getting up my nose today. Not that I disagree with it. I don’t. But I’m suffering from a bout of COVID fatigue. Partly because of the timeline just published by the Ontario government which says that people like Hubby and me may not be vaccinated until August. We are way down on the priority list. I don’t disagree with the priority list. Not at all. And I don’t mind being way down that list. I know there is currently a shortage of vaccine. Yep, I know that. I know all of that. It’s just the thought of eight more months of staying home. And self-isolation and masks being de rigueur for a long time yet. Especially since the herd immunity thing won’t kick in until most of the general population has been vaccinated. Sigh.
And I woke up this morning so over the whole thing. So bored with staying at home that it made my toes curl. I’m serious. I wanted to spin in frenzied circles like the Looney Tunes version of the Tasmanian devil and shout all manner of profanities at no one in particular. And instead I settled with being bitchy. Much good that it did.
Then I sat at the computer and started to write about other things that bug me. Like wearing so many clothes that I couldn’t turn my head to see the stupid bus coming. And dragging bags of marking and enormous textbooks through snowbanks. Or being so bundled up that I couldn’t get up off the ground when the toboggan tipped over. So I just lay there and hoped that I would be magically transported home where supper would be waiting. My favorite. Hotdogs. A kid can dream, can’t she?
So, I never could magic up those hotdogs when I was a kid, but I always magically feel better when I write about my angst. And, today, once I felt better, I thought about those of you who live in the States. And how you might be feeling today. Maybe, possibly, despite all the COVID stuff, slightly hopeful? And how good that must feel.
In a comment on my last post, Deanne mentioned that she has a dress similar to my new grey one and that she might haul it out of the closet to wear during the inauguration. And I thought what a wonderful idea. Dress up. Cheer. Feel good for a change.
And I decided that I’d dress up to keep her company. Because even if it’s not really my place to celebrate, I wanted to show my support to those of you who might feel like celebrating.
So when Hubby came home from skiing and asked what I was doing, and I said I was getting my inauguration outfit ready, he laughed out loud. When he left I was cranky and bitchy, and when he came home I was all dolled up. The power of writing… capped off with getting dressed up. Can’t beat that for cheering one up.
This is me in my celebratory outfit. I don’t have a flag to wave, so I settled for just waving.
Anyway. That’s my tale of woe for today. My angst is gone. It came, it snarled a bit, it went away. Driven by my flying fingers on the keyboard, and by a fabulous coat and hat which I haven’t worn nearly enough. And those old suede Prada boots. And my new Aritzia dress.
I’m bundled up, baby. But I’m happy. Maybe even a little celebratory. And I guess I know what to do next time I feel angsty.
Anything on your mind today, folks? Anything?