You guys, it’s cold here.
Not as cold as some other places, I’ll give you that. I have a friend in Rexburg Idaho who is dealing with -20 windchill and rolls her eyes when I whine about that layer of frost on the grass. But still, we Western Oregonians are a tender folk! We are used to gently rolling rivers and soft summer rains. We are not used to a life under 32 degrees. Otherwise we would move to Eastern Oregon, and nobody wants that.
This whole ‘cold’ problem is very much exacerbated by our living conditions. Taylor and I have finally started using our heaters. They work pretty well most of the time, but they can’t compensate for the many leaks and weak spots in our walls. No matter how high we crank the heat, it always slips away through the cracks and crevices around our windows, and we find ourselves in the same spot we were before. We have found methods, though, of surviving. Shameless, dark ways to keep our toes from turning blue, and I will share them with you.
God speed, my chilly friends.
1. Create a nest. Bears knew what they were doing, you guys. When it gets cold, they get all the food they need and go bundle up somewhere, which is precisely what Taylor and I have been doing. When I get home from work, I change clothes, get any food/water I may need and bring it over to our coffee table. I then proceed to wrap myself in several mummy-like layers of blankets, and refuse to move for the rest of the evening. Even an incremental shift might expose some part of me to the elements, and this is unacceptable. The key is to really get all of your necessaries next to you, although go light on the drinks because having to get up and get to the icy bathroom is a fate worse than death.
2. Eat hot stuff. This seems like a simple solution, but I have beaten myself over the head again and again for coming home and thinking, “Ah, now it is time for a delicious chilled salad,” and then I eat that chilled salad and I die because my insides have frozen. Stick with the hot stuff, my friends! Winter is not a time to slack on the actual cooking. Roast that meat, brew that coffee, microwave those pizza rolls and get them in your belly as soon as possible. The delicious sensation when something warm goes down your esophagus and lands in your stomach is how I imagine baptism to be. God is all “Awww yeaah be blessed, little dudes.”
3. Socks. Lots of them. If I have discovered one divine truth through this cold snap, it is that your body is only as warm as your toes are. If you get your toes warm, the rest of you will follow, so load on the socks. I’m not just talking one pair. I’m talking a PROCESS, my friends. Start with tights. Layer over those a pair of those ankle socks. Then a pair of dress socks, and ski socks, if you have them. Top it all off with knee socks that will cover all previous layers (except the tights, of course) and lock in that heat. Sure, you’ll look like a Powerpuff girl, but you will be a WARM Powerpuff girl, and that is all that matters.
4. Be a heat vampire. Taylor is going to murder me for putting this on the internet. What I am about to say will cause boundless relationship troubles, but my friends, it is worth it. First, find somebody to cuddle up with. Then? SAP THEIR PRECIOUS BODY HEAT. I find the best ways to accomplish this are to wheedle your toes under their legs and press your hands against their back. This is especially effective in bed, where your toes are like icy daggers. Pressing them up against your boyfriend (or girlfriend) will yield pleasant warmth and amusing noises. My favorite is a sort of snowballing, “yyeeeaaaaAAAAUUUUUUUUUAAAAGHGHGHGH!” If you don’t get dumped or murdered, you will have found a constantly renewing heat source that will last you all winter.
5. Put on a god damned sweater. I know this seems obvious, but believe me, there are people who come home and put on their post-work tanktop and then complain about their chilly arms. A sweater will serve you well. Layering them earns you more points. Don’t be afraid to look like the Michelin Man. Nobody is judging you here.
6. Lock yourself in like it’s the Zombie Apocalypse. A smaller area will heat faster. This is what is known as science. When you find a spot to nest for the night, make it the tiniest room you’ve got. As you get warmer, you’ll heat the room, the room will heat you, and it’s a never-ending circle of wonderful, wonderful warmth. In larger rooms, this never really seems to happen. Once that sort of heat-nirvana has been achieved, do not, I repeat, do not for any reason open the door. It will be like Hell’s icy hand reaching out and punching you in the mouth. Sure, it means you can never leave, but friends, why would you want to??