Living through a Canadian winter changes everything you thought you knew about winter.
Not only have you never been so cold in your life, but you’ve also never felt like such a pussy about never having been so cold in your life. The first time the temperature dropped into the minus digits, I literally put on every piece of long covering clothing I possessed. I was more layered up than seven fruit roll ups and I was STILL shivering.
What did my Canadian boyfriend wear that day?
A t-shirt, jeans and a light jacket.
It was -5 degrees and I thought I was going to die. My skin ached in the exposed bits, and I was so cold I felt like my bone marrow was freezing. And then it went down to -15.
Now, people from further North, or Montreal, will tell you that -15 aint nothing to write home about. It’s when it gets to -30 that you got to start worrying.
Doesn’t the thermometer stop working at -20!? How is -30 a thing? How can we go negative times 30 of the freezing temperature of things??!
I’ll never forget having a chat to the Mother of a friend of mine. Lovely Mrs Deck from Red Deer, Alberta, an all Canadian little place that looks a little something like this:
Mrs Deck is an avid running enthusiast, and when I began asking her if she continued to run outside during the winter she replied, “Oh yes. You have to wear a balaclava and gloves, but it certainly is nice to get oot and aboot.”
Okay fine she didn’t really say oot and aboot, she said it was nice to get OUTSIDE. But the point is the same. They’re nuts. The whole country.
And you start to become more nuts the more winter days you live through.
For example, last week when it was 1 degree, I asked myself, “do I really need a scarf?”
You start to think it’s normal to walk past huge piles of white (or dirty brown depending on how many days its been there) snow and not scream with delight and jump in it.
You think it’s normal to bring an extra pair of shoes with you to work (you know, snow shoes for the outside and nice clean dry shoes for the inside.)
It takes you 5 minutes to get up from a meal before you exit the establishment (because you have to put on hats, gloves, scarf, winter jacket…)
You minimize any and all walking outside unless it is strictly necessary and all activities move indoors.
When it’s above zero, you start referring to the weather as “warm”.
I’m not going to lie, I love the snow (always have always will) and after building two snowmen over the weekend, going sledding in a park, and having my very first snowball fight, I can safely say there are some perks to living in the “great white north”…
But I will never accept that -30 is a temperature in which humans are supposed to live.
Those guys are CRAY