Weighing in on weather

By Martha Groppo and Andy Burress


While preparing to cross South Limestone and feeling like Washington crossing the Delaware, it hit me: I’ve been cold for three months. Chunks of ice were floating by and I was trying to figure out how to hurdle the two-foot bank of snow left on the curb by snow plows when I was eclipsed by a tidal wave of slush.

My impromptu shower was provided courtesy of a smiling guy roaring by in a truck big enough to haul Santa’s entire sleigh. The truck pulled up to an ice-encrusted meter, and a tall guy with a buzz cut, a massive coat and huge commando boots alighted from his weapon of destruction.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than a white Christmas, skiing, sledding and chucking snowballs. But I can’t say four-wheeling through slush gives me a rush.

For one thing, launching over that two-foot snow bank would be exponentially easier if I weren’t 5’3”.

I bet Truck Guy doesn’t have trouble opening the insanely heavy doors across campus to escape from 60 mph winds carrying ice chunks. And I bet he doesn’t take 30 minutes to scrape the ice off his windshield because he can actually reach across it.

I bet when Truck Guy’s buzzed hair freezes when he leaves the house with a wet head, his hair doesn’t instantly freeze into long spikes that could probably skewer someone. It most likely doesn’t blow into his lip gloss and freeze there, either.

Truck Guy’s boots actually made sense. Can we talk about Uggs? Admittedly, I wear a pair of the famously atrocious Uggs which look like moccasins on steroids—or like ski boots made of cardboard. Have you seen what happens to Uggs when they get wet? They just get even more “Uggly.” Why do we wear them? They are literally the only thing that keeps my feet warm.

Of course, maybe I shouldn’t be complaining about shoes. High heels on the ice? We’ve all done it. Once. The dreaded winter interview leaves you picking across ice in spike heels and a pencil skirt with only the thin sausage-casing-like film we call “hose” over your legs.

My burning envy of Truck Guy’s winter skills cooled by the time I successfully crossed South Limestone. I turned in time to see him sliding into a snow bank on his derriere.

Prepare as you may, you’re going to be cold until March.


Gentlemen, throw out your razors. Lose the tees and sink those tired old boat shoes already. The time has come to get all burly and project your inner mountain man. It’s warm, it’s comfortable and … well it just feels right.

I’m talkin’ flannels, boots, long johns and that trusty cut of denim. Fire’s crackling and mason jars aplenty. This isn’t the time for dainty strips of chicken either. Fill those plates with gargantuan slabs of meat and potatoes. Look up and say it with me: “I am man.”

When the weather turns frigid there are certain rules guys have to follow.

First and foremost, we do not get seasonal depression. We are supposed to be built for these kinds of conditions. Do you think Paul Bunyon ever whined about his hands being too cold to swing an ax? No, of course not. He simply took advantage of Babe’s snottier friends. OK maybe he didn’t go that far, but still, he worked with what he had. We have to be self-sufficient.

Secondly, we are motivated. We can’t forget what’s going on underneath all those layers. It’s too easy to post up with your favorite value meal and slip into a coma. Now I’m not suggesting that naps are bad, or that every meal should be worthy of a waiter, but our bodies do tend to slow down in extreme (by our standards, at least) conditions and pounding McNastys probably isn’t the best alternative. Summer is the unveiling of our latest transformations. We have to be ready.

Lastly, we appreciate. I don’t care who you are, or what your feelings about the cold may be; there is zero denying the beauty of a snowy winter day.

Get out there and live in it beyond simply walking to class or driving to work. Trust me, it will exhaust that pent-up testosterone if you let it.

Campfires and everything you choose to accompany them can keep you warm while the naggings of back-home obligations drip away. We have to understand perspective.

Oh, and one more thing. Please do make sure to be prepared and keep a snow scraper handy.

Little ladies with muddy heels are going to be out there, and ensuring one’s safety makes for a pretty respectable introduction. Look up and say it with me: “I am man.”