Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Maxine Stone

The recent bone-chilling weather has put a crimp in my daily routine. Who knows what the temperature outside might be? Jay Engel, the weather guru, does. It could be 15 degrees—or 50. The forecast has been fickle. I don’t decide how many layers of clothing to put on each day until I check with Jay the Weatherman.

Dressing appropriately has been a tedious chore lately. Should I wear leggings with wool socks, boots and my long down coat or knit pants and short boots with a lighter coat? Do I top them with two layers—a silk undershirt and thin wool sweater—or add a cardigan as a third layer for maximum warmth? I’ve found that layers are better than one bulky heavy sweater to keep out the wind chill.

After selecting an outfit, I have to figure out which accessories to add. Do I pick a long wool scarf to wrap around my neck or a short one with the fringe on the outside? Depending on whether I am driving, I have to consider which gloves to wear. Do I choose leather or wool, or stretch gloves, which are all purpose and dependable. Do I grab an over-the-shoulder bag so I have free hands to clean off my car if it snowed or a large satchel to carry all my stuff?

Of course, I may need a hat, if I am willing to flatten my hair which I recently had styled. Which is more important—vanity or comfort? My rule is as follows: warmer than 40 degrees, no hat; windy and below freezing, wool hat covering my ears. Sometimes, I’ll put on a stylish hat when I’m compelled to keep the heat in. Having to make all of these choices is daunting. How I long for warm summer days when anything goes. I can be dressed and out of the house before the shake of a rattlesnake’s tail.

The swift, capricious change to 50 degrees overnight causes another unwelcome situation; be safe and roast in my heavy clothes or remove some layers and risk that the wind could whip up. This unpredictability is driving me nuts.

This crazy weather has also been affecting my sleep. I like to keep the window open a crack so I will not be up for hours, trying to decide if I should let some cool air into the room. When the chill in the air reflects the below-freezing temperatures outside, I have to decide whether I will get another blanket or shilly-shally in my warm bed not being able to make up my mind.

I hope I will be more decisive during the rest of the winter. After all, it’s only January. I haven’t even begun to tackle the issue of snow—another misery. Do I wear my rubber boots with the fleece lining or my regular leather ones? The decisions are never-ending and the weather is merciless. We might as well relax. Maybe, I shouldn’t even leave the house—baby, it’s cold outside.

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