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05 December 2005

but baby, it's cold outside

Today, it is really cold. Chicago winter cold. Scenically cold, even. Scenically cold is the clear, soft light of early morning punctuated by the billows of steam rising from every single inhabited building, but without any people to mess up the scenicness because all the people are still burrowed under their covers wondering if "it was too cold to go to work" is a legitimate excuse for a sick day. Driving down Lake Shore Drive this morning, the LAKE was steaming. When Lake Michigan is steaming because it’s that much warmer than the air is, the air is cold, people! From the warmth of Penny (my car) I was able to appreciate how cool a sight that was, the steaming of the lake. As I left Penny to dart into the coffee shop to buy something warm to drink, all the prettiness vanished and I was left wondering what, exactly, possessed me to leave the house without hat and gloves this morning.

My parents have season tickets to our local football team, and for months John has whined that he’s never gone to a game in what he calls “real football weather.” We were at a game where it was clear and crisp, probably 48 degrees. In short, perfect football weather- just cold enough to justify drinking four or five beers for warmth, but not so cold that any of your appendages is uncomfortable. John, however, after noting that it was, admittedly, a nice day, launched into a monologue on how much better the game would be if it was “real” football weather. “You know, freezing cold, biting wind, maybe snow for good measure- where the players’ breath is visible on every play. THAT’s real football weather.”

So yesterday, while I toiled away learning administrative law, (side note: if you’re considering administrative law – don’t) John went to the football game against a team that is typically our team’s archrival but this year sucks so bad that they’re just another team we get to beat. He is so excited at the prospect of attending the game in the 15 degree weather with light snow, he looks like a little boy who has just discovered a marshmallow gun under the Christmas Tree.

Fastforward 4 hours. I am still studying administrative law. (side note: still considering administrative law? still don’t) when John returns from the game. He’s moving sluggishly, and I ask him (reasonably,) “are you drunk?”

“No,” he replies. “I can’t feel my feet. And the ice on my seat didn’t melt for the whole game, even though I sat on it. My butt was so cold it was incapable of melting the ice. My butt was below 32 degrees.”

“Ah,” I say knowingly, “’real’ football weather’s not all it’s cracked up to be, is it?”

“No,” he said. “It’s better!”


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