In Defense of the Cold

I know I’ve been complaining a bit of late about the cold, but believe me, I’m much happier now than I would be in the dead of summer. Society isn”t fair to winter. It seems rather arbitrary, no? that when extreme heat and extreme cold are both considered unfavorable conditions, cold, in any quantity, is less favorable than heat for most of us.

But I’d like to make a case for the cold. To me, there are few things more pleasurable than the feeling you get when you open the door to the season’s first snowfall, the ground blanketed in fluffy white powder, no longer brown and harsh, but clean and refreshing. The smell of fire burning in the distance is unrivaled. But obviously, not all of you are in agreement regarding the majesty of the cold. So here we go: I am going to sell you the winter.

1. There is no sweating in the cold. When you climb a mountain (or Colgate’s hill) in the heat, or even in the warm, you can be sure to soak through your shirt. But in the cold, sweating is minimal.

Corollary: less sweating = less smelling

Corollary 2: less smelling = less avoidance of those around you

Corollary 3: les avoidance = formation of stronger bonds

2. Heat makes you angry, lazy, and short-tempered. “Go away, don’t talk to me, don’t touch me!” you bark at anyone who does anything remotely annoying. Cold, on the other hand, encourages teamwork and camaraderie, the feeling that “we’re all in this together.”

3. The sense of accomplishment you feel that you’re actually surviving. Hardly would you consider it “surviving” to pass a day that reaches 100 degrees F. All you do is drink a lot of water and stay in the shade. You’re probably pretty sluggish too. But when you’re faced with snow and wind and the temperature falls below freezing, you actively need to survive. You need to go out and find firewood. You need to keep the fire alive. You need to stay moving, lest you freeze inside– and the internal shivers are the worst. Truly it is a case of (wo)man vs. wild. And what a feeling it is.

4. Perhaps TMI, but true nonetheless: snow makes for excellent toilet paper.

5. No humidity = you can be friends with your hair.

6. You only need to carry one liter of water as opposed to two. And that is a whole kilo lighter. And the water always stays chilled!

7. Refrigeration is a nonissue. I made jello a few nights ago by sticking a bowl that wouldn’t fit into the refrigerator outside.

Have I convinced you yet? Here are some more.

8. You can turn yourself into a steam-breathing dragon. Or breathe steam rings! How cool are you??

9. Blankets. Lots and lots of blankets.

10. You can always put on more clothes, but you can’t take off  your skin if you get too hot.

11. No mosquitoes.

12. If you happen to overheat, you can eat some snow.

13. You burn calories faster when you’re cold, so you can eat more.

14. Hello, footdance.

15. You don’t need to wear makeup. Your cheeks are already pink.

16. It gets darker earlier, so you can sleep longer.

So please be kind to the cold. It’s not as bad as you think. But can you say the same about the heat?


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