Kim Nelson: In Defense of Winter

photoIt has been an especially brutal winter here in Chicago, and I have seen many of my Facebook friends threatening to move somewhere warmer within the next year. I would like to speak in defense of winter, because it cannot speak for itself and no one else is going to at this point. Here are a few reasons why I enjoy winter:

  • Snow is beautiful. Icicles transform ordinary municipal buildings into whimsical castles out of fairy tales. Freshly fallen snow covers the dead grass, litter, bum vomit, discarded needles, and dog shit into a lovely pure white landscape.

  • So you like snow, but hate the subzero temperatures? The two polar vortexes we experienced in January resulted in schools and offices closing down for days at a time. And there is nothing more delicious than an unexpected day off of work. Instead of slogging sleepily to the office, we got to stay at home in our pajamas, curl up on the couch with a hot tea, and lull ourselves into a deep, peaceful hibernation. That, or day drink–whiskey tastes pretty damn amazing in cold weather.

  • Terrible weather makes for an excellent excuse to stay home on the weekends and indulge in our guiltiest of Netflix pleasures. Why haul yourself to a bar on the weekend and spend too much money on overpriced drinks and cab rides, when you can stay at home and watch all of Scandal and NOT EVEN HAVE TO SHOWER?

  • Winter makes us tough. We’re not like those soft, wimpy people who live in perfect weather year round. We know how to drive in torrential downpours, scrape layers of ice inches thick off our windshields, and even ride our bicycles through blizzards. Have you ever dug your car out of a snowbank to drive to the liquor store? You’re as tenacious as the pioneers!

  • Winter helps us truly appreciate the other seasons. On the first sunny day of spring, you will definitely see people wearing shorts even if it’s barely 50 degrees. When summer arrives, we basically move ourselves outside for the next several months. We take over beer gardens en masse, create traffic jams on the lakefront path, and pass out on our porches BECAUSE WE CAN. When we know it’s fleeting, we savor it even more, like Girl Scout cookies or the single season of Firefly.

The forecast continues to look frosty and Punxutawney Phil has told us we’ve got a long road of winter ahead, so we may as well stop complaining about it and look at the bright side.

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