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Frosted Romance

November 25, 2008

Today, the ground is white and the trees sport puffs of snow. The pavement hasn’t been generously salted yet, so I can walk through drifts without ruining my cute boots. Even as I dig in my heels against the onset of winter, the sucker for romance who lives inside me can be wooed by the chill, at least for awhile.

For instance:

Skidding along in high heels, clutching a girlfriend’s arm and giggling at our own stupidity–foolish Canadian girls caught off guard and ill-prepared for the weather…even though we’ve lived through thirty-five of this season. By the time we reach home, our thigh muscles feel like they’ve endured an extended pilates workout, tense from balancing on ice.

Buttery leather gloves lined with cashmere. Embroidered flowers twining from fingers to wrist. D saw them, thought of my hands tucked inside, had the shopgirl fasten the package with a bow.

Imagining the elements as a force not to reckon with, but to defend myself against. The melodrama! Hidden away in my breadbox-size apartment, curtains drawn, radiator ticking, radio playing, lights low. Baking cookies to make the house smell sweet; hot sugar and butter generating a force field to deflect the chill.

Exaggerating the inconvenience of winter, a stormy hyperbole. Griping about the weather is our national sport, second only to ice hockey. Perhaps even more popular since you don’t need to know the players, their performance records, salaries or provenance. Anyone can look outside, recognise a Canadian winter and then discuss it in absolutes:

I’ll never get through this one without a hot vacation!

I can’t remember it ever being so cold!

I am going to die of frostbite!

This is the worst, ever, of all time!

It takes an eternity to get from one place to another!

I have been shoveling snow forever!

A season transformed into a romantic extreme, suddenly likeable despite its disagreeable features. Along with the Sanity Plan, this should get me through the next five months, until my bones are warmed again.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carrie permalink
    November 25, 2008 8:03 pm

    I will keep this entry in mind as I wade through this winter. it already proves to be a baddie…

    Let’s postpone my visit until June!

  2. Shivs permalink
    November 25, 2008 9:40 pm

    Amanda – your blog post reminded me of this BBC doc. that I listened to a few years ago. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/documentaries/montreal548p01.shtml). It is about the Montreal music scene but more than that it is about the creative power of our cold weather. It makes me love this cold place we call home, the extremity of the frigidity and the beauty of the snow, as well as the sense of desolation of the interminability of the season. Out winter can be creative and cozy and, well, dramatic — which we all know I love the most.

    To me winter is about sacrificing fashion for utility. It took me years to get to this. From age 14 to 17 I was a good little skinhead with my shaven scalp and too-short catholic school kilt topped with my collar-less cropped lower back exposing bomber jacket. At least my boots were tall. Finally it donned on me that Joel Fleishman and the rest of the Northern Exposure crew were doing it right. I now don my clunky Sorel boots, prepared for -60 celsius weather on my feet, and big fluffy winter ass-covering coat. I also wear hats, and scarves, and I own an impressive collection of back-country snowboarding gloves. I’ve never been back-country, but I’m ready to toboggan at the drop of a hat…

    So if you get a minute, listen to this very old documentary about the Arcade Fire and the things that people are driven to in Montreal in 2005… snuggle in bed with a cup of tea, hit play on real player, and be grateful for some of these things that make us Canadian.

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