When you’ve lived in The Deep South for seven years, you may forget a few things about actual cold weather. No, you don’t forget shoveling and scraping. Don’t be ridiculous. In fact, you were relieved to not shovel or scrape. While your friends raved on about digging their cars out of the plow’s path, you may have reluctantly said, “It seems eighty degrees in January does have its perks.”
But in that same moment, you may well have looked down to verify that, in fact, fire ants were biting your flip-flopped feet *dance dance curse dance curse stomp stomp stomp* and you may have realized it’s time to reapply sunscreen. Again. Le sigh.
People who grow up in cold winters develop a tolerance for cold and snow. We have stories about skiing and sledding and shoveling and scraping and skating. We could spend an entire evening recounting memories of blizzards and ice storms. Even the driving in the snow stories could take hours alone. Oh! Remember that time you fell through the ice? And on the way home, your hair froze and then broke? Yeah. Good times.
No, no, the things you forget about the cold involve smaller, more subtle memories.
Such as, when you’re outside for thirty minutes and it’s only twenty-six degrees/feels like fifteen, your hands go into this sorta numb stage. It’s a bit like when your limbs fall asleep. You don’t really think about it. It’s not that cold for outside in November. In Indiana. It’s not even Winter yet. I mean, you’ve got gloves in your pockets if it gets really cold, but for outside, at seven o’clock in the morning, it’s not bad. Besides, you’re too freakin happy to be swoopin your feet through the golden Ash leaves, lookin at the fine layer of snow that coats everything, smiling like a moron, to notice any discomfort in your hands.
Until you stick your key in the door and turn.
“Oh wow, I totally forgot about that painfully cold hand thing. I wonder if there’s a word for it. They should make a reverse dictionary so I could look it up. I can’t believe I forgot that. Haha! Well, you must keep turning it, or you won’t get inside, so stay focused and turn that key. You’ll live.”
I tried to look up the frozen-fingers-burn-when-you-touch-things word, but all I got were a bunch of diseases, and those of us with Anxiety Disorder know better than to read about symptoms of disease. *wags frozen finger* Big No-No.
Sometimes your hands just get really freezing cold, and you’re not afflicted with anything horrible. They just get cold. Then they thaw. It won’t kill you.
It’s going out without lip balm that might kill you.
Don’t forget the lip balm.