October 30th, 2009

narnia: children / lamppost

LJ Idol Topic 2: Uphill, both ways, barefoot

Gotta say, I'm not really a fan of winter. It's not my favorite season--that distinction is reserved for summer. (Ah, summer, with your long, long days; your lazy lethargy; your warm sunshine... but I digress.) It may not have been the main reason I moved to L.A., but the weather has certainly been one of the biggest perks of living here for the past two years. For the past few winters, I've gone back to Calgary for 3 weeks in December, and that's enough time to get my fill of snow and cold--and, more importantly, to drive on icy roads long enough to not become a wimpy driver who can't handle winter.

That's the thing. I may not love winter, but I can handle it. I come from hardy, Canadian prairie stock. I know what to do when it's -40 degrees Celsius out, but I love the Chinook winds that invariably mean that I don't have to deal with the -40 weather for very long. I know how to drive on ice, and I don't freak out if there's a skiff of snow that doesn't even stick to the ground, and thankyouverymuch, I plan on keeping those skills.

I have yet to wear a winter coat (or gloves, or a toque) while living in Southern California, because it has yet to get cold here. I see people around here get all bundled up when the temperature hits 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Canadian part of me laughs at them for being such wimps, while the American part of me gloats at my family and friends who live where they really have to bundle up. It gets chilly, yes. It gets cold enough that I don't want to sleep with my window open all winter, cold enough that I'm not wearing sandals all the time, cold enough that I can actually use my sweaters and fall jackets--but it doesn't get cold, and that's one of the things I love about this place.

One thing I don't love, however, is the assumption that just because I'm Canadian, I've never experienced hot weather before. I could do without all the comments about how this must be the hottest weather I've ever experienced, and I must be so out of my element, and isn't it just so different from the frozen north, and it must be freezing up there. (My favorite is when that last comment comes in August.)

Winter and I have a complicated relationship. I may not like it, but that doesn't give others who have never lived with it the right to knock it. When Calgary's weather doesn't cooperate with the season, I feel like the city is a misbehaving small child, embarrassing me in front of all my friends, even though I know it's not doing it on purpose. But that doesn't mean I won't defend it. "It's not always like this." "This isn't really seasonal." "Wait a few days; a chinook will hit and the temperature will jump 40 degrees overnight." "At least we're not like some places, where winter doesn't leave until spring."

And, you know, there are things about it that aren't all that bad. While it's all well and good to curl up in bed with hot chocolate and a book on a windy, rainy, chilly day in Los Angeles, it's even better to do it on a blizzardy, blustery, freezing cold day in Calgary. And if you've never experienced a midnight snowfall on Christmas Eve, you don't know what you're missing. And just like any other season, it's the change that's the best part. The first crisp, cold day; the new sweaters, jackets, and corduroy in stores; the first snowfall; those bright, cold, sunny days that are still good days for a walk outside. As long as those days don't come before December first.

When it comes to winter, I'm picky. I want it on my terms, when I want it. I'd be happy with a winter that lasted for the month of December. No more, no less. Give me a winter that goes with Christmas, and I can handle that. But by February? You and me, winter? We're so over, and while I still may not like other people smack-talking you, I reserve the right to badmouth you all I want.



This has been an entry for therealljidol season 6. Read the rest of the entries for this topic here.