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I Can’t Bear Winter

I Can’t Bear Winter

We are smack dab in the middle of another northeast winter regardless of what the prognosticating rodent may say on Groundhog Day. I know this next statement will draw the ire of cryophiles so I’m just going to come out and say it. I hate winter! It is a season that I must endure so that I can be rewarded with the flowers and sunshine of spring. I like to think of it as Mother Nature sending me a bouquet for surviving hibernal hell. I am not a casual hater of all things winter. My dislike of winter has risen to the clinical level. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. I can actually get a doctor’s note excusing me from winter.

Every year I make a valiant attempt to embrace the season, but the early darkness of winter’s shortened days makes me want to crawl into bed by 5:30 pm. Even the the joy of snow days, snuggly pajamas and hot cups of tea have lost their appeal. I can appreciate the beauty of winter: the hush that comes after a storm when there is a blanket of snow covering everything and the sculptural look of the trees without their leaves. However, that snow quickly becomes dirty and makes driving hazardous and the sculptural trees are perpetually set against a dreary background. I miss the variety of color in nature. I’m tired of the gray, brown and white palette that engulfs me for at least 3 months.

After much contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that I would prefer to be a bear. Other than the destruction of their habitat and the ongoing concern of hunters, there aren’t too many downsides to being a bear. It would eliminate a lot of problems I encounter in my daily life.

Bears are apex hunters. Nothing fucks with a bear except a human with a gun and that doesn’t always end in the human’s favor. As a woman under 5 feet tall, people often discount my presence. In stores, rude people reach over my head to pay the cashier or to get things from shelves. I know I am short, but I am not invisible. People should not be stretching over me to take a case of water off the top shelf in the supermarket. If I was a bear, I would be taller and very few people would have the ability to reach over me. Also, being a bear, people would not want to piss me off.

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Bears spend their summers chowing down to gain weight for the winter. Imagine that! The goal for the season is to actually gain weight. I already possess that skill. Bears have a good excuse though; they eat to pack on the pounds to sustain them through winter. They wander around snacking not worrying about calories – the more the better. Since bears don’t wear clothes, there is no need to worry about the constant fluctuation in weight. Bears are never upset because their fur coats are feeling a bit restrictive and uncomfortable. As the weather turns colder and the hours of daylight dwindle, the bears finish up their gorging and head inside to their dens.

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I’ve been eating all summer. Does this fur coat make me look fat?

This brings me to the most alluring aspect of being a bear… hibernation. The thought of totally avoiding winter is immensely appealing to me. If I was a bear, I could curl up in my house and sleep through the darkest, coldest days. I realize that as a bear I wouldn’t have my heated mattress pad or my cozy pajamas. Everything has its trade-offs. Hibernating would allow me to avoid shoveling, scraping my car windows, driving on black ice, piling on layers of clothes and the inevitable asthma attacks caused by breathing cold air. As if missing out on the misery of winter isn’t enough incentive to being a bear, they go to sleep fat and full and wake up skinny. Sure, they’re hungry and irritable when they wake up in the spring. There are many mornings when I wake up hungry and irritable and I am not any skinnier when I do. Going to sleep with a full belly, missing winter and waking up skinnier… it’s hard to see a downside.

Until I master the ability to transfigure myself, I’ll just have to find some other way to cope with winter to make it bearable. DSCF0546

About Paprika Furstenburg

I was born with an overly developed sense of humor and poor coordination. The combination of these two character traits has taught me humility and given me the perspective to find the funny in everyday experiences.

28 responses »

  1. Oh, please do write more often, Paprika.Smiling and laughing at your wonderful humor burns up the calories of cold. No, I didn’t know cold had calories either, but it must have lots of them to be so universally hated! Take that, all you skiers and other lovers of cold and snow!

    Reply
  2. Oh Paprika, too funny. What a delightful perspective – although I am sure that the actual dealing with SAD is not much fun at all.
     
    Good to see that your humour remains unaffected – and three cheers for longer days ahead! The hours of daylight are indeed on the increase – something which bears repeating. Take care & thanks for sharing 🙂

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  3. Order silk long underwear. Then your skin never comes in contact with the wool. And cashmere wool doesn’t scratch love other wool. You can find cashmere sweaters for next to nothing n thrift stores. No one buys them because they say dry clean only, so they mark them way down. Just check very carefully for moth holes before you buy. They can be washed in your was here and dried on very low heat. I have jillion so of them, one even still had the $400 price tag on it:$1.99.
    Or better yet, come visit us In Mexico.

    Reply
    • Didn’t think of the silk long underwear to prevent the wool itchies. I do have a few cashmere sweaters that are toasty and soft. Haven’t been lucky enough to find any in the consignment stores around here. I’ll have to keep hunting. Thanks for the tip about washing them. I dread the cost of the dry cleaner – not to mention the extra chore of going there to drop off and pick up. The invite to Mexico would be a great solution for the winter if it weren’t for that pesky job that won’t allow me any time off in January or February. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Pam.

      Reply
  4. Sounds like a reasonable option to me – especially sleeping through cold wet weather.
    I can do winter, but not this year’s constant rain/drizzle/really cold for us and my palms.
    Not counting on that groundhog – already noticed the new ferns shoving their way out of the dead stuff, the bridal wreath putting on bright green leaves coming up from the roots, and the day is a tiny bit later. Now if only the sun would return …it seems to be bear-ing it this winter. Arrrgh

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    • The gloom and drizzle is just as bad as the cold , gray days we have here. Look on the bright side, at least you don’t have to shovel snow and your plants are starting to show signs of life again. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the appearance of my first shoots of green.

      Reply
  5. Buck up, Paprika; we’re already over the hump and on the back half of it (too late to complain now, and almost time to start seeds for the garden: )

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  6. And what’s wrong with going to bed at 5:30PM???? I’d do it in the summer if the sun weren’t so damn high.

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  7. We are sisters. Hate winter. Hate cold. I’m small and get cold easily. Always cold. I should have been born in Polynesia. Maybe we can find a discount on “nice toasty dens” through Airbnb.

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  8. Appropriately, I read your essay while sitting in my den, pawing through a snack bowl. Thanks for reinforcing my plans to hibernate in FL. Stay warm, stay dry, and stay well.

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  9. You speak my language, Paprika! Great bear photos!

    Reply
  10. 😂😂😂. I can’t bear 🐻 the winter either. Cute! I miss these.

    Reply

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