Thursday, February 7, 2008

30% Less Life

I can’t quite understand why we continue, year after year, to put ourselves through winter. I mean, it’s not without its benefits; I’ve always believed winter is what makes us who we are, as a people. More frivolously, I enjoy sweaters and scarves and snappy leather gloves as much as the next guy. And we all know there’s nothing like spring, which would be nothing without winter to usher it in. The breeze warms, buds push out of frost-bitten branches, and that spring fever rushes up inside you like vomit after a good night of drinking, sudden and jarring, but in a good way. Those April days, fresh air swirling around your knick knacks for the first time in months, you hear a streetcar whip by, ding ding, while doing the dishes. Wow. All of those gorgeous little moments wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if they happened year-round.

But still.

There are people who don’t know what it’s like to get salt stains on the hem of their pants, rust on their cars. People who don’t know from scraping ice and snow off a front stoop. Bundling up, five layers deep, just to put out the trash. As resilient Canadians, we make it our business to make it through the season, as if it were a measure of our national pride. But don't we see how much happier we are, as a people, in the middle of July, when we dance in the streets, drink mojitos and expose so much skin? Don't we know the freedom of flip flops is unparalleled?

Jeff and I talk about throwing it all away and socking our money into a shack on the coast of some Central American country. We’d be perfectly happy to live on the beach, gorge on sunlight, and adjust our idea of business casual to swim trunks and freckles. We’d have golden tans and fresh fruit at our fingertips. Salt-water baths every day, our skin flawless and exfoliated to within an inch of its life. And even when it's not bright-sun-and-margaritas, at least it's warm. When we were in Mexico, we had a full day of torrential rain, but couldn’t have been happier to sit on our little balcony, warm and moist, reading Esquire and British Esquire, looking up at each other once in a while, as if to say “There’s nowhere I’d rather be.” Rainy days at 1°C are simply not that romantic.

Or maybe I'm just being all like that. Not appreciating the amazing seasonal charms we -- I can't even finish the sentence. Words like endure, or suffer through, or survive are the only ones that spring to mind. I can't bring "are lucky enough to witness" to my fingers. We have 100 forms of depression, 90 straight days of grey, dozens of potential slip-and-falls. It's miserable for 30% of our life. What are we doing?! If someone offered you a job and said "I should let you know, you'll be clinically depressed 1/3 of your time with us," you'd tell them to shove it up their ass! And yet, here we are.

I guess, much like that crappy job, we're here for the health benefits and the constant promise of meeting other cynical Canadian-mades with whom we can share a laugh. As a people.


  1. A puzzle!

    If people in St Thomas experience 25 percent more life than people in London, Ontario does that mean that they experience only 5 percent less life in Canada? Is their supperiority only aimed at Londoners?

  2. HAHA!
    Clever, Bang Diddy.
    I see a guest blog on These Roving Eyes in your future!

  3. I hear ya! I guess living in the best country has to have some downfalls. The weather is definitely the first and foremost! I would love to live on a beach, but with that choice, comes none of the cushiness of our Canadian existence. What to choose, what to choose...

  4. Don't underestimate what the cold and wet can do for the pores. In my experience, tropical climates lead to a bright red hue and pores clogged with slimy sunscreen - eugh.