I hate winter with the white-hot passion of a thousand fiery suns. The very minute those Arctic winds start heading South from Canada, expletives stream forth from my lips, and the profanity reaches a screeching crescendo when the snow starts to fly.
Yes, I have chosen to live in New England. Yes, I see the irrationality of this.
But this year, for the first time since I was a very small child, I am actually looking forward to the first snow. And I have these boots to thank:
I never considered myself an Uggs sort of person, but these are Uggs. But they are not impractical, fashion-first, no-snow-allowed Paris Hilton Uggs. No, these are hard-core, fully winterized Uggs, purchased at the badass New England outdoorsy store. So there you go. It’s done.
They were an investment, but I can justify it because they are only the second pair of winter boots that I’ve ever bought — and only the third pair that I will ever own in my adult life.
Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve been living in New England for 23 years now, and in all that time, I’ve been trying to get by with a pair of cheap, L.L Bean-knockoff “duck boots” that my mother bought for me in 1985. (OK, I did buy one other pair of boots in 1993, but they were uncomfortable and had to be discarded after one year).
So for almost 25 years, whenever there has been snow to be shoveled, I’ve worn the cheap old duck boots with no traction left on the soles. They were neither comfortable nor very presentable, so I never wore them to work — even though my job requires me to walk outside several times daily — and I was even reluctant to wear them around town. Anytime I’ve cared how I looked, I’ve tried to make do with non-winterized, non-insulated, everyday ankle boots or knee-high boots.
I chalk this up to denial. I don’t live in a place where everybody needs insulated, waterproof winter boots. No, no, not me! The snow and cold are just temporary anomalies. I mean, ok, they stick around for four months — but summer is just around the corner!
No more. I have folded. Given in. Anger and denial have yielded to acceptance, and I am ready to face the winter.
I realize, now, that this has been a gradual process, this acceptance. Last year, I bought the adorable, fuzzy, faux shearling-ish fleece vest from Eddie Bauer that you see below.
In the same shopping trip, I also bought a cute little knit hat, which was my first hat purchase since 1988. No, I’m not kidding. Denial, remember? Most of the time, I’ve made do with a scarf wrapped around my head. On the plus side, this technique doesn’t ruin my hair, and it has the added benefit of making me feel very 19th-Century Russian Novel. The downside, of course, is the relative lack of warmth.
So now, as much as I hate winter, I kind of love my cozy new winter clothes. Maybe there’s hope for me, after all. Maybe, some day, I’ll actually purchase a winter coat of my own, rather than making do with layers of light jackets, or hand-me-downs from my mother-in-law.
But let’s not rush into anything. After all, winter is only temporary. Isn’t it?