Context is everything

Me, age 21, after several winters in Chicago: "Wow! 27 degrees outside! It warmed up to the double digits! It must be an early spring thaw! Let’s go outside and throw snowballs at each other while we still can!"

Me, currently, after six months in Virginia: "27 degrees? It was 60 last week! 60! Oh my God the wind is going right up my trouser legs and why didn’t I wear my heavy sweater, fashion be damned, and is my face going numb? Could that be frostbite? And where the HELL is the goddamned BUS when we’re FREEZING TO DEATH out here?!"

Or, in other words, context is everything. It’s like one of those optical illusions where the two squares are exactly the same size but no matter how hard you look at them, one of them always looks much bigger than the other.

(It’s either that or I’m getting whinier and less cold-resistant with age. Could be the latter, now that I think of it.)

In other news, last night we had our first real dusting of snow, but it was all gone by morning. In an endearing display of optimism, the nearby Big Chain Houseware Store was selling plastic toboggans this weekend.

2 Responses to “Context is everything”

  1. PZ Myers says:

    We’ve been feeling the same thing — it’s been in the negative double digits here, and when the temps break 0° we feel like putting on the bermuda shorts.

  2. Jeannette says:

    No kidding! After growing up in Iowa, where getting above 0 degrees was cause for celebration, I now live in Louisiana where we cringe and shudder if a cold breeze brushes our faces and lament if there’s even a “freeze warning.” (yea, we have those).
    In November it got down to the 50s, and I heard a student on campus worrying (literally, not being silly) whether he could ride his bike home in that kind of cold. 🙂