“I hate it here. I hate it here. I hate it here.”
That was my mantra walking to class this morning.
No, wait. That was my mantra walking to class every day this year.
I try not to complain about the cold – I really do – because a) I don’t have to live here, and b) complaining won’t make it warmer.
But I’m about to complain.
This has been the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced. Throughout January and February, temperatures routinely dipped below zero, with windchills hitting -22 degrees. (Of that number I’m certain, having taken a screenshot and sent it to my mother in an attempt to gain sympathy and care packages.)
I didn’t notice more snow than usual, but it still managed to flood over the sides of my boots at times. Then came the torturous task of walking from building to building with wet socks – a practice that shouldn’t be allowed in Guantanamo, let alone a college campus.
“Get taller boots!” you say? Where, aside from Bass Pro Shop or Modern Adult, does one find over-the-knee boots?
The older generations roll their eyes at us wimpy millennials, claiming that they had to walk to school uphill both ways with only plastic bags on their feet. They also say winters used to be much worse.
Rather than argue about meteorological history, I just roll my eyes right back. I think winters only seem milder now because most professionals drive to work, park their car just outside an office, then proceed to sit in that office until quitting time.
Unless you’re working grounds or delivering mail, your condescension isn’t justified.
Anyway, this year has been colder than a tin toilet seat. As someone who has to walk around outside all day, I feel entitled to a certain amount of misery.
It’s true that I chose to attend school in Erie, but that’s only because I was too chicken to move more than 100 miles from home at 18. Now that I’m a little older and bolder, I find myself wishing I’d enrolled at the University of Florida.
In fact, I dream of warmer climates every morning I step outside only to be assaulted by Old Man Winter.
When ice crystals are scratching my cheeks, when frigid air stings my nose and makes my eyes water, when I can’t wave to someone because God forbid I remove my hand from my pocket – that’s when I wish I’d picked any school south of the Mason-Dixon.
I have to remind myself that calling this place home isn’t so bad. It even comes with benefits.
I don’t have to worry about giant bugs or hurricane insurance or tan lines. My dialect is the same as everyone else’s around here.
If I went much farther from Pittsburgh, I’d have to explain why I call a grocery cart a “buggy,” and who has time for that?