If you’re like most inhabitants of the Big Apple, you’re originally from somewhere else. For many, that “somewhere else” entails humidity levels that can alter hair to unrecognizable levels of poufdom and/or winters that don’t start until early November. This thin-skinned North Carolinian learned the hard way that you can’t just move to New York in the thick of winter, during a blizzard, calling your pointy-toed suede booties your “winter shoes” and not end up curled in a ball crying tears which quickly convert to ice daggers in the northeastern subzero temperatures. OK, so that last part may be an exaggeration but it was very much like that inside my head, where I was forced to retreat out of shock until about May.
Here are a few tips to ensure that mean old man winter doesn’t kick your piña-colada loving ass:
Bundle up, for Pete’s sake! Although this may seem obvious, this concept took me an embarrassingly long time to fully grasp. When dressing to go outside in 30 degree weather, less is not more. If you think that sliver of neck your scarf leaves uncovered won’t matter, think again. And for the ladies out there, make sure your bra straps aren’t loose when you do aforementioned bundling up. I say this because there is NOTHING worse than feeling one strap gradually sliding down your shoulder, then shocking yourself to your heated core when the icicle that is your finger comes jabbing through twelve layers of puffy coat and sweater to fix it
Soup is your best friend. Chicken noodle, clam chowder, mulligatawny, Italian wedding, tomato, alphabet, miso, the list goes on. Really any member, however distant, of the soup family is your amigo this winter – chili, stew, even Spaghettios if you’re desperate. Soup dumplings, even. And how could I forget poor-person #1 staple, ramen?! Pretty much anything you can heat up and slurp from a bowl is going to be amazing in your face hole this winter. Trust.
They say that ignorance is bliss, and nowhere is that more apparent than in a crowded subway car. I know sometimes it can’t be helped, but if you’re afflicted with a cold that is accompanied by “the whooping cough,” please, please try to stifle that shit ’til AFTER you get out of the train or bus. Not only does it impede the spread of your nasty acute nasopharyngitis, it helps to put other passengers’ minds at ease in that they won’t have to worry so much about: calculating the rate at which airborne viruses travel, how many minutes away their stop is, and the mph at which they will need to run when breaking out of this human petri dish. Peace of mind is not overrated, people!
One upside to becoming a social hermit during the cold season is that you end up spending way less money. On the other hand, you don’t want your friends to forget you exist. It’s hard to resist an outdoor patio during the summer, and much easier and more tempting to retreat to your down comforter after a long day during the winter months. But be careful, as it is a fine line between justifying saving a little cash and succumbing to a type of paralyzing, isolated hibernation reserved mostly for bears and small rodents. Keep in mind that you are a in fact a human and we are not by nature one of the hibernating species.
If you fail you miserably at all of that, there is still some hope in the form of the good ole hot toddy. If you drink enough of ‘em, you won’t even feel the bitter cold as you exit the bar! See, they also ease you out of your hermit cave and help you maintain some semblance of a social life! Also, they’re delicious. And it’s rumored that a hot toddy might help with that cold you picked up from not washing your hands after Coughy McCougherson spewed sneeze juice all over the subway pole you were both holding.