On Jan. 11, 1954, a date which will live in infancy, I made my grand entrance into the world while a blizzard raged outside the maternity ward at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut. I have been perpetrating snow jobs ever since.
So you might think that I like winter. Actually, of the four seasons, my favorite is Frankie Valli.
I forget the names of the other three guys, but seasonally speaking, winter comes behind spring, summer, fall, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
(Thank you, Simon and Garfunkel.)
Winter is the worst season not because of sleet, which God obviously created when He had a sinus infection, or even the windchill factor, which sadistic meteorologists devised to make us feel even more miserable.
No, winter leaves me cold because, simply, it’s too complicated.
Take gloves and car keys. You should because if you don’t take gloves, your fingers will freeze, making it impossible to hold your car keys.
And if you don’t take them, the rest of you will freeze because you won’t be able to get into your car and will have to trudge through a sheet of sleet (see above) that is whipping horizontally into your nostrils and will soon turn you, gloves or no gloves, into a human Popsicle.
The question is: Where do you put this stuff?
Here’s where it is complicated. You might put your car keys in the front pocket of your pants (it’s a good idea to wear them, too), but then you’d have to lift up the bottom of your parka (ditto) to fish the keys out of your pocket, which you can’t do unless you first take off your gloves.
This, I am sure, is why keyless cars were invented, probably during the winter in a place where sleet is common.
Then there is your wallet, which you will have to fish out of your back pocket — after again taking off your gloves and lifting up the bottom of your parka — to pay by credit card or, naturally, cold cash to put gas in your car so you can drive to work.
So you figure you will outfox winter by putting everything — car keys, wallet, gloves, ski hat, scarf, employee ID card, lip balm, hand moisturizer, flask of brandy — in the pockets of your parka so you won’t have to lift it up to fish out any of those items from your pants.
Or you’ll buy a tote bag in which to put all that stuff.
The problem is that if you go to the cafeteria, you’ll remember that your wallet is at your desk, in either your parka or your tote bag, and not in the back pocket of your pants, where it should be.
Then there’s footwear, which might normally consist of dress shoes or, if you’re casual, a pair of sneakers. In winter, you have to wear boots and carry a shopping bag in which to put your shoes or sneakers so you can change into them when you get to the office. When the workday is over, you have to put your boots back on and head out to the car, where it dawns on you that you left your tote bag under your desk.
One possible solution is to bring a suitcase to work so you can stuff it with everything, including summer clothes because the heat in the office is likely to be cranked up so high that it feels like a sauna.
Speaking of which, it is not a good idea to wear only a towel unless you want to be escorted out of the building and into the arctic air, where you will, without gloves, pants and parka, freeze to death.
So until spring springs, weather winter as best you can. And don’t forget that flask of brandy.