As a kid, I found it somewhat tolerable, primarily because of Christmas, or the chance of getting out of school for a snow day. But, even then, I disliked the cold wind in my face and cold wet feet.
Some particularly frigid college years in beautiful Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, only helped to cement those feelings.
As an adult, you could add driving in and having to shovel snow to my list of grievances. With the notable exception of hockey, there’s little that entices me about winter.
To address that, since my early 30s, I have been inching my way southward. As I’ve yet to get far enough to completely escape the weather, I cling to baseball season and golf, and when winter finally does rear its ugly head, I count the days to spring training to see me through.
To me, paradise is somewhere by the water, on a nice beach, and at worst requires a light jacket.
Thus, it was ironic, and not the least bit unexpected, that inevitably I have chosen to share my life with someone who feels almost the complete opposite. Call it Murphy’s Law? Opposites attract? It was simply bound to happen.
My partner in crime loves sweater weather and lives for Halloween. She embraces a six-week Christmas season complete with the prerequisite two-hour hunt for the perfect tree with all the sawing, dragging and tying that entails; and has been known to usher in pumpkin spice season in August.
And she is most definitely not a fan of the heat. Nor the humidity. Heck, where she grew up, it’s almost time for fall snow.
But I’ve had a glimmer of hope for some time. The high school senior has been on a kick to go to college in Florida. Knowing wherever she went, Mom would follow, I have silently hoped the gradual thawing of Mom’s anti-tropical bias would eventually find us basking in the warm Florida sun, laughing it up as my northern friends slogged through another winter.
And it was working! A couple of fall and winter trips to Florida were doing the trick. Helping her sister move in the middle of summer was not a dealbreaker. And I was a really good boy. I didn’t rub anything in, said no “I told you so’s,” nothing.
I could almost taste the beachside margarita.
That was, until the kid widened her potential landing spots to include my old stomping ground in Pennsylvania, or even (gasp) New England!
Mom has done her best to try to get me to believe how temperate the climate will be along the water in New England, but I’m not buying it. I saw the amusement in her eye. And I know all about nor’easters, winds whipping off the ocean, two-foot snow dumps and everything coated in a layer of ice. I’ve seen pictures, I’ve heard the stories.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a good education. I want the kid to choose the best school for her future, and where she will be happy. And to be perfectly clear, I will follow her and her mother anywhere.
Think about it. One minute I’m imagining spending my winters in short sleeve shirts, playing golf a couple of times a week, cruising in the convertible, the next I’m dressed like the Gorton’s fisherman. That’s just a harsh reality to face.
So, what I’m asking of you is a little sympathy. In return, should Florida win out in the end, I promise I won’t share any of those annoying Facebook memes Floridians post all winter.
Do we have a deal?
Chris Six is a freelance writer and consultant. Learn more at cdsix.com