Baby, it’s freezing outside

Published: January 24, 2013, 2:10 am ET
Opinion Assistant

Are you tired of needing four layers to make it to class in the morning? Do you miss feeling your fingers, toes and other extremities? Have you already spent way too much money on coffee, hot chocolate and/or gloves? Then you are enduring winter, the Richmond way.

Winter may be magical in the movies, but here it’s just cold. Bitterly cold. (I say that as a wimpy, warmth-loving Virginian, so I don’t need to hear any taunts from Northeastern or Russian students.)
If you’ve spent the past two weeks shivering as I have, then you may appreciate a few words of advice to handle this weather until March.

1 Thick socks can easily replace your best friend. Most people don’t think much about their socks, but without an insulated pair, my long walks to classes become excruciatingly painful. Cotton just won’t cut it; go for wool, and the longer they are, the warmer your legs will be.

2 The snow forecast will always be wrong. For example, we were supposed to get 3 to 5 inches of snow last Friday. Richmond actually received 1.6 inches, according to Weather Underground, and it wasn’t even fluffy snow. It seems like something about this area makes it impossible for meteorologists to ever predict the snowfall correctly — but it’s probably just them.

3 The university will never cancel classes. It doesn’t matter if every other public and private school in the area is closed, the school that held classes during Hurricane Sandy will scoff at icy and unplowed roads. VCU got a four-day weekend with the snow closing on Friday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day off. If they win tonight’s basketball game, we can blame it on their days of extra sleep.

4 Cold is a great excuse to get close. Humans have cuddled for warmth since before the last ice age, and it’s still a a fun way to avoid hypothermia. You might find that a special someone is more willing to share your bed when it means having another warm body under the covers.

5 It will get warm again soon, and then cold again, and then… It sounds like I’m joking, but it will be 60+ degrees next Wednesday and Thursday, and then drop into the 40s on Friday. Winter weather around here is about as indecisive as a freshman planning his or her major.

For those of you who enjoy the winter, I am happy for you, even if I don’t understand you. As for me, I really hope that groundhog won’t see his shadow next month.

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