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Another grievance for the list
Dec. 12, 2016
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by Ivan Raconteur

Let the record show I am officially adding the problem of sensitivity to cold to my list of grievances about getting older.

Cold didn’t bother me when I was young. I often spent hours outdoors, not necessarily dressed for the current conditions, and it didn’t trouble me at all.

We had one or two cold days each winter in Duluth, and I generally spent them engaged in some outdoor adventure.

Now, at the first hint of cold weather, I am practically incapacitated by the long walk from the car to the front door of the office.

It has barely dropped below freezing, and yet to me it feels colder than a witch’s wrist in a brass bracelet.

Back in the old days, I would have just started looking for my winter coat at this time.

Now, I am checking the real estate listings in the Cayman Islands. I’m sure they could use an experienced writer down there. I could spend part of my time writing, and the rest swinging gently in a hammock sipping margaritas and mango daiquiris.

We writers don’t call that loafing. We call it research. To the untrained eye, it might appear that we are idle, but we are really composing masterpieces in our brains.

There was a time when I scoffed at those who fled Minnesota during the winter.

Now, I wonder why it took me so long to see the light.

I love Minnesota during most of the year, but time has robbed me of the ability to appreciate it during the winter months.

I want to live in a place where the water is balmy, not frozen solid.

If I have to stay in Minnesota (which seems the most likely scenario), I’d like to find a way that would allow me to avoid going outdoors for about three months.

Hibernation is appealing, but I don’t think I have that many vacation days saved up.

If I lived in a city, I might be able to get by staying within a skyway system, but that’s not an option in my neighborhood.

I suppose my best bet would be to add a couple more layers of warm clothing, but as a fat man, I hate to do that.

Navigating narrow store aisles without brushing against things is already a challenge. If I add more layers, I’ll never make it.

I suppose I could hire a chauffeur to drop me off at every door, and to keep the car comfortably warm, but I suspect the budget won’t stretch to that.

The son of unwed parents I am really mad at is that Father Time character.

With each passing year, it seems we are plagued with more small inconveniences and minor complaints, and I can just picture that Father Time guy laughing at us.

With respect to the cold, I wouldn’t mind so much if it had been that way all along.

Instead, we are spoiled in our youth, when we seem able to endure any manner of physical excess without consequences.

Then, one morning we wake up, and what was once a gentle December breeze practically stops us in our tracks.

One of the few ways to fight back is to holler at those rotten kids who go out in shorts with no hats or gloves in the middle of a blizzard. Telling them to go put some clothes on can be satisfying for those of us who can no longer go out in the snow without dressing in multiple layers.

Getting old is not a popularity contest. It’s a fight for survival.


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