My cube neighbors informed me when I walked in this morning that they had already discussed how f-ing cold it is outside. Well that sucks — if bitching has permanently been bumped up in the schedule to somewhere before 8:50 am, I guess I need to start waking up earlier! Or maybe my co-workers don’t actually enjoy the morning rants I launch into before I even turn on my computer... Anyway, I must bitch about Chicago winters, if not verbally then electronically.
I believe Chicago is a particularly unpleasant place to be in January and February, and it goes beyond the wind chill. It is the unfortunate combination of the god-awful cold and the midwestern mentality, which is not quite as extreme as southern charm/hospitality, but is certainly more relaxed and friendly than the streets of New York City.
It makes sense that southerners talk, walk and wait tables slowly. Where’s the rush when your life is one big bubbly hot tub party? Plus half of the sun-kissed people down there are retired or on vacation. They have the time and affability to say please and thank you. And it makes sense that New Yorkers are pushy, vulgar and live in a perpetual state of fast-forward. There’s a lot of stuff going on, the weather can be pretty crappy and there are a lot of f-ing people in your way. All the time.
But here in Chicago we’re stuck somewhere in the middle. The people that are in my way often possess a corn-fed good nature that can be extremely annoying when it’s four degrees below zero. How is it possible that walking from the train station to my office during RUSH hour this morning, my hobbit legs were gaining more ground — in heals — than the other corporate cogs, most of whom are at least a head taller than me? Are they enjoying a lovely morning stroll through the frozen concrete jungle? And did the herd I found myself stuck in seriously have to wait for a jackass cab driver to turn left in front of us when we had the right-of-way AND further authority in the form of a WALK sign? When my lip-gloss is freezing to my face, it’s no time for manners.
I grumbled internally to myself, as I do all winter long: WTF do I choose to live in this ridiculousness — even though I know the answer. Chicago winters make you appreciate how fabulous Chicago summers are even more. Plus I just love to complain.