Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Sensible Coat

We've had a pretty nice winter in Saskatchewan this year - only a few short spells where the weather dipped less than -20, which is insane, being used to what seems like months of sub -30.  We still had a few days of -50 windchill though, and super cold weather always brings about a major frustration for me:  people who don't wear sensible jackets.

I don't understand these people.  I get the people who wear t-shirts and shorts when it's -30 out - they're just in it for the attention (which is super dumb).  But the people who wear windbreakers in -40, or lightly lined denim jackets in -25 - COME ON.  If you have 10 dollars, you can go to any mall in Saskatchewan and find a reasonably warm jacket on sale that is more suited to extremely cold weather.

Am I a weirdo if I want to ask people what they're thinking when they don't wear sensible jackets?  Am I a weirdo that this bothers me so much?  Many of the people I work with don't wear sensible jackets, and we work up north where it's even colder than Saskatoon most of the time.  And the people I work with all make comfortable salaries and are not allowed to say they can't afford a sensible coat.

One example that sticks out in my mind is a guy I went to school with a few years ago.  I guess his deal was that he would store his winter clothes at his parents' house in a different city during the summer, and this particular year he had forgot his winter coat at his parents' house when he went home for Thanksgiving, so was planning to wait until he went home for Christmas to pick it up.

The problem was, it was an extremely cold fall (hovering around -30 on average) and not only did this guy not have his warm winter coat, he had NO coat in Saskatoon.  Every morning he walked from his apartment to the university (about 2 km - not exaggerating) in what he insisted was the warmest "sweater" he owned - essentially, a long-sleeved t-shirt with a hood on it.  I guess to him the hood meant that it was a jacket, but it was seriously a t-shirt with a hood, made out of light cotton.  Also he did not have mitts, so he put his hands in the pockets of his t-shirt with a hood.  I think he did eventually find a toque somewhere.

To this day I don't know why it bothered me so much - perhaps I was annoyed at him for other reasons as well - but every day, I'd bundle up in ski pants and long johns to walk less than a km to school, and he'd walk over in a t-shirt with a hood and say "It wasn't that cold" but his face stayed bright red long after it should have after being flushed with the cold.  A friend and I kept offering him alternatives to frostbite - down filled jackets are on sale at the mall for 15 bucks, get your parents to ship your coat on the bus, but he wouldn't let up, insisting that -40 wasn't too bad still but he did pull out his toque that day.

Maybe I'm the crazy one, for caring so passionately about people not wearing sensible coats in cold weather when it's clearly none of my business, but for whatever reason it always frustrates me.  Who are you impressing by not wearing a sensible coat?  No one.  Who is freezing because of it?  You. You live in Saskatchewan - you owe it to yourself to own a sensible coat.

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