Friday, January 16, 2009

I'll Have To Settle for Inner Beauty

Okay, today it is minus thirty-freaking-one outside, with the wind chill factor. -31. That is ridiculously cold; infuriatingly cold, in fact. I accept the fact that I live in Canada, and that our winters are stupid, but come on, this? this is beyond human tolerance. It's about this time of year that I take my parents to task: "you had the whole of the world to emigrate to, and you picked Canada? You couldn't have gone to Australia or Hawaii or the Bahamas???" (My mother usually remarks that if I want to move to Australia I should just go ahead do it and leave her out of it.)

Part of what I hate about this kind of weather is that it is impossible to maintain any level of attractiveness whatsoever. No matter how much effort you put into your appearance, it's all for naught once you suit up and head on out into the elements. After you have bundled up enough to survive the cold, you look like a walking refugee from several countries, and then, once you arrive you've got hat head, your eyes are streaming and your nose is passionately red. Then, as your brain thaws out, it tried to escape from your nostrils, and your nose runs enthusiastically for at least a half an hour after you come inside. It's all very glamorous.

Last Tuesday, when the weather was howling and I walked the 20 minutes or so to the library, I had an inkling as to how bad I looked, judging from the faces of the librarians upon my entry. When I went into the bathroom to set myself to rights, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and even I was startled...I looked like I'd been shot out of a cannon. My hair was fuzzy, staticky and as lively as I've ever seen it, my cheeks were shiny (from the tears) and roseate, and my nose was positively exuberant. Now, I don't expect to look especially enchanting after such an outing, but I was hoping, at least, to avoid "frightening".

I've given up styling my hair in any manner for the time being; what's the point. Even after I've blow dried it and put some goo in it, after I take off my hat it will look like it's been styled with a Cuisinart anyway. My feet are cold all the time, so I've taken to wearing my huge Yeti socks, which makes me look as thought I have hobbit feet which do me no favors in the looks department. My skin is dry, my hands are gnarly and my expression is decidedly peevish.

Sooner or later, the temperature is bound to moderate, and I can wear lipgloss again without getting it all over the inside of my scarf. Or I can enter a room without immediately sussing out the whereabouts of the kleenex, or walking outside wearing just the clothes on my back. But for the time being, I'll just have to put up with looking like Nick Nolte's mugshot.

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