Coldpocalypse 2014: The Five Stages for a Northern Transplant Living in Florida
Whew, all right. You're awake. Well, congrats; you made it through the night. Soon, the other survivors will be gathering in the light of day, swapping stories of the previous night's struggle. This was a close one, South Florida, but we made it through.
A lot of you SoFla natives are probably going to remember this one for a while -- the night when the temperature dipped to the 40s. Understandable. You're not used to this. But hey, you can't count us out -- transplants from the north. Sure, we're steeled some by past experience in such weather, but it's more complicated than that -- more emotional.
Here are the five mental stages northern transplants in Florida endure when the mercury bolts to the bottom of the thermometer in our adopted state.
Annoyance. First of all, it's January? Really? Oh right, yeah, Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-New Year's, we just did all that. Sorry, but when your mental clock is still programed from years of living up north to register the passage of time by the change of seasons, you tend to live in a perpetual summer. So it's January? That's annoying; thought it was at least March now.
Anyway, the real annoying thing is we're getting it from all sides. For one, all we hear are Floridians bitching about the coming cold, about having no heat, needing to put on pants. Jesus. But we're also getting it from every friend we've got up north... because if conditions are such that it's cold down here, up north you know it's brutal. So cue the dozens of emails, texts, and Facebook posts: "You're so lucky you live in Florida, you have no idea what it's like" blahblahblah.
Mockery. Who's cold? I'm not cold. Are you kidding me? You should feel January in Sheboygan. This is a typical response, autopilot. All day, while South Floridians are warming themselves for the coming night by incessantly blabbing about the coming night, we northerners are walking around offices and schools, water holes and restaurants, mouthing off. Coldest I've ever felt, Utica in '94. Holy hell.
This stage really hits the high point when we make it back home at night, as the chill is just starting to work into the tropic air. Cold? Fuck that, let's open up these windows. There, see, this ain't no East Lansing. Further waving a middle finger at the situation, it's pretty common to go through the closet, looking for our old winter clothes, raiment for real situations. That old hoodie, the tattered scarf, dust them off for the hell of it.
Nostalgia. This hoodie, damn, it actually feels so comfortable and right, like meeting up again with an old girlfriend who still laughs at your Robin Williams impression. And this scarf smells like the Buffalo chickens wings at the college cafeteria. Man, wait a second, it's getting cold in here, isn't it? Might as well bundle up. Got to close those windows. Shit, never did buy a space heater. Man
Discomfort. No lie, it actually got pretty cold last night. Northerners get cold too, OK? Just remember that.
Shame. What would the guys back in Brookline say if they saw me now?, that's what we're thinking the next morning, huddled under our one blanket and every other piece of clean bedding we could find in our heatless apartment. What would they say up north? That's what a cold night in Florida does to us northerners: It makes us realize exactly why we don't live there anymore. Being cold sucks.
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Swenson.