An Open Letter To Chicago Winter 2014


Dear Chicago Winter 2014,

I’ll start by admitting that I am a winter wuss. Born in Nigeria, a tropical climate, I see no reason for temperatures to ever drop below 65 F (or 18 C). And even then, that would be a cold day. Sure I didn’t live in Nigeria beyond 4 and a half years and indeed you can take the girl out of Africa, but you cannot take Africa out of the girl. Or her affinity for warm temperatures. But I also know that even the die-hard, perplexing human beings who claim to love winter, are tired of this shit.

As I write this, it is 9 F and it FEELS like -2 F. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “It could be worse. Remember when it was -40?” Yes I do, at least in theory. I remember not going anywhere for two days during two different weeks. Well, I had to go to my grad class on one of those nights. And on that night, I remember freaking out/having a mini panic attack because in my 10-minute walk from the L to my apartment, I genuinely believed that I had lost my big toe. This is despite wearing triple socks, long Hunter socks, and Hunter boots. Sure you could say I was overreacting, but I am still going to blame my irrational thoughts on it being so damn cold.

Your first problem is the fact that you exist at all. But whatever. I have lived in the Midwest for almost seven years, and clearly I must be a basketcase to choose to put myself through this. (Rest assured you are a major reason why I know my days in this wonderful city are surely numbered.) And I have learned to accept that you are a part of my reality now, but I did not sign up for these apocalyptic temperatures. THIS IS THE COLDEST I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. And I believe I speak for everyone who is under thirty years old. As well as the Lincoln Park Zoo polar bear.

I knew I should not have had any hopes at all but last winter you were tolerable, and in 2012, you were G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S. I remember it being in the 80s F that year on St Patty’s Day. Granted your much more good-looking sibling, Spring, might have decided to take over the reigns early that year. (How is Spring doing by the way?) This year I have no illusions; you will likely feel like -10 on St. Patty’s because you tend to get extra shitty on holidays. Now while you are not keeping Chicagoans away from enjoying holiday celebrations or weekend festivities, it is more or less a moral debate deciding to go outside these days – to the gym, to the grocery store, etc.

Did you really have to start in November by the way? (To be honest, I was already cold in September.) But is this some kind of sick-twisted plan to ensure that we never wear anything but puffy coats, and boots that feel like a 10-minute workout to take off? And let’s talk about the fact there has been no respite! Well, apart from that one day when it was in the 30s, and I was seriously debating whether to go to the lake and play beach volleyball. Other than that, you are either snowing like a banshee (a phrase that I am still uncertain as to what it actually means) or it is so bloody cold that my tear ducts are producing tears after 5 seconds of being outside.

All I’m saying is you’re basically ruining my life. And everybody else’s. I get it; technically it’s partially “our” fault because of climate change. But I recycle, I don’t have a car, I use reusable grocery bags. Why must I suffer with all the plebes who choose to be in denial about the fact you’re pissed. I AM A GOOD CITIZEN OF THE EARTH. Please stop punishing me. I am tired of freezing my ass off. I’d really like to run outside again. And be able to wear TOMS. And drink Moscow Mules in the appropriate weather, on a rooftop. So in a nutshell, if you could go straight to hell Winter 2014, I’d very much appreciate it.


Kovie B.

p.s. The first person to complain about the heat this summer is getting punched in the face.