And for me, that is cause to celebrate by pulling out the pullovers from storage. I have a body thermostat that is acutely sensitive to cold. Or implied cold. I am the one in the sweater in the movie theatre, and with the shawl over the shoulder in case it gets colder within, to limits that three hours of sitting in one place to watch a film would need them to thaw my corpse when the lights come on after the end credits. And yes, I have got my thyroid levels checked. Normal. I am a cold blooded creature. I’m probably a reptile reincarnated. I must have been a snake in my previous life. The only explanation why I go ballistic at the sight of them in the current.
Paradoxically, I love the cold, for someone who shivers when the car airconditioning is on, and who constantly has screaming fights with the husband about the fan being on full blast, and must sleep with a thick woollen blanket pulled all over herself. In much the manner of a corpse. I am so not going to be a candidate for those Himalayan treks. I will spend all available fuel on warming myself up. But I love hillstations. In winter. Bundled up in warm clothes, with puffs of air coming from one’s breath, the crisp smell of fallen leaves and woodfires all around, the kind of crisp clear air that makes everything seem technicolour. I dont get to see much of the cold thanks to the husband who, if he could, would retire from a professional life, and get a second career as a beach bum.
For someone who lives in a warm, humid city, that only changes from summer to monsoon, I have a fabulous collection of woollens. Which, of course, I rarely get a chance to wear. Therefore, when the temperature slips to below 20 degrees Celsius, my heart starts singing. I bring out my woollens from storage and air them to rid them of the mothball smells. I think of opportunities when I can wear them out in a public situation without people around me collapsing in uncontrollable mirth or reacting by breaking into a sweat at the vision of me snug as a bug in my woollen turtlenecks.
It has always been a longstanding desire to own a black fitted leather jacket. I think the look is cool. Black leather jacket. Slim jeans and sharp high black patent leather stilletoes. The man vetoed it. He mentioned unmentionable things like perspiration doing nasty things to the molecular structure of treated leather making it, well, if I must be graphic, smell. He wasnt buying into the Ladies Dont Sweat motto. He’s seen me at my best as a fire hydrant during May, where if I sweated any more I could be a walking waterfall. Nonetheless, I have an absolutely first class collection of regular jackets and warm clothes. Even, I am embarassed to say, some argyle vests gifted to me. Some fine cable knitted oversized sweaters. A couple of front open cardigans. Many woollen turtlenecks. In case of a second Ice Age, I am stocked up with clothes. And the body fat.
Therefore, when, the other day down at the park in the evening, a cold pleasant breeze broke out, I had to be physically restrained from doing cartwheels. I was thrilled beyond words, it is starting to get cold, I declared with great joy to my fellow walkers. They looked at me strangely, mopping their sweating brows. One of them suggested that I take a sip of water. No, no, I chirped enthusiastically, it is getting cold. See, it is definitely, chilly, I pointed out. They obviously didn’t. I could see the sweat pouring off their faces and they walked brisk and determinedly around the jogging track. I could feel the cold breeze cutting through the thin cotton that I was wearing and solemnly swore to wear a sportsjacket the next day, to keep in my body heat. Wouldnt do to get attacked by hypothermia while on the daily constitutional. As I mulled over this, a blithe young thing raced past us in a racer cut vest and capri tracks. I winced. I shivered a bit looking at her. I admired her bravery. The temperature had hit 18 degrees. It was time to bring out the fleece and the flannel. Maybe she was like some of those Russian or was it Japanese folk who like to jump into freezing lakes butt nekkid in some sort of pagan celebration of the cold weather. Maybe, was it possible, that she didnt really feel the cold. Maybe, just maybe, its me who needs to get the internal thermostat checked out.