My latest for The Urban List!
Winter, we need to break up.
It’s not me, it’s you. I know you’re only doing what’s expected of you, but it’s been almost three months and I’m just not happy. I have been trying so hard to compromise – I wear beanies and boots, even though they give me flat hair and make me feel like a hooker; I turn the heating up so high in my bedroom that mould is beginning to grow in my wardrobe; and I’ve switched from pinot gris to pinot noir in an attempt to warm my insides. I’ve even been using the seat warmers in my car, despite their unsettling tendency to make me feel like I’ve wet my pants as they gradually heat my nether regions.
And what have you done in return? You’ve turned progressively colder, made the days shorter, and made my friends and family sick with your habits. What’s worse, you don’t even seem to care. You just continue along in your miserable, damp way without acknowledging any of our differences. It seems like we go through this every year, but in fairness to me I’ve never pretended to like you, let alone invite you to stay. And this year especially, you’ve been so wet. Cold and wet. That’s how I describe Nicole Kidman. Is that really how you want me to describe you too?
I wish it didn’t have to be like this, there are things about you I honestly love. My usually affection-phobic dog can’t get close enough to me when you’re here (which frankly makes me think he’s not a fan of you either); the curl of smoke from the neighbour’s chimney is a truly lovely sight, to say nothing of that wonderful woody aroma (although perhaps not taken to its extreme – the smoke from the house that burned down in my street two days ago was actually kind of creepy. Apparently it was started by, surprise surprise, someone trying to ward off your advances with an ancient oil heater); and several of my friends actually appear to not only like you, but anticipate your arrival with what I can only describe as genuine excitement (something about getting to wear all their beautiful coats they bought in Europe). I don’t even mind that you prefer me in jeans instead of shorts – truth be told, I feel the same way. Trust me, I get your good points.
But there is just too much we don’t have in common. My dream holiday consists of a beach, a pool and a mango daiquiri; you’re only ever good for skiing, ice skating and mulled wine (okay, the mulled wine I quite enjoy, but it’s nothing I can’t get from sangria). I like to wake up early and go to bed late, but when you’re around I’m forced to sleep in late and get to bed early. And I can’t stand sharing a bathroom with you. It’s not so much the sub zero temperature you keep the tiles at, or the fact that it takes forever to get hot water out of the tap. It’s what you do to my bath towel every day while I’m at work. God knows what you’re up to, but it’s never dry when I get home and always reeks of damp.
You also, and I feel a bit weird bringing this up, seem to have quite a bad wind problem this year. You know I can’t handle that sort of thing.
Let’s face it, you don’t belong in Queensland. It confuses you, almost as much as you confuse Queenslanders. And if you’re honest, you know your heart belongs somewhere further south, like Melbourne. You love it down there. People appreciate you, and accept your conditions. They know how to don a smart coat, and wrap a scarf suavely around their neck. Up here, people don’t know how to dress around you, or what to expect. Sometimes it’s like you only know how to make one half of us cold, utterly ignoring the other half. Young girls are forced to run around town in oddly unbalanced mini skirt and ugg boot combinations, or singlet top, scarf and fingerless glove groupings. And don’t get me started on the hooded windcheater with fake fur trim thing.
So I’m putting my stockinged foot down. I have already spoken to Daylight Saving, and we’ve made a deal. As long as he’s not allowed across the border into Queensland, neither are you. You can travel as far as Tweed Heads, but no further. I’m sure you’ll be fine once you get used to the idea. From what I’ve seen, they love a good duffle coat down there.
Consider this your two weeks’ notice. Get packing.