I’m sure my husband could come up with a list a mile long to answer that, but for once those aren’t the answers I am looking for.
In San Francisco I was the girl who walked around with ear muffs on at all times because I never knew when that wind would kick up and leave you whimpering about how cold it was. I've prepared myself for months for the cold that is synonymous with east coast. I have researched the perfect boots and I've questioned anyone who will listen to me about what kind of jacket to get. I take extra hot showers in hopes that I will store that warmth for the months to come. But what I didn’t prepare for was the in-between weather. I've walked around in a constant state of confusion. Jacket. No jacket. Jacket. Ahhh!
My biggest dilemma has been the subway. And I’m not talking about the dilemma of figuring out how to squeeze onto a completely full car without the door impaling you. I’ll save that for another day. After just a few steps underground I am pummeled with a thick heat that sits in the subway waiting for it’s next unsuspecting, layered up victim. Every time I enter, I can't get my layers off fast enough. If an arm gets stuck, while wiggling out of my jacket, I panic: what if I suffocate right here on this platform? I spend most of my subway rides mopping my brow, creating a draft with my shirt and staring in bewilderment at my fellow riders. How can that mom who is holding two babies, pushing a stroller, and wearing a winter coat not be boiling? The hipster who is wearing an army jacket, beanie sitting slightly back on his head, and a knit scarf is not fanning himself. Nor do his clothes look like they have moved an inch since he left his house. How are they so unfazed by the temperature? Am I the only person who feels how overwhelmingly hot it is on these trains? I can count on one hand how many times I have seen a fellow hot blooded soul fanning themselves. Twice if we are being precise. And both times they were fanning themselves in such a nonchalant way it seemed more out of habit than actual temperature control.
The first few times I experienced this Menopause-like heat spell I chalked it up to being a fast walker or because I had to run to catch my train. After my third ride, though, I could not ignore it anymore- my internal temperature had risen. I started leaving the house without a jacket. And then when even that wasn’t enough, I began leaving my beloved ear muffs behind as well.
I won’t lie. I feel liberated with this new me! There are so many more outfit options when the need for a jacket doesn’t hinder you. My purse has more room in it for other NYC subway necessities like a ShamWow, water, snacks and a good book. I knew I would learn a lot about myself during this year of living in the big city, but I never would have guessed I would become a person who ran hot instead of cold!
Even after all this “I am a new woman!” business, I still wonder how New Yorkers can sit on a blazing hot train without melting. Because the cold weather is kicking in and my hot flashes have subsided, this mystery will have to be shelved until the next change in seasons. Until then I will be enjoying this brand new me and stealing sideways glances at everyone around me, looking for any sign that New Yorkers have super powers.