The secret to Chicago is not getting through winter: It’s being able to withstand spring.
Winter might be colder, but big picture, it doesn’t feel that long due to the holidays. You have New Year’s, then Valentine’s Day, then Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and before you know it’s March and it’s spring. Whee, right? Lambs springing about, daffodils poking through the ground, delicious new-season produce, sunshine!
Not so fast.
You most likely live here so you know what happened the first day of spring. Something that looks like this:
And ever since that day it’s been the same, over and over again: gray and tedious, the weather equivalent of an orange you spent a lot of time peeling that turned out to be dry, bitter and tasteless.
What’s irritating is that the commercial world around us does not react accordingly. Baseball begins. The Gap advertises fun pastel jeans. Magazines start beseeching you to get your body bikini-ready. Stores want us to buy fun baskets and bright green fake grass to prepare for a beautiful sunny Easter when in reality you’re probably going to have to wear a parka over your cute spring outfit and the eggs you found on your Easter egg hunt will chip your teeth because they’re frozen. And then you eat 90 Cadbury creme eggs to make yourself feel better and you feel gross afterwards.
That gray sky is just looming two feet above your head all week long, and you don’t want to go outside during your lunch hour because it's so gray and blah. You know you should but you don’t get around to it and then you feel crappy for sitting on your butt in your office chair all day and you go home and it's only Wednesday.
And it’s only March still? We probably won’t feel the warmth of the sun until June? How is the lake simultaneously gray and brown? We don’t get any days off work until Memorial Day? Good lord. Then you start googling the symptoms and cures for SADD.
Winter gets a bad rap. But winter isn’t the season that brings you down and teases you by promising something it can't deliver. Spring can eat it.
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