Cabin Fever: I'm Not Bitter, Just F*cking Cold

by Susy Alexandre

I was sitting the nail salon listening in on the conversation between the client and the nail technician ahead of me.

Yes, the term "nail salon" makes it sound like I took the DeLorean back to 1954 to get my nails done.

And, yes, I listen in on other people’s conversations -- mostly because I have little control over what my ears capture and the volume of surrounding voices — so sue me.

Moving on…

The client, some over-primped and polished-to-death middle-aged woman (no judgment here) was telling the nail technician it’s very cold out.

Clearly, this woman thinks at 7 pm, when they close up shop, these women venture into a back room of the salon and crawl back under the rocks from which they surely came, never to head outdoors themselves.

Anyway, the nail technician, totally schooled in pleasant conversation with idiots, cocked her head towards the frozen over window and said “NO! Really?!?!”

The client went on to enlighten her with the forecast for snow (which had been playing on a repeated loop via the overhead TV for the last 30 minutes), to which the tech put on an Oscar-worthy performance of shock and horror.

In fact, the only interesting thing this woman had to say in all the time I was leaning on her chatter for entertainment was when she looked back at me and said coolly,

“You know, everyone is slowly getting cabin fever, it’s just too damn cold.”

And, with that sincere, soft-core curse and accurate remark about just how we’re all feeling through this hellish winter, she totally redeemed herself (scrap all aforementioned jabs).

Cabin fever. Sure, we pop out to hop in our cars and venture off to work (only to pop back in to a cubicle for the day), or brave the cold for a quick coffee, but little from our daily pops and hops does much to battle cabin fever.

Face it: We are currently collectively spending the majority of our days mapping out the quickest and warmest ways to get from one heated space to another, with minimal time out there.

I’m not suggesting that were it not for the bitter cold, we would all be outdoors laying in the grass like tree-hugging idiots, but I am pointing out the obvious. It’s too damn cold out, and we are all going a little crazy because of it.

Canada Goose must be having the best seasonal quarter in history, and if Starbucks pumps out one more hot chocolate, the world’s supply of whipped cream is going to plunge.

Blanket scarves are the new style, not because they look great, but because we risk going into hypothermic shock without them. It's a unisex fashion statement created solely for the purpose of survival.

As a Canadian, I’ve been raised to deny the cold at all costs, and never ever admit to shock when Mother Nature guinea pigs us with her latest sadistic, snow-fueled experiment.

In Canada, we expect this sh*t. I’m told we live for it.

I must have missed the memo on the joys of skiing while shoveling the 30 cm of snow and ice off my driveway last month.

I suppose I lost out on the pure bliss of skating while trying to veer my sliding tires into a snow bank to avoid tearing into traffic, having been met with some black ice on the way home last week.

And, while I sit indoors with a warm coffee and a Starbucks-sponsored fireplace crackling in the background, it’s difficult not to wonder how I’m going to get through the blistering hail outside and back to my car as I'm pelted with balls of snow-crap-turned-ice.

I’m not bitter; I’m just cold. I’m also not vying for the Olympic Winter Games, so excuse me if I don’t partake in the winter sport aspect of things. I, like so many others, have cabin fever.

I miss the sun. I miss vegetation in the form of trees and grass. I miss wearing only one pair of socks and being able to feel my fingertips. I miss going outside without mentally preparing myself for the frozen inferno that lies ahead.

Mother Nature, what are you playing at? I hate you.

And, to those of you fortunate enough to live in tropical climates, please go outside and let a palm tree know how much you love it today. And, also, I hate you.

I’m not bitter, honest. I’m just cold.