From my office to my train stop it’s about a mile walk. And that’s a mile’s worth of time that my knees turn red with cold, my fingers stiffen, my nose runs, and while I don’t notice it at the time, my ears chill quite considerably, if the burning thaw-out that occurs when I finally enter the warm waiting station is any indication.
Most people moan and complain and fear Chicago winters.
But to be honest, spring is the bitch you need to watch out for.
The problem with a Chicago spring is that you never know which one you’re going to get. There are days like the one we had last week that was bright and cheery and made you want to tear off your pants and run around in your chonies with glee.
And there are days like the ones that remind me of high school soccer practice, when we’ve finally been set loose on the field instead of training in the gym. Those first outdoor practices under a gray sky, kicking the ball around a muddy, soggy field heavily doused with the smell of dewy, humid, budding grass and fresh tree leaves. It was chilly enough to make your nose run, with a splotch of balmy air that made it fine—great, even—to run around in nothing more than a sweatshirt and trackpants in the fading twilight.
And then there are days like today that are that are beyond overcast, that whip winds past you and slice through your clothing like a sharp pair of dressmakers’ scissors. Days that make you seriously wonder about the feasibility of winter—or at least a version of it—actually lasting forever.
A Chicago spring brings out the best and worst in people. A sunny day means sunny people. A day like today will serve up the churlish and annoyed, people wanting to take out their confusion on how to proceed with such weather on someone, anyone, anything. Winter, you see, can be easily handled by adding on another layer. Summer is dealt with by stripping those layers to the bare minimum, and it’s followed by fall, which Chicago very kindly eases into gently, making the transition between two seasons as non-threatening as possible. But spring.
Spring goes for the “HA! HA! MADE YOU LOOK!” followed by a sucker punch to the gut and maybe a shin kick if it’s feeling feisty kind of seasonal change, forcing you to think long and hard about how you’re going to handle and react to the season’s apparent mood disorder on a daily basis.
Or at the very least, it makes you double check the weather forecast for the next day. And seriously reconsider your planned outfit.