Under the Weather

The weather the last two winters in Cincinnati has been unusually mild and altogether unpredictable. There are unforeseen consequences when the weather goes and does its own thing. Gardeners are freaked out. I’ve been warned, in no uncertain terms that I had to treat my yard for pre-emergent weeds…in February. Plus there’s the political land mine of wandering into a discussion on global warming with the ill-informed.

But for me uncertain winter weather hits closer to home. I don’t know what to wear.

From one day to the next, my closet stare-downs are epic. My eyes shift from my cell phone weather app to my clothing choices for a longer than natural time and this activity is starting to take away big chunks of my productive life. I’m almost afraid to make a weather/clothing decision. Sometimes, I’m freezing because I was banking on a warm day but the day turns out the opposite of warm and I don’t have enough clothes on. Or, I thought the day was going to be cold, so I put all kinds of layers on, only to see the thermometer mock my sweat.

I may have too many clothes in general. After all, I’m a middle class, mid-western, urban-dwelling, white-collar worker who tries to go to an array of activities from opera to soccer and fine dining to food trucks. I like to “suit up”, as it were, for any occasion. But the variety of clothes I own is supposed to make me prepared.

In the winter, which I expect to be cold and bleak, I have a selection of turtlenecks, wool sweaters, thick socks, and flannel or corduroy everything. Since winter refuses to be winter enough, and even refuses to hold it’s grip to keep temperatures low, I haven’t had very many recent occasions to dig this stuff out. And I would have to dig it out, because it has all been pushed aside or buried under more temperate clothing.

Not cold enough for winter wear doesn’t been it’s warm enough to wear short sleeves. But some days, for a few hours, it IS warm enough for short sleeves. Are you kidding me? But I can’t just wear short sleeves and be done with it. I still have to tote along a sweater or something a little heavier, because it’s still winter and the temperature will drop practically the second I feel comfortable. All this means, my laundry looks like I’ve just got back from Florida every week. In my closet, all but the extreme weather gear (wool sweaters on one side, bathing suits on the other) are in play. My coat rack represents any type of weather that requires a coat based on temperature or precipitation. Where I used to stow off-season gear out of reach, now everything is at the ready. One never knows.

I’m not good at fashion anyway. But I can make a go of it when I have a good idea what is going to happen when I leave the house. Mild, wild winter is a level-up on the fashion ability scale that I am failing.

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