When winter comes, Nick and I usually have the following conversation:
“It’s freezing outside, I hate winter!” I start whining.
Nick answers with pure logic: “Why don’t you wear the down-jacket I gave you? You’d be really warm in it. You should also wear your gore-tex shoes, there’s nothing better to protect your feet from the snow.”
“I can’t wear a ridiculous down-jacket to go to work or anywhere that’s not in the mountains. And my gore-tex shoes are only for hiking, not to go into town!”
“Why not if you’re cold?” Nick doesn’t understand the difference between hiking clothes and city clothes. He often goes to work in hiking shoes. So at this point of the conversation, I wonder if it is even worth trying to explain why not. But I want to have the last word so I sigh heavily and say:
“I can’t wear the shoes because I’m not going on a hike. And I can’t wear the down-jacket because it is ugly, orange and most importantly, it makes me look fat.”
Nick shakes his head in despair as he realised I’d rather freeze to death than looking like a fatty on a hike.
I’m not the only woman who puts her looks before her self-preservation. My Swedish friend Sofia risks her life every morning biking to work without a helmet. Sofia looks exactly like you pictured her when you read “Swedish”: tall, slim, blonde, blue eyes, beautiful. You’d think that she wouldn’t need to worry about her hair. But she does. Wearing a helmet ruins her hair. Hence, even in the middle of winter when the streets are icy and snowy, she refuses to wear a helmet on her bike.
Both Sofia and I are totally irrational and a bit crazy. And I believe that many women act the same way sometimes.
However, there has to be a limit. And I reached that limit last weekend when it started getting seriously cold in Switzerland (day-time high below zero degrees, snow, ice.) Also, I had been sick 3 times already this winter and the weather forecast announced minus 10 for the next weekend. When I saw the snow on the ground, I ran to the first shoe shop I could find and bought some big fake-furry boots. UGG(ly)-like boots. Then I started fantasizing about down-jackets. I looked at women in the streets to see how they were fighting the cold. Most of them were wearing down-jackets. Some even looked pretty good and not fat at all. I started looking frantically for a wearable down-jacket in shops. I tried on various models. They all made me look like I had gained 15 kilos and frumpy. Until I found the ONE.
Wearing a down-jacket feels like being in a sleeping bag. It’s perfect to survive a Swiss winter. Sadly, I can’t say that I finally put my health and well-being before my looks because my new jacket clearly looks fantastic. But I’ll stay warm now and it’s all that counts.
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