Five Life-Lessons the Polar Vortex Taught Me

Rochester has been cold. Very cold. The East, it would seem, was sprayed by Mr. Freeze’s Ice Gun. You’ve probably heard about it or have experienced the frigidness yourself. It’s my first East Coast winter and, well, it’s living up to its reputation.

A coworker mentioned (and you never know how true these things are) that, right now, ten minutes of exposed skin will earn you frost bite. I’m not sure what frost bite is, but it sounds delicious. They don’t sell those in California.

Here’s five life-lessons I’ve learned from living through the Polar Vortex, or as I like to call it, “The Unholy Coldy”

1. Cuss Creatively: If caught outside, unique cussing patterns can keep your brain functioning and from freezing over. Some of my favorites from the other day include, Butt-Face-Twinkie-Stealer!; Alabama-Harp-Farter!; and Mr. Bojangles, the Asshole.

2. Park Near the Entrance: I usually park far away; it saves time and I don’t mind walking. However, the other night I parked on the far end of the grocery store’s lot. By the time I reached the store, I had to borrow an ice scraper for all the frozen tear drops on my face.

3. Stock Up on Gloves: Impeccable timing as always, I lost my pair of gloves during the coldest week of my life. There’s just no excuse not to have two pairs: “Harry, your hands are freezing.”

4. Get a Fire Ready: There’s a fireplace in our apartment. It’s mostly for looks because the house heats great. But we’ve all heard stories of power outages in the cold. Our heaters will work fine, but we’ll need some sort of entertainment, like marshmallows and angry staring.

5. Have Fun: This includes, but is not limited to, checking the temperature on your phone and pounding your head against the wall for each degree; planning imaginary road trips to California (and/or Florida); napping in the shower.

Bonus: Stay Thankful, My Friends: Nothing replaces a warm house on an arctic day.


Did you make it through the Polar Vortex? What life lessons did you learn?


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