Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter People

I've mentioned that I'm not in favor of winter in New England. Tragically, it's a problem I seem to be stuck with, so it's become a project of mine to study how other people manage it. I've identified 7 distinct psychological profiles, and laid them out here in a friendly, even cheezy, facebook-quiz-result format. I've tried them all (especially 3 and 5) and can't say any of them really work for me. Which one are you?

1. The Scandinavian

Your strategy is to embrace winter by wholesomely and publicly not minding/liking/LOVING! the cold and snow, participating in lots of outdoor winter sports and whatnot, simply dressing correctly for the weather, and telling other people how they could--and really should--enjoy winter as much as you, if they could just cultivate an upbeat attitude and acquire proper footwear. When the subject comes up, you are likely to mention that you grew up in a northern climate, or that your ancestors did, as if that itself provided some kind of immunity to winter misery, though the statistics about alchoholism and suicide in northern Europe alone (see type 4) should be enough to shut you up. All the other types listed here hate you. In fact, why are you even reading this? Don't you have an Ididerod to train for or something?

happiness, health, superiority
Cons: only other Scandinavians can stand you

2. The Philosopher/Poet/Artsy Type

You are probably somebody's Dad. You can, and do, quote Robert Frost and Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale at length. You take beautiful photographs of ice-encrusted trees. You spend the long winter hours re-reading Les Miserables, and reflecting about and expounding on the building of character. By March, you are usually more depressed than the rest of us.

Pros: sounds great
Cons: doesn't work

3. The Patient

You think of winter as a disease that can be treated with a variety of remedies--vitamin D, fish oil, light therapy, antidepressants, psychotherapy, smelling salts, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, etc. You suffer deeply, mention your diagnosis often (Seasonal Affective Disorder, Hypersensitivity, Vapors, Excessive Beauty of the Soul), and complain regularly, as if everyone around you weren't living in the exact same climate as you.

Pros: actually might work--placebo therapy is often effective
Cons: danger of slipping into type 4 when remedies don't work

4. The Alcoholic

You are a traditionalist. Your Daddy, and your Daddy's Daddy before him--all the way back to your Great Grandaddy Bjorgen Flergnoggen--all dealt with winter (and probably most other situations) using the time honored tradition of Drinking Yourself into Oblivion. Nothing warms the soul in a January cold snap like a hot rum toddy, or a bottle of vodka, or two, topped off with a steaming hot percocet.

Pros: dulls the pain
Cons: cons? what cons? there are no cons--you could quit any time you wanted to!

5. The Groundhog

You crank the heat up, watch lots of tv, takes lots of naps, and consume lots of hot cocoa and toasted cheese, and cookies, and bread, and other kinds of cheese, and other kinds of chocolate. You wear stretchy clothes, 2 or 3 layers, and extra socks. You get really good at some lame computer game. You do not answer the phone, you do not go out at night, or during the day, unless you must. You may have gained a few pounds.

Warning: Do not attempt this strategy with children in the house.

Pros: cozy, combines well with type 4
Cons: high heating bill; by spring your friends have forgotten you.

6. The Migrator

Each winter you go somewhere warm, stock up on sunshine and the will to live, take pictures of yourself in a bikini on a beach somewhere, sipping a drink out of a coconut, and put them on facebook so we can share your joy as we shovel and scrape. You absolutely must come home with a tan, whether or not you like to tan at any other time of year. You tend to have more money than me.

Note: This only counts as a strategy for "dealing" with winter if you go away for less than a month of the winter--more than that is actually just "not dealing".

Pros: a really nice week or two
Cons: having a stark comparison may exacerbate the effects of winter when you return

7. The Equal Opportunity Grouch

Winter doesn't bother you any more than every other damn thing in your pain-in-the-ass life. You remember that in the spring, there's all that mud, and in the summer you'll be uncomfortably hot and have all that yard work to do, etc. You complain, but with a sense of resignation that would seem more philosophical if you ever enjoyed anything, at all, ever.

Pros: acceptance
Cons: never-ending misery


Unknown said...

Hahahahahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Awesome. Mike and I are groundhogs. I can pose as a Scandanavian only for small bursts. Then I retreat to my natural inclination toward the poetic/artsy type mode. Mike tends toward the Equal Opportunity Grouch. ;-) If I'm still teaching at UAB next fall, can I use this as an example for our "definition" essay? ;-P

http://decksidethoughts.blogspot.com said...

Sara sent me over. I love how you found 7 perfect pictures to accompany the penultimate list!