These days, I think of winter in Chicago as being more like Madonna. It returns, year after year, shrieking and wailing and trying desperately to impress. Fact is, honey, we've seen it all. Blow all you want, but you done used up all the tricks in your bag.
Now when October comes I just sigh and do my best to ignore it.* And please don't give me any hippie New Age crap about how one ought to "live in harmony" with the seasons and enjoy what each of them has to offer. People who say such things do not live in Chicago. Trying to live in harmony with a Chicago winter is like trying to do buddy yoga with a wet cat.
Winter 2006 was relatively mild, meaning that:
- There was a day in mid-February when I walked three blocks with my face uncovered.
- The wind off the lake slammed me into the side of my apartment building only twice.
- It's May and I'm not still wearing a wool overcoat and earmuffs.
It takes the zing right out of the daffodils.
This year, not so bad. Small repairs to the trim, rather than major renovations to the infrastructure. And I'm not looking at anything I wore and wincing, as I did in the Year of the Capri Pants. (All pictures have been burned, as have the pants, so don't even ask.)
Of course, other gay men tend to look at my wardrobe and wince. If I lived in New York City and walked through Chelsea in my usual summer ensemble I'd get shot. When I used to have to hang out for hours every Sunday with Mr. Ex at one of our big local bars, the only guys who ever hit on me were the ones with a straight guy fantasy. They assumed from my sub-par attire that I had ventured to the Other Side of the Tracks for an afternoon.**
I can make it halfway to gay–maybe get the shirt right, for example. But then I put on shorts with a belt instead of without, or whatever the regulation is that week, and Greg Louganis starts pounding on my door demanding the surrender of my membership card.
Spring is supposed to be a time of renewal and rebirth. Maybe I need a gay makeover. Any of you Chelsea boys make house calls?
*Also my approach to Madonna.
** Apologies to the metrosexuals. I hope I didn't hurt your feelings. Go get a pedicure, you'll feel better.