Weather Giving You the Cold Shoulder? Good Friends Beat the Chill

A Student’s Tale of Overcoming December Frostbite With the Cheesy Warmth of Eternal Friendship


Published: December 09, 2010

One frigid night last December, I pulled on thick leggings, my heaviest jeans, knee high boots, and a coat fit for climbing the Alp’s. I quickly flipped through the channels before reaching the evening news. Squinting,

I peered at the bottom of the screen to a number I wished I had simply imagined. I was about to leave my apartment in Brooklyn to venture out into five degree weather, and this was the reading without factoring in wind chill.

But it was too late to cancel plans made weeks in advance, especially since I would hate to have to disappoint my close friend whose birthday party I had sworn to attend after days of hiding out in my room frantically typing up an array of research papers.

Desperately wanting to pull on my coziest pajamas and watch Christmas movies while drinking a steaming cup of hot cocoa next to the radiator, I took a deep breath opened my front door and reluctantly stepped out into the bitter night.

The wind’s blistering gusts hit me at once as I proceeded to trudge through the cold, my knit hat pinned to my head, attempting to warm myself up by remembering humid nights lying on the warm sand in Bermuda.

Despite my best efforts, nothing worked to keep me warm. The night chill tore through my layers like scissors cutting up tissue paper. And it only became worse as I climbed the stairs up to the subway platform, because of course, I lived nearest the outdoor station. I blew into my gloves praying that if I did this often enough, I might just be able to feel my fingers by the time I reached my destination in Manhattan.

I can’t lie: I was utterly miserable.

As the Saturday train approached late as usual, I peered into the faces of the other passengers and felt like I was attending a funeral rather than heading out for a supposed night of fun. The cold air had sucked the joy out of me like Harry Potter’s Dementors.

Every single passenger looked like a human icicle, the seats were cold, the heat barely worked and the doors opened at each stop to invite in an arctic blast.

As my friend saw me emerge from the station, she took one look at my crooked hat, windblown hair and piteous facial expression and thankfully put an end to my misery.

Instead of following through with the traditional birthday night of dinner and clubbing, my friend, two of her friends and I made a quick stop at the nearest Duane Reade to pick up popcorn, chocolate and some much needed hot cocoa and whipped cream. When the cashier nodded at us in approval as though to say, “Great idea! Wish I could come along!” We knew we had made the right choice.

As we settled down in the living room of her apartment flipping through movies on demand in some of my friend’s most ridiculous pajamas (think neon green pants and adult footies), I realized that although the unbearable cold managed to put a damper on what was supposed to be an eventful night, it couldn’t stand in the way of true friendship.

So, while I’d much prefer a never-ending fall of colorful leaves and brisk but far from frigid breezes, I’m unafraid of what this wintry month might bring. Besides scarves, hats, coats, and sweaters, I have my friends to help me through even the harshest nights.