Hey — Mother Nature. Yeah…it’s us.

The idiots who fool with you for more than a margarine commercial these days (this will only make sense to anyone who’s older than thirty). I get it: The Day After Tomorrow happened about Three Days Before Yesterday, and Dennis Quaid never showed up to bail our asses out of the proverbial Frozen Library of Doom. But really…will your angry polar vortex thing be ending soon?
It needs to. So make a plan, okay?
Bad enough that it swung around and clobbered us with endless online updates from everyone about how they reverted to caveman science and terra cotta pot engineering to stay warm, and video footage of the magical qualities of freezing rivers and soap bubbles and scalding water turning to snow when thrown in the air (although that stuff is pretty awesome)…but now we can’t even go outside without being fully clothed.

What the hell?
The other night, I totally forgot how deeply socked in by winter we are and went traipsing out in it to empty the garbage with zero shoes on. Neither a flip nor a flop on me. Stupid, I know. But I’m so used to engaging in antics like this that it never occurred to me things might be different this time around. Boy, was I a rube. My feet were solid and blockish by the time I came back in—a full thirteen seconds later. It took two pairs of tube socks to get them back to the “only slightly feels like they’re being chewed on by piranha” stage of thermal discomfort.
And the clouds? Holy damn. Bad enough you strip the heat away at ground level and make frostquakes (who ever heard of those stupid things until now?) But do you have to take the light along with it? A sunny-but-cold day beats a gray, miasmic whatever-that-French-word-for-cold-soup-is soup day every time. But there it is now, as I live and breathe: a sky the color and texture of dryer lint from horizon to horizon. Not cool.
Cold, maybe. But not cool.
I see now how winter depression can overtake people if they aren’t careful. I myself was ready to pack up an Oreo-and-pretzel stash and nest in seven quilts with network television until April, with plans of only de-hibernating every few days to lick the windows and see if the chill had finally passed. And I got pretty far with it, too (Thanks, UPN!) until seven quilts started to feel like none. That was when I braved a trip to the thermostat to see if the electricity had gone out. I couldn’t believe what I saw.
I don’t recall my house ever registering a temperature so cold.
I tapped the damn thing, thinking it had stalled out. I shook it a little, as much as I could with it being attached to the wall and all that.
It was fully functional, and reading accurately.
“Holy shit,” I said to no one in particular. “It’s sixty-eightdegrees in here…that means it’s probably sixty-five or so outside. No wonder I’m freezing my ass off.”
So you can see my dilemma now, Mrs. Nature. It’s freaking cold.
And this is Arizona.

Our winters bottom out at seventy-five degrees.
Seventy. Five. Degrees.
So get your shit together, please, and leave the polar vortexes at the poles where they belong. If I have to put on shoes to go outside for another three months, someone is likely to lose a limb.
It’ll probably be me, but still.
Fix this.
Thank you.

(This was written slightly before the polar vortex moved on its merry way, but I ran with it. With apologies to all of those for whom sixty-five degrees is a summer temperaturefeel free to turn the tables on me seven months from now when I’m roasting in my hundred-and-twenty-five degree July.)

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