Cold Feet

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Dooce is wearing wool socks and a fleece-lined beanie hat.

Los Angeles may never know temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but the American Holiday Season demands that I spend a significant number of my vacation days in climates directly suited for 400-pound polar bears.

Three years ago my mother bought a house at the most southern point of the Salt Lake Valley, in a planned stucco development called “Arctic Tundra,” written in Adobe Garamond italic at the neighborhood’s entrance. Her front porch is currently covered in three feet of snow, something the Salt Lake Olympic Committee considers a specific consequence to an entire state’s willingness to pay tithing. The Lord wants to make sure that Canadian skiers who smoke marijuana have plenty of powder on which to compete. Alas, I digress.

Visiting my mother, even in the throes of summer when Utah’s demon dessert sucks every inch of nourishing moisture from the air like a vacuum tube stuck up one’s ass, I have to pack as if I’ve been exiled to Siberia. Mom forces the temperature in her house to hover around 52 degrees. When I walk around her house covered head to toe in thermal underwear and insulated fleece pull-over pajamas complaining that I’ve lost feeling in both arms, she stands there all confused and screams, “Well then, put some damn clothes on!” As if.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I visited family in Seattle, fully expecting to frolic fairy-like through puddles of rain in a crisp temperate mixture of mist and evergreen scent. But instead of puddles I got ponds, and instead of crisp or temperate I got frosty and dangerously moody. And after my nose froze and fell off like a hardened tumor, I really couldn’t smell anything.

A rumbling, gusty 65 degrees blankets Los Angeles this week, and I’m having a hard time adjusting to sleeping fully-clothed underneath a down comforter in order to maintain proper body temperature throughout the evening. Oh the American Holiday Season, bah humbug. God bless Ecuador.