Is there a name for the extreme fear of being cold? Yes, it’s called frigophobia and is a condition from which I suffer. I assure you, suffer is the appropriate word, as it’s both debilitating and expensive. Frankly, I’d rather be hungry, tired, itchy, achy, sweaty, swollen, chapped, chafed, anything but cold. Or even chilled. To me, being cold is the absolute depth of misery.
I am not a fish stick.
The instant the temperature plunges below 80º I start to panic: where are my winter clothes? Do I have enough of them, do I need more, do I need heavier, better weather-resistant gear? It’s a rhetorical question, really, because the answer is always yes. I need more. I cannot have enough. And I start shopping like a lottery winner,
This month alone I bought 2 thermal shirts, sweatpants, 2 hoodies, long johns, and a thick, heavy sweater. I have my eye on a red union suit and a parka, too, one that’s weather tested to -45º celsius. Anything fleece or flannel or woolen, down-filled or Gore-Texed or having an R-value, is on my shopping list. I did a thorough inventory and I still possess a plaid hat with ear-flaps, electric gloves, insulated Doc Martens, and a woefully inadequate muffler — it needs to be replaced with something much, much, much more substantial. Pronto.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I do look and feel inflated in wintertime. Not only that, the multiple layers of clothes are uncomfortably restrictive. Bending an arm or a leg is a grueling chore. Getting in a car, navigating tight spaces such as aisles, tying a shoe, any movement, really, is exhausting. By mid-January I’m cranky and ill-tempered and all I want is sweet, sweet freedom.
From November until May I resemble nothing so much as an overburdened coat rack. Or, maybe, a towering pile of unattended laundry. I loathe cold.
Books, however, offer some degree of salvation. If it wasn’t for them and their distraction I’d be crazier than a bedbug. I’ll begin stockpiling those in November. Golly, I hope debtor’s prison has a good heating system.
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