Sunday, January 23, 2005

Cold brings us together

Normally, the citizens of and commuters to down town Toronto do their best to avoid each others eyes when they ride the subway and walk the streets. But on Friday when I went to Toronto, several Torontonians broke the big city practice of anonymity in order to participate in a far more sacred Canadian tradition:
"It's cold out there, eh?"
"You can say that again."
"It's supposed to get down to minus 24 today."
"Is that all? It feels colder."
"The wind chill brings it down another 10 degrees."
blah, blah, blah
I had this conversation waiting in line to get subway tokens, on the subway, in an elevator, during a job interview, in three different stores, and again on the subway on the way back. Not one time did alarm bells go off in my head: AwooGA CRAZY PERSON AwooGA, which normally happens if someone talks to me on the subway. Also, the few times I initiated the ritual, the other person gave no sign that he thought I was a weirdo. Cold weather is something we can all talk about. It's what makes us all Canadian.

On the subject of cold bringing people together. Today, after dinner and after a snow storm, my brother, my fiancé, my nephew and I went out to the super market to buy some ice cream. Even putting aside the oddity of craving ice cream in minus 30 weather, a simple errand turns into quite an undertaking when it involves dressing a 3-year-old in a snowsuit, installing a carseat wearing mittens (or worse, not wearing mittens), and navigating unplowed parking lots. We arrived home safely with a carton of strawberry ice cream, and one of heavenly hash. "The best part about this ice cream," said my brother, "is that we earned it." (although it turned out my nephew wanted jello instead).

I began composing this late-night blog entry just after my fiancé left for the night. A minute into it and I get a phone call. Who could be calling at this unholy hour? I say to myself (because I always talk like a pompous Victorian when noone's around). I answer the phone and it's Adam (the aforementioned fiancé). He's calling from his cell phone because his car won't start and he has to stay over night. How's that for bringing people together?

1 comment:

zydeco fish said...

that sounds just like my three year old, except that we do not have a car, and she always needs to use the bathroom after getting her snow gear on. it makes you want to scream. but, the good outweighs the bad, most of the time :-)

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