I grew up in Buffalo, NY so I used to know what cold is. I used to know what winter is. I moved away when I was 19 years old and spent my adult life in Florida and Nevada. I have learned what heat and humidity (and a dry heat) are instead and have forgotten about cold.
Our move to Denver, CO this year has given me plenty of reminders about cold. I think I’ve mentioned before I don’t dislike it so much as I’m not used to it. And as I experience more cold weather again, I am coming to a few realizations.
The first is that I’m not fond of single-syllable temperatures or temperatures with more than five syllables. I’ve found that most three-syllable temperatures are mostly tolerable. There are a few exceptions in there, but for the most part this holds up.
For instance, it’s currently 8 degrees outside my home. That’s not enough degrees. It could warm up to twenty, but that’s still quite chilly. Twenty-nine? Close enough. I don’t need arctic wear for that.
On the other end of the scale we have one-hundred. That’s hot but not quite “Africa Hot” as Eugene Morris Jerome would say. Even one-hundred five with four syllables is still manageable if somewhat uncomfortable The temperature that crosses the threshold is one-hundred seven. That’s the magic temperature at which it’s too hot. I know this because below 107, when I close my eyes it’s still just hot. But at 107 and above, when I close my eyes, I can feel searing heat on my eyelids, in the shade or in the sun. It’s just plain weird, but a also quite accurate.
The other thing about heat is that you can temporarily escape it via air conditioning, but that requires energy and something to be working. Stripping down to no clothing doesn’t really help much and could cause complicated legal issues or at least arrest. Cold simply requires clothing. It might be many layers of clothing, but you only need to buy the clothes once. And they have the opposite effect of being naked to escape heat: you’re very well covered. The colder it gets, the more covered you are. No risk of arrest! And it’s not like I have to keep my jacket, gloves, hat, and scarf plugged in like A/C requires.
Regardless of where I live, I think my favorite temperatures are in the high 60s and low 70s. I think Harry Nilsson put it best in his song “Everybody’s Talkin'”:
I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Thru’ the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes,
Backing off of the North East wind,
Sailing on summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone
In the meantime, I like where I am, so having my clothes suit the weather isn’t all that bad either.