Frozen

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“The cold never bothered me anyway.”

I think the writers of Let it Go secretly spied on my life and based this line off me. Ever since I was little I have been scaring my poor mother by refusing to wear proper apparel when out in the cold. I never wore coats and barely wore gloves or hats or socks. I embraced the cold. When you are outside, my philosophy was that you should feel like you are outside. The wind should touch your skin, should make your cheeks burn.

It really is amazing how our perspection distorts reality. By telling myself that I was warm, I really would feel warm. When others around me would be huddling together for warmth, I would stand up straight and refuse to shiver. I would tell people, “I feel the cold but I don’t let it inside me.”

Until.
That fateful day when I was sixteen. My sister and I went for a walk in close to zero degree weather. A stiff winter breeze was blowing but of course I decided against a hat. As we walked I felt the cold hit my ear in a way I had never felt before. But I didn’t fear the cold, so I walked on never mentioning the pain to my sister.

We returned home and instantly when I got inside I could tell something was wrong. My ear throbbed and started to swell. Before long it was thick, fire red and velvety to the touch. Yay for frostbite! Everyone found it funny that Bri, who never got cold, could get frostbitten.

Sadly, I did not learn my lesson. Last year some friends and I were making homemade ice cream up at my parent’s house. Someone dared me to see how long I could stick my hand in the mixture of water, ice and rock salt. So I stuck my hand in. And left it in for almost two minutes. This was A Bad Idea.

When I took my hand out I noticed my fingers were white and felt waxy. So I slipped into the bathroom and plunged my hand into cool water. Pain shot up my arm and I felt nauseous and feverish. For the next half hour I writhed in agony as my hand unthawed. For the next week my fingers felt like they had been severely burned.

Yes, the pain the bad. But that was not what bothered me. What scared me was that it was easy for me to hold my hand in that rock salt water. I could have easily kept it in for a longer period of time. That’s when it hit me.

I could probably freeze to death without it ever bothering me.

I still love the cold. I delight in that crisp feeling in the air. I didn’t close the windows in my apartment until the temperature dropped below freezing. I will never wear a proper winter coat. The cold continues to be my friend.

But I now realize it is a friend with dangerous powers.

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