I Wear Shorts To Spite The Weather

I used to be one of the people who wore shorts even during the depths of winter. I’m not sure how it is in other parts of the world, but in the Midwest of the US, it is fairly common to see such folk, frequently masculine in appearance (but not limited to that by any means) trudging through blizzards and all but the worst wind chills. It always made sense to me, given that I spent most of the winter indoors, in buildings with their heat set for people who needed a higher external temperature to be comfortable. I didn’t want to attempt to change the ambient temperature for my comfort alone, so I started wearing shorts and upperbody layers that were easy to remove (zippered hoodies, mostly) so that I could be comfortable. It wasn’t that I was immune to the cold outside, just that I was willing to endure a few minutes of being uncomfortable in order to spend two hours in class or at work without needing to fight off sweat or the sleepies.

Nowadays, I’m a bit more fluid in my mode of dress. I have heavy socks and long pants for the winter, lighter pants for the fall and spring, and shorts for the summer. I wouldn’t necessarily say that my preferred ambient temperature has changed with my age, since that implies a more significant change than I may ever make. I think, though, that my experiences over the last two winters in my cold apartment have shifted my preferences enough that I’d rather be far too warm and sweaty for most of the work day than incredibly cold while on my daily walks and while waiting for my car to heat up after work. It also feels kind of nice to finally reach the point where the weather has shifted enough that I can think to myself “time to change out my clothes!” Really helps put a pin in season that has (in recent years) been dragging on for too long.

That said, I made it all the way to May with only two days that demanded shorts between me and the end of winter, and now I’ve only made winter to summer wardrobe change out of spite. Schools are almost about to let kids out for the summer and it dropped below freezing just two days ago. It’s entirely unacceptable that most trees and bushes are only just beginning to show tiny buds for the leaves. We haven’t even gotten flowers yet that I’ve been able to find. I expect that will change as soon as we start getting dependable warmth and an end to freezing nights, but for now I’m breaking out my spring-into-summer wardrobe in order to hopefully let the weather now that it is overdue for any kind of consistent warmth. Given that the forecast now calls for upper seventies and low eighties starting next week because we’re apparently skipping spring to head straight into summer, I’m counting that as a win for my passive-aggressive wardrobe changing. After all, I made the change a few days ago and now, suddenly, the forecast shows warmth in my future.

To set aside the absurdity for a moment, I’m really hoping we get some consistent warmth and sunlight soon. The amount of cold grey days we’ve had this spring has extended my seasonal depression well beyond its usual bounds. Normally it finally wraps up in March or maybe April, but I’m still fending it off today as I write this. Maybe the forecast means that the day this post goes up with be filled with clear skies and warm breezes that will chase my seasonal depression away. Maybe it’ll abruptly change to cold and grey again, like it has the last few times I thought we might finally get some warmth or at least a decent thunderstorm. No way of knowing right now.

All I know right now is that it is cold, my shorts are comfy, it’s too late in the season to be this cold, and my climate anxiety is having a field day with how absolutely disgusting the weather is right now. Last year we skipped summer until fall started and then had two seasons in less than 2 months. This year it seems like we’re skipping spring. Who knows what will happen next year or the year after that. I might have to have shorts and pants ready to go at all times, changing my outfit drastically from one day to the next as the weather yoyos while some asshole holds up a fistful of dirt to say that climate-induced flooding isn’t real because he was able to find some dry dirt on his way into work that morning.

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