[Warning, this post contains imagined graphic violence, and some curse words that may not be suitable for all audiences, especially those who enjoy winter.]

Like most Canadians I’m easy going and overly apologetic. For example, last week, I ordered tea at Tim Hortons, they gave me a coffee, and I drank it. Honestly, it was probably my fault. I shouldn’t have ordered tea, who am I, the Queen?

But if winter was a dude and he walked up and tapped me on the shoulder, I’d reach over, grab his blue-veined throat in my otherwise gentle hands and squeeze. I’d squeeze until his jagged, ice-cold fingernails dug into my unforgiving wrists; I’d squeeze until the only thing keeping him upright was my conviction that this was right, and good, and damn it, I’d had enough.

And when it was over, and he dropped to the ground, I’d turn around, give summer a high-five and buy everyone in the room a round of mojitos, confident in my ability to mount a good defence.

Winter’s an asshole — not unlike people who only invite you to parties when they want to sell you shit from some pyramid scheme business. (No, I don’t want to go to your stupid totebag party, Linda! I will not buy your $900 eye cream, Stacey! Sell your dumb dolphin-shaped dildos to some other sucker, Eileen!)

“There were mitigating circumstances, your Honour,” I’d say, representing myself at trial.

Herein lies my defence:

No. 1: Gloves.

I estimate that by Jan. 8, I have already purchased $700-million worth of winter gloves. And also by Jan. 8, I am left with three sets of right-handers, one pair of mittens that are poisonous (as confirmed by my five-year-old who shakes and cries like you’re dipping his hands into hot lava if you so much as bring the mittens within his line of sight), and a single pair of dollar store polyester stretchy gloves that actually work in reverse by allowing in more cold than they keep out.

What is also notable about the dollar store gloves is that we can’t lose them. We’ve found them on top of the garbage can in the backyard, in a Lego bin, inside a lunch kit. I literally spent a DOLLAR on these gloves, and I bet if I set them on fire they’d regenerate. But finding a match to any of the 4,000 pairs of waterproof gloves that I’ve purchased this season for upwards of $15 a pair? Ha! Fat chance!

No. 2: Mid-winter thaw.

We recently went through a thaw. You might be thinking, “Hey, that’s nice, a bit of warm weather in the winter means you can go for a run outdoors, put away those inflatable Christmas decorations that have been stuck under a snowdrift for the past several weeks,” but you’d be wrong. There’s nothing nice about a thaw. Thaws are the worst. A pineapple express sounds tropical and delicious, but it’s disgusting. Everything is disgusting. My car? Disgusting! It looks like shit, and if I’m being honest, even with rubber mats and all the air freshners that you can buy at someone’s pyramid scheme party, it sort of smells like shit, too. Everything is wet, everything is horrible, and to top it off, each morning you’ll face the ultimate, soul sucking indignity of having to scrape the inside and the outside of your windshield. People weren’t meant to live like this.

No. 3: Boots.

With the thaw come the puddles. For those unaware, kids like puddles. They’re amazing. They’re the best! So you stand there in the morning, searching for a matching glove that doesn’t exist, and your kid puts on his snow boots and heads out the door. Before he walks the six steps required to arrive at the filthy, disgusting car, he’s found a puddle, but not just any puddle, a slush puddle. Said puddle resembles Yoda’s swamp, except less cozy and with a lot more ice and rocks and junk. When the kid steps into it (because, OF COURSE HE DOES!), it hits him at about mid-thigh. Boots fill with water, screaming ensues. In he comes, off come wet socks and pants, and out of the cupboard come the rubber boots. Amazing! There are two of them, and they were right where they should be, and they’re blue, with handles, and they’re dry inside, and they still fit, and maybe we won’t be late after all!

But wait! These boots are cursed! He can’t possibly wear these boots!

“Mommy, NOOOOOOOOOOOO,” he shrieks as if you’re brandishing the lava mittens. “Don’t make me wear them, they’ll make me too… [sobs hysterically] … slowwwwwww!”

Yup, we’re late. Again.

And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

No. 4: Sickness. Whether they’re barfing, coughing or swallowing razor blades, children are sick from December through April. I spend half of my paycheque on waterproof gloves, the other half goes directly to Advil and Kleenex (I buy booze on credit).

No. 5: Socks. Everywhere. They’re balled up, inside out, wet and full of rocks, dry and full of rocks — all of the socks in the world, but none of them are clean, none of them match, most have holes.

No. 6: Darkness.

No. 7: NFL playoffs.

No. 8: Wind chill.

No. 9: Shovelling.

No. 10: Chapped everything.

I’ll rest my case, and fold my gentle hands into my contrite lap. The judge will look to the jury, and they’ll nod in agreement, sentencing me to time served. We’ll all go home, wash our cars, dig out our flip-flops, and drink mojitos.

The end.


One thought on “Mitigating circumstances

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