It snowed in Edmonton last week, and like the first time it snows every year, the entire city fell into a state of shock. The buses were late and we stared out of windows aghast, trying to come to terms with the scary fact that yes, we are in a place where it snows in October; and yes, winter will in fact come again this year, whether you're prepared for it or not. With friends, classmates, and co-workers, you exchange knowing glances. Full sentences aren't necessary:
"This morning I woke up and--"
You nod silently, look outside to make sure it isn't all just a collective hallucination.
"I can't believe it."
You can't believe it? Okay, c'mon. This is Edmonton, or Regina, or Winnipeg, where October snow is a recurring phenomenon; but while Winter Wonderland materializes at your doorstep, the rest of North America waxes poetic about the beauty of fall. As magazines tout funny Halloween costume ideas, you wonder which toque and parka pairing will look best with your Tegan and Sarah lumberjack costume as you walk for five minutes from your car to the queer Halloween dance party. It's easy to be surprised by the first snowfall when the rest of the world doesn't acknowledge you exist. There's not much media representation of the freezing lesbians in the snowy Northern prairies' demographic. I know, I know -- stomping through the snow ruins your swagger, but keep your head above the snow-bank, you special snowflake. In the spirit of this post-Canadian Thanksgiving season, here are seven things to be grateful for in your snowy Lesbian (or other lady-loving identified) life:
1. Conversation Starters
From now until the last blizzard blows through sometime in late April, talking to your fellow warm-blooded queermos is easy. You only really need two opening lines: "Sure is cold, eh" and "Sure feels good to finally get inside where it's nice and warm." I find it's easy to bond with someone when your bodies are going through similar (temperature) experiences.
2. Dating Odds
You have a high chance of successfully asking someone out on a Hot Beverage Date.
For 10 months of the year, everyone wants to cuddle with you because you're warm. You don't really need to be that attractive or funny or smart. The sexiest thing about you is your body heat.
Evenings can get romantic a whole lot earlier. Just drive outside the city and schedule a star-gazing date for 4 p.m. Or cuddle under the Northern Lights.
5. Cold Weather Stripping
Let the sexual tension build as I remove my toque, scarf, neck-warmer, balaclava, mittens, boots, first pair of socks, second pair of socks, jeans, long underwear, coat, sweater, t-shirt, and under-shirt. Oohlaalaa. You can't take it anymore, can you? Well, good cause neither can I. I'm freezing. I need to jump into bed with you ASAP 'cause, you know, body heat.
6. Winter Activities
Snowball fights! Tobogganing! Skating! Staying inside and reading Autostraddle! Wait until March and you can go to the Cabane a Sucre and lick a stick of warm maple syrup you scraped off ice! The fun never ends!
7. Hot Tub Parties
Throughout the long winter months, you'll turn on your radio only to hear song after song about how great places like California are. These songs all sound the same: "la-la-la-girls-girls-girls-la-la-la-beaches-beaches-la-la-la-pools-pools-la-la-la-sun-sun." Are you there California? It's me, Alberta. Quit your bragging. What you don't realize is that the bikini time fun you sing of is missing a crucial ingredient: snow. In case you think the increasing lack of sunlight is having a negative effect on my brain function, let me explain. There's no better place to be than at a hot tub party in the middle of a snowy backyard in sub-freezing temperatures. A hot tub party in the snow feels as good as warm syrup on cold ice tastes -- delicious.
Even though other people in other places get to lie on the beach or frolic through the leaves in only jeans and grandpa sweaters, it's important that you keep your chin up, little icicle. I don't want to see you dripping any tears. Don't just stand there frozen in snow-shock. Go find yourself a girl to cuddle and some maple syrup to lick off a stick (you don't have to wait till March). You'll feel much better, I promise.