It gets effing cold in Minnesota in the winter. In January, if for some reason you and I are standing outside talking, the thin crackling noise you'll hear will be my nuts freezing off. Winter in Minnesota sucks, and the cold hurts, nuts or no nuts.
So when I find a reason to like the cold weather I have to share it. Perhaps some fellow Minnesotan will read this and not go postal after three months of below-zero (Fahrenheit, get with it) weather. I will then have saved some lives with this blog entry, always something I'm happy to do in the spirit of my court-ordered public service.
The other day I was relaxing in a local public house, daydreaming of Casti (“Casti, our first child has to be named Demi Pamplemousse!”), when I consciously noticed for the first time a phenomenon that I have taken for granted for years. When a woman walks into the bar in this weather, you may initially find her attractive or perhaps interesting-looking, but you have to wait for the peeling before you know what she really looks like.
The peeling is the process of a woman taking off her winter coat. I don't know what ladies' winter coats are like in your neck of the woods, but here they are generally heavy, long, puffy, or some combination of the three. Their primary job is to keep the wearer warm, after all, and that job is taken seriously in Minnesota. However, this bulk makes an effective body concealer for the discerning ogler like yours truly. You have no clue whatsoever to the shape of the woman you are staring at (discretely, of course), so the unveiling process is always eagerly awaited.
Women know this. Outside of trailer parks they generally aren't stupid. As a result of this canniness, many females will make the peeling something of a performance. A seasoned Midwestern female can turn the otherwise commonplace process of removing a winter coat into the Dance of the Seven Veils. But whether they do or no, I personally am a rapt audience (discretely, of course). However, it's a little like opening a present at Christmas when you're a kid – the anticipation is almost always better than the gift itself.
Still, the peeling process is a pleasure per se, even if the end result is sometimes disappointing. And I am absolutely grasping at straws to find anything at all to like about facing another Minnesota winter. So here's one. I hope it's enough.