March 10, 2014

Soggy shoes and nude pantyhose: the curse of the Midwestern optimist

I am not good at waiting for things.

I take brownies out of the oven while they're still gooey.

I touch things before my nail polish is dry.

I believe that Christmas gifts may be opened anytime in the Decemberish season.

Waiting for spring is very, very hard for me, especially after a winter like this one.

At first, the extreme cold was entertaining. 

Then, it got repetitive.

And depressing.

And long.

The groundhog saw his shadow, but it didn't affect me. I grew up in Fargo, where a February spring was about as plausible as a weather-forecasting rodent. My illusions were shattered early.

March arrived, and I hoped it would get warmer. It didn't.

And then, it did.

Today was the warmest day of the year, and non-rodent meteorologists predicted it might reach 50 degrees.

The first 50-degree day of each spring was an important milestone in my childhood. That was the temperature at which my mother would allow me to wear shorts to school, although she insisted I wear pantyhose to keep my legs warm. Spring fever trumped the awkwardness of suntan L'Eggs, and I cheerfully wore my denim shorts to school, proudly showing off my legs, which were the color of nacho cheese.

I did not wear shorts or nude hose to work today, but I did obsessively check my weather app as the temperature inched upward. At lunch, I walked outside without a coat to remind myself what 48 felt like. It was glorious.

As soon as I got home, I laced up my running shoes. I used to enjoy running, back when my neighborhood trail looked like this:

Today, it looked like this:

I didn't make it as far as the woods. I'm an optimist, but I know my limits. It was the running equivalent of undercooked brownies, which are still pretty good when you think about it.

I wore a t-shirt. I breathed air that didn't make my nostrils freeze or my lungs ache. It allegedly reached 50 sometime while I was out there, huffing and puffing my way through the puddles.

It's supposed to get down to the 20s again tomorrow. But spring is coming. It has to. And when it does, I'm ready.

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