Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tips for Southerners on Surviving New England Winters

This mixtape is brilliant. Download it free here.

In case you haven't heard, Boston sucks during the winter. How much does it suck? Almost as much suck as Shaq is awesome.

Boston's Shaq-o-metric snow-measurement system

Yep, that's 60+ inches of suck already this winter, with more falling as I type this. Even my devotion to Shaq is not enough to shake my long-established skepticism of New England winters.

So how is this sun-ripened Georgia peach dealing with her first winter in the frosty hinterlands of Massachusetts? Well, I have a few tips for all y'all on how to survive this nonsense.


That pert little wool peacoat you've always worn straight through the winter? That's Aprilwear up here, pahdnah. Head to Land's End or Eddie Bauer or one of those other outdoorsy stores that choked your mailbox with catalogs straight through the 90s and find you a big, warm down coat.

I went with this one from Land's End, and it is so warm that I could wear it with nothing else under it and be comfy all winter long:

I also urge you to consider buying 2 or 3 subzero sleeping bags and having a tailor fashion them into a sort of hyper-warm adult snow onesie.


Nothing says EFF YOU, SNOW like a pair of colorful wellies. I bought these ugly red and yellow ones from Marc Jacobs for a mere $28. I can tell the snow is already offended.

And hey, you've gone this far! Why not go further?

Thanks Racked

Take a cue from fellow FHS alum Ke$ha and put some kittie ears on your hat.


It's totally just as good as the sun.


Don't try to fight it. Just buy a plane ticket to somewhere, anywhere warmer and more hospitable. I hear Chernobyl is lovely this time of year.

...Assuming your plane can take off.


There are only two places in the whole city that feel like the South during a Boston winter. One is your shower and the other is your local gym.

Listen, listen. I know you're a Southerner and your idea of a vigorous workout is fishing the last RC Cola out of the cooler. Just trust me. Even if you never burn a single calorie, it is worth the monthly membership fee just to go bask in the 80 degree heat and 95% humidity. It's sweaty and smelly and if you bring your own bucket of chicken it basically feels like home.


I mean, just check out this video of me and Nick and our friend James tearing it up skiing and snowboarding at Nashoba Valley:


Since you haven't felt sunlight on your skin since September, it's time to start taking some Vitamins. Vitamin D will help you feel less like a zombie. Now I finally have some use for the 200 bottles of Vitamin D I bought at Publix last year!


This is the most valuable advice I got before I moved to Boston. We have free radiator heat in our apartment and THANK GOODNESS. Our apartment is so warm that we--no joke--sleep with the window partially open so we don't suffocate.


When all else fails, close your eyes and go back to your happy place: The South. For me, that will entail FINALLY finishing my blog series on our amazing Southern summertime road trip. Catch up with the entries here:

one: we're on the road to nowhere
two: "Spectacles in the Surf: Seeing and Not Seeing on the DePalma Family Vacation"
three: miles covered
four: you got a fast car: drivin through the mountains

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How do you beat the winter blues?


  1. Great tips, though as a Northerner gone South I guess I'm not too qualified to judge. But I particularly like the advice about coats -- and hey, one of my students told me that quilted anything was 'pimp' at least if it was purple. I told her that where I come from (the North) it was about warmth, but I still liked knowing that puffy was cool, no matter what!

  2. Girl I am closer to blimpin than pimpin in that coat, but it keeps me so warm!!

  3. I know I am Canadian by birth, but nurture won out over nature. My blood got thin and my guard fell down after years in TN and then CA. Winter is still one of my favorite seasons (it's the nostalgia), but I'm on my third Iowa winter and have sure learned about the massive suck-factor the season can bring with it. Your list is a good one. I think I checked off all your items except for the lamp and sports. I really like to look on the bright side, so as not to succumb to SAD, of course. Here is Kristen's Bright Side List.
    1- Winter clothes and accessories will go on clearance while winter is still in full swing here. I have a very nice collection of $3.74 scarves from Target. WIN! I've also gotten my coats, gloves and hats this way.
    2- Layering, layering, layering. I can try out all those looks that involve sweaters on top of sweaters topped with scarves and hats, because it's a rare time when fashion is also practical.
    3- FOOD. Making bread, soup, and desserts feels SO cozy and nostalgic when snow is falling outside.
    4- BOOZE. Ha. Hot toddies have always been a staple for us when we're sick, but when it gets cold we find we "need" them more and more.
    5- Chivalry moves into the spotlight more than usual. My husband shovels and warms up the car and takes the dog out when we're home. He drops me off and picks me up at the door when we go out. This is where Fall babies come from (although so far we have avoided drinking the Baby Water).
    6- I think you forgot to mention down vests! I have four now and wear them ALL THE TIME. If anyone ever tried to take away my puffy vests, investigators would be pulling a frozen body out of a snow drift on the edge of town. I would be one of those crime suspects you see on the news who looks straight into the cameras as they're led into the courtroom. Don't mess with the vest.

    The groundhog says Spring is coming! Hang in there!

  4. I think your three winters in Iowa makes you an expert on the subject!!

    Glad to know that even a pastor and his wife have to resort to hot toddies sometimes :)

  5. Also, I hate to quote myself here, but I look great in a vest. I cannot wait until they come back in style for real. Vests and Debbie Gibson hats. I clearly miss the 90s too much.

  6. You are on your own with the vest thing. I can't go back there! Even thinking of the polyester vest-back with the little adjustable buckle thing (and maybe a dart) is making my hands sweat a little.
    Vests are down-only in my world. But good luck with yours, Blossom. ;)

  7. I'll show you all one day! Then you will behold the glory of the vest!!

  8. OMG, Kesha is from Franklin? That place is so full of talent. Also, for a second I thought that SAD lamp picture was of Edie Beahl.

  9. Hell yes! She came in the year after I graduated.