Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mission Survival

No, not talking about cancer, blah, blah, blah on that topic. Talking winter. In Chicago. Since we are hitting 70's and 80's this week in California and the Chicago forecast is butt-ass cold, I am fondly remembering my first winter in the Mid-West.

Mission: Survive Dental School

Launch Date: Fall/Winter 1989-90

Location: lake side, downtown Chicaaaaago

Enemy: besides gnarly teeth (not mine), nazi-esque instructors and a piss-poor student budget~ the wind, the below zero cold, the icy streets, the cab drivers

Cohort: my roommate Maria, who was from Miami

Mitigating Factors: none, OK maybe our youth

Fancy Gadgets: none (no cell phones or Internet, this was still the 80's)

Maria and I were talking in our dorm room one Sunday afternoon. We were pretty sure we had the proper gear to make it through the upcoming winter.


My coat, on the left, didn't have a hood and it was BRIGHT royal blue. Remember, this was the eighties. I was sure I would be fine, but I was not so sure about Maria. She may have had to wear a pashmina to the disco once or twice on a cold night in Miami, but her heavy coat was unlined leather.

So we call the experts~ our classmates from Canada, New York and the Mid-west. We asked them to come and check our gear.

They laughed. And laughed. And belly laughed. And peed their pants. Then they asked us did we have winter boots? Boots? we say. You need boots? OK more laughing. Then we pull out our boots...



Then the experts lost it and dragged us to one of their rooms where they had actual winter gear. Their coats looked like sleeping bags with belts. They had hats. (OMG I was going to have to smush the chi-chi poof down?) and boots that were a combination hiking boot/top-siders. We had never seen anything more ugly in our lives.

We tried to be cool, and brave. But by Mid-October our chi chi was blown to bits, our feet were frozen and our dream fashion glamour was in the toilet. We had to catch the el to the Loop and buy some ugly-ass coats. We made it that first winter nicely in our ugly coats and survived many other indignities that year.

We petitioned the dean to assign dorm rooms matching each warm weather student with a cold weather roomie.

Maria, where ever you are, I hope you are nice and warm.


chip said...

I had a winter jacket also, my levi
jean jacket!

shannond said...

Very nice! I understand all too well now!