Life Lessons
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Winter on the West Coast: A Postcard

Dear Midwestern and Eastern America,

I’ve seen the pictures, watched the football games, and, boy, it looks cold out there. You, brave people, are experiencing WINTER — the real, soulful kind of winter, the way hearty-stocked Americans should. I mean, the snow… it’s magical how it makes everything look so pretty on TV! But, as a former Iowan and New Yorker myself, I know that you can only fully appreciate the gravity of seasonal change when your left pinky toe has almost frozen off because you miscalculated a giant puddle of slush for solid ground.

It’s grit, it’s mettle. Magical, indeed.

And you already know this, of course: the majority of us Southern Californians are made of considerably less hearty stock than you are. We can talk of nothing else when the temps dip below 50°, like during our “Epic Cold Front” three weeks ago (aptly covered by Jimmy Kimmel). While it was unthinkable that we were forced to use central heating and wear undershirts during that trying time, we bravely triple-layered our flimsy wardrobes and, I believe, we are better for it. Obviously, we now really get what you’re going through.

Today I clearly see two 79°s on the seven-day forecast. That’s better for us, we thin-skinned types. We know there is no way you’d ever trade in your real winter for this L.A. nonsense — where we define the season as a time when “the light is lower on the mountains” and “the oranges are ripening.” How embarrassing to even consider! But, as I flip through my Facebook feed admiring photos of your snow-covered streets — knowing full well I am somehow missing the gene required to endure it — I will go about business as usual, doing “winter” the only way I now know how:

1. Wearing colorful scarves and tall boots for form, not function.

2. Bringing a hoodie along on my morning hikes – just in case.

3. Wearing SPF 15 instead of SPF 30.

4. Checking my weather app each morning to see if open-toed shoes are an option.

5. Fixing hot chocolate with marshmallows for my daughter as a way to educate her about my many years in colder climes.

6. Posting shots of palm trees and beaches to my Instagram feed so my east coast friends will make sympathetic comments like “stop! you’re killing me!!!”

7. Using hashtags like #ilovela and #livinthelife to make those posts extra fun.

You know, that sort of thing.

Stay warm, friends! (Seriously.)



Filed under: Life Lessons


Jenna Briand

Jenna Briand is a writer, editor and digital strategist who’s been at it all since the 90’s. She resides happily in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. Jenna is making an effort to tweet more frequently @jennabriand.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Our Wintry Mix: Watch Margit Talk About This Week’s Issue (From Her Phone) | Tue Night

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