Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One of Life's Greatest Mysteries

All the recent snow and subzero temps in the Northeast got me thinking about a question that’s always bugged me. This one falls under the headings of How Do They Do It, Why Do They Do It, and WTF, Are They Nutzo? I’m talking about guys who go out in freezing temperatures, high winds, and blowing snow … in shorts.

I’m not kidding. I’ve seen grown men shoveling snow in pants that barely reach their knees, in temperatures that barely reach the 20s. That, at least, makes a bit of sense; shoveling requires a lot of effort, and you do get hot and sweaty, especially with those heavy coats on. But c’mon. There are men out there who are snowproofed up north and Crocodile Hunter down south. Knees and below is where all the snow is. Shouldn’t that end be protected?

I asked a guy I know about this. He has no explanation. I can only conclude it’s a trait carried on the Y chromosome.

I see some male hands raised in back and hear some male teeth gnashing. Yes, I know women wear short skirts and heels in cold weather. But we don’t do it outdoors. Women headed to work put on ski pants and boots for the journey in, then change in the ladies’ room. Plus nylon makes great insulation. I’m talking about men in shoes, socks and Bermudas in the middle of January, with nothing between their bare skin and the elements but body hair. Really, guys. Don’t your knees freeze?

I’ve yet to see a shorts-sandals-and-socks combo during the winter months, but I suppose it’s only a matter of time.

Possible theories: men have higher body temperatures and any snow that hits their skin just melts. Or these are the descendants of cavemen who weathered the Ice Ages, and ancestral memory is telling them, “Hell, this ain’t nothing. A bit of a cold snap. It’s been worse.” Or they’re Scottish, and kilts are frowned upon here in America. Could be a matter of pride—man against the elements. Or a matter of comfort; you can barely move when you’re bundled up, and the boys do need to breathe. The shorts I’ve seen are invariably loose and wide-legged, which lends credence to this explanation.

Or maybe it’s just a guy thing, and therefore far beyond my comprehension. Quite a few things men do are inconceivable to women. I’m sure we do a ton of things that leave you scratching your heads. But guys, we still look good with our legs covered up. You just look like you should be cold, which makes us unhappy. Really, you don’t have to go through this just for us.

I’m issuing a challenge to all men out there who stumble across this blog. I want an explanation. Give me one good reason why you think it’s okay to wear summer clothes in winter weather. And don’t try to tell me, “The wife didn’t do the laundry yet.” Are you saying you’d rather freeze your legs off than do a load of clothes?

Wait. You’re guys. Of course you would.

To give some credit to the male half of the population, I didn’t see any shorts on display this week, when temperatures in my part of Pennsylvania dipped into the minus digits. But then, I barely left the house over the last four days, and then I only went to the library because I don’t have home Internet yet. I didn’t visit McDonald’s or the WalMart, the most likely places to see men in shorts. If somebody’s going to wear socks with sandals, let alone shorts in a single-digit wind chill, it will be at the WalMart. I might have to check that out.

# # #

Even though I didn’t make resolutions, the self-promise to lose weight is kind of ongoing. I’m trying a new method this year—the Stray Cat Diet. Instead of buying junky stuff for myself, I spend that money on cat food. I haven’t seen any real results yet; last week’s weight loss was probably due to all the snow shoveling. Stray Kitty, on the other hand, has been packing on the pounds. Maybe the fat will insulate him from the cold. And how’s the new year treating you so far?


Pat C. said...

Posted today so I don't have to get up early and go out in the cold, except to feed the damn demanding cat. So there.

Savanna Kougar said...

~grins~ At least, Stray Cat might be helping with less junk-food consumption.

I think all the factors you mentioned come into play... man against the elements macho stuff... however, men certainly have a higher metabolism generally, and their bodies run hotter. Plus, you do acclimate to the temps, and men probably acclimate faster.

But I always end up worrying about them anyway. Not so much for the short time outside... but what if you're stranded somewhere???

Pat C. said...

Maybe that's what the hats are for.

Savanna Kougar said...

Yeah, that'll do it. A hat... a beaver hat could help, though. ~grins~

Savanna Kougar said...

gosh... I didn't mean that as a gutter remark... but it works.

Pat C. said...

Uh huh. Suuuuuuuuure ....