in Daily Life

Ice King

For years, I’ve taunted Kris because she gets cold so easily. Driving in the car, she needs the heat up. Sitting around the house, she needs the heat up. When we go out to dinner or a movie, she needs to bundle tight because she knows she’s going to get cold. Even in the summer, she’s often cold.

When we used to spend most of our time with Mac and Pam, Mac and I would call our wives “Ice Queens”. One (or both) of them was always complaining about how cold they were, even when temperatures were balmy. Mac and I would be quite comfortable at the bridge table, when one of the Ice Queens would go crank the heat, making us sweat. Once while spending a weekend playing games with Mac and Pam in a yurt at Champoeg Park, Kris made me drive back to the box factory to pick up a space heater so that she wouldn’t be cold. I thought that was ridiculous.

But a terrible, terrible thing has happened, my friends.

This winter — and remember, winter hasn’t even begun yet — I’ve been cold. Very cold. I can never really get as warm as I want to be. When I get out of bed in the morning, I’m cold. When I go to the gym, I’m cold. When I take a hot bath after the gym, I’m warm enough, but as soon as I get out, I’m too cold. At the office, I’m cold. And in the afternoon and evening, back here at home, I’m cold again. More often than I care to admit, I take a second hot bath in the afternoon. (And sometimes — yes, it’s true — even a third.)

“You know why you’re cold all the time, don’t you?” Kris said the other day. “It’s because you’ve lost weight. Without all that fat to insulate you, you’re just as cold as everyone else.” I think she finds this amusing. I just find it cold.

I had dinner with Mac last night. In the restaurant, we were both too cold. “I’ve been cold all winter,” he told me as we sipped our hot tea.

“Me too!” I said. “You know what we’ve become, right?”

He knew. “Ice Kings,” he said. It’s true.

Mac and I have become that which we once mocked — and we have no control over it. The horror! I’d write more about this cruel irony of fate, but I can’t. I’m cold. I need to go take a hot bath.

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  1. You’ll (probably) learn fairly quickly how many extra clothes you need to wear to keep warm. I don’t go anywhere without a sweater on or in tow (even in the Phoenix summer, because the A/C is always so low), and in the winter, I keep a scarf handy as well. (Keeping the neck warm works wonders.)

    While I hate carrying around a jacket or sweater, I hate being cold more.

  2. Use this as an excuse to buy more wool sweaters! p.s. I never knew how uncomfortable being cold can be until my thyroid slowed after having Ossley. Now that I take thyroid replacement hormone, I am toastier than I have been in years. No more icy fingers and toes!

  3. Finally, a companion in my coldness!

    And I just want to point out that when I required a space heater for the yurt, it was actually snowing outside! Brrrrrr!

  4. I don’t know what I yurt is. I am always cooler than Chris is. I carry around a jacket with me, whenever I go into a restaurant, or to the movies. The air conditioner in public places is too cool for me. It is usually my arms that get the cold. My other body parts don’t seem to get as cold.

  5. Before I discovered the miracle of silk underwear, I was always cold, too. Now, from about November through March, I wear my silk underwear from LLBean or LandsEnd almost every day. Silk is superlight and slinky, so it’s not constricting or bulky under clothes. Most importantly, silk is a great insulator. As a first layer it contains body heat very efficiently. So I can relax and be comfortable in the same space as a person who prefers an room temperature much cooler than I do. And silk breathes, so that even indoors I’m rarely too warm. Most people here in the Gulf Coast think of silk underwear only when they’re going on a ski trip or to visit a very-cold-weather area. But I can testify that it’s a great solution for even mild winters, especially the damp cold that we expereince down here.