I'm glad the weather is warming up, at least for a little while. I've been really cold.
One reason is that I keep my thermostat down to "frigid," a point at which my cat's water bowl doesn't freeze over, but my son, Silas, and I sleep under about three blankets each.
I've heard it's good to sleep in a cool room, so I'd like to claim we do this for our health, but it's actually to save a few dollars each month on the utility bill.
This does not happen in an inverse way in the summer. In the summer, I will pay anything to not be too hot.
So my house is a little cool, but that's OK. After all, when sitting at home, it's easy to throw a blanket over my knees and drink hot chocolate, and feel perfectly comfortable while watching "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."
Outside is a different story. I'm cold outside because I've been too lazy to get around to dry cleaning my winter coat. At the end of last winter, I spilled something on it — not anything really gross, but definitely funky enough that it should be more that just spot-cleaned before being worn again.
I really love that coat. I bought it last year online. It's warm and thick, and the pockets are lined with some kind of fleecy, warm material. If I was the kind of person who liked to ski or go on winter hikes, it's the kind of coat I could wear for those activities. But mostly I just were it for my quick jaunts between my front door and my car, and occasionally on walks through downtown with Silas to the "cookie store," more generally known as Starbucks.
I try to check my mail every once in a while, I sometimes forget to put away my groceries, and at the end of Silas' winter break I realized that I had not emptied out his lunch box after his last day of school two weeks earlier. I try to be good at my job, I try to be a good mom, but try as I might I will never be a good homemaker. Those real housewives of Atlanta probably don't dry clean their coats either.
Remembering to take a coat to the dry cleaner is beyond my capabilities. In the fall I wrote it in my planner multiple times: "Take Jacket to Dry Cleaner!" Unfortunately, as much as I love my planner, I can easily ignore its instructions. This was one of those instructions that has been ignored time after time.
I have a couple of days off coming up, and I think this would be the perfect time to drop off my coat. But I think we all know that my chances of actually doing this are slim. By the time I work up the motivation to take it to the cleaners, the weather will have started warming up even more, and then I'll think, what's the point? There's always next year.
Every time I layer up my long-sleeved jacket under a heavy sweatshirt and a scarf, I think about how nice it would be to just throw on a coat. But while wearing multiple layers and chattering my teeth as I rush out my door to my car, I have learned a very important lesson.
The lesson is not to be more responsible and faithfully clean all my winter clothes at the end of each season so they're ready for next year. Nor have I learned, as the Internet suggests, to hand-wash my jacket in the sink or bathtub, then carefully lay it out to dry.
It's that I should never, ever be allowed to buy something that says on the tag "dry clean only."
Zoe Abel is waiting for spring weather as she sits in her house wearing nine separate articles of clothing to stay warm. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org