Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Winter in October

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s snowing already, but after a mild Russian winter last year (i.e., the harshest winter I’ve ever experienced) it all feels a bit soon. My coping strategy thus far has been denial. As you might imagine, it hasn’t been very successful.

A snowier moment from December 2005 for dramatic effect

I had a work event to attend first thing this morning, so I took to the 23°F (-5°C) streets in a dress and nylons and hoped that frostbite wouldn’t set in before I reached the metro. Once I arrived at my destination, I made a beeline for the bathroom—not because I needed to use the toilet, but because my ever-so-Russian bun had been blown into disarray by a fierce wind. As I was pinning my hair back into place, a man walked in. We eyed each other suspiciously until he broke the silence.

Man: Girl, you’re in the men’s room.
Me: I don’t think so.
Man: This isn’t the women’s bathroom.
Me: There was a woman in here when I came in.
Man: Then she was in the men’s room too.

He waited for me to leave, but I wasn’t going anywhere until I’d fixed my hair, so I just stared him down until he disappeared into one of the stalls. Then I glanced back into the mirror and saw a bank of urinals reflected behind me. Oops. Too obstinate to admit defeat, I finished repairing my updo and returned to the business event feeling somewhat less than professional. I blame Russian fashion for my mistake—pantyhose are so tight that I haven’t had proper blood flow to my brain in weeks. Good thing we’ve only got about eight months of winter left.

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