I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty sure I have been outside in a temperature that was colder than you. I know that sounds really lame to some people who live in Arizona or California or Saudi Arabia. Why would you even care? And why would that ever be something to brag about? Well, if you are from the Midwest or from Antartica you probably understand. It’s human nature. Someone starts a conversation and says that have done something really extreme. It could be that they jumped off a swing 10 feet in the air and landed on their ankle wrong and sprained it. Soon enough you have a group of people telling their one up stories. The last guy is saying he jumped from space and landed flat on his face and was eaten by tigers. Of course he is exaggerating, but you get the point. Humans are one uppers. So I risk the fact that when I tell you the extreme coldest I have ever been in, I will get stories of other people that will top it. That is fine. It will just make me bitter, but not as bitter as this time in my life makes me. Let me explain.
When I first moved to South Dakota(the rest of my family followed me there too), there was a day when the temperature was -80 F with the wind chill. I went to school that day. I was kind of bitter(at 8 years old I was still just kind of bitter), because they didn’t even let us go outside for recess that day. How was I supposed to break my leg while slipping on the ice? Or be forced to stick my tongue to the flag pole by the school bully? Obviously the school didn’t really care about our feelings. It always about them.
As an attention seeker, I couldn’t brag to my classmates about being in -80 weather, so I had to find something else. Luckily, my chance would come in the form of a big semi lake of ice on our school playground. Me and someone else(probably an aquaintance since I didn’t really have friends) decided to take a run at the ice skating rink and try to slide as far as we could. I slipped hard and landed on my wrist. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to have to go to the hospital. Thankfully, I was just as clumsy then as I am now and was able to full on sprain my wrist at church while walking on the ice.
I couldn’t believe my luck. I sprained my wrist! I was able to go to school the next day with a brace that was wrapped with an Ace Bandage! How cool(get it cool?) would I be? But alas, my legendary bad timing would be my demise as another student actually broke their wrist and my painful sprain would be soon forgotten. One upped by a broken wrist! Curses! My kind of bitter grew into pretty bitter.
As I got older, global warming happened and the highs in winter reached a warm -30F and there was just nothing to brag about anymore. I mean, Siberia was getting -40’s on a regular basis. It’s my personal opinion that they were using illegal air conditioning and possibly steriods at the time, but hey I’m not accusing them of anything. I mean if you wanted to do an investigation on how they got that cold, that’s fine, but I don’t care. Why would I have any interest in that?
I eventually moved to Idaho and later Utah, but the cold feeling that I got from South Dakota never returned. Don’t get me wrong Idaho and Utah tried their best(not really, they only got -10 F), but they could never stack up to the pure feeling of wind penetrating your wind proof jacket deep into your bones like a good old fashioned -80 F. I’ve searched this earth high and low, I’ve tried to go outside in -30 without a jacket, I’ve even tried sleeping overnight in an ice cave pinned to the side of the ice cave wall, but nothing will ever compare to the exhileration of the day when it -80 below wind chill.
Just like my sprained wrist would never stack up to the broken one of my classmate, the cold of anywhere else will never stack up to the -80 F winter I experienced in South Dakota. And that makes me bitter. And bitterly cold just thinking about it.