Just 280 miles south of the Arctic Circle lies Yakutsk, the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia.
I live very far away from there, in New York City, but my grand plan is to “get rich enough” to buy a vacation home in Yakutsk. Why Yakustk? Because, in July, the temperature has been known to reach into the upper 60s (fine!), while, come January, the temperature plummets to a brutal −40 °F. #dealwithit
I’m what they call a “heavy sweater.”
In all honesty, I can likely attribute it to a cocktail of medications I take for what I like to call “being crazy,” but ever since I can remember, sweating profusely has been one of the many lemons life has handed me that just won’t fit in the juicer because THEY SUCK. (Other lemons: lack of a jaw line, the delusion that I could get away with wearing homemade spraypainted jeans, and a sweet tooth that is basically a MacGyver-type bomb slowly preparing to erupt in a Diabetes-plosion).
In fact, in high school, I used to wear two shirts at once (a great way to accentuate one’s already being overweight) to "wick away" moisture. I even experimented with adhering sponges to my arm pits with rubber bands, which was actually a so-stupid-it’s-in-a-sitcom invention featured on a recent episode of "Raising Hope." True story.
Then I tried Certain-Dri, but I ended up having to sleep with my arms over my head because of the stinging. Grown men should not sleep in the same position as adorable puppies (unless they want to. In which case: You do you, bro).
And so I embraced the stains, so to speak, and began carrying around bandanas, which I used to wipe my face because that’s where I sweat the most: on my forehead (or my “HEAT ZONE,” a fake term I made up).
What’s the big deal? you might say. Sweating is natural and healthy! And I would say, Yes, it is! But it’s also uncomfortable and endlessly embarrassing, especially when it’s October, and you are drenched because the godforsaken New York City MTA thinks that, just because it’s almost Halloween, it’s appropriate to shut off ALL VENTILATION SYSTEMS ABOARD THE TRAINS AND BUSES.
In fact, it is unbearable to sweat as much as I do. At the gym, I go through at least two bandanas per 90-minute workout. I wear tee shirts into the fall. I rarely need jackets, and, yes, I PREFER THE COLD WEATHER.
Apparently, that’s a crime to most people, who are astonished when I tell them that spring is uncomfortable because it can suddenly get so warm, without warning, that pants of any fabric quickly become the catalyst for a full-on hot flash, especially if I’m not wearing open-toed shoes. I realize -- sandals are generally gross, but they are an absolute necessity for some of us, okay?
These are the same people who don’t understand why I only like certain parts of summer, specifically those in any setting where I will be be able to control my temperature, through air conditioning inside a car or a house. Even a backyard barbecue is do-able if, of course, there is an umbrella or, I dunno, a pool? A pool is good. I’ll take a pool, please!
My friends and family chide me for it. LOL, Eliot’s wet again! (Gross, Mom!) In fact, it’s become somewhat of a signature “party gag” of mine to hover by the air conditioning unit and/or to leave. To just leave. Honestly, what should I do? Stand around and suffer? (If you didn’t already know I was Jewish, #nowyouknow.)
When I visited Austin, Texas in July to meet my boyfriend’s parents for the first time, it was in the dead center of a record-breaking heatwave. But guess what? I loved Austin. Why? Because we had a car! My boyfriend’s friends had cars! His parents had cars! Their house had central air! The hotel where we stayed had a thermostat in the room!
Every single house, store, restaurant, bar and club we visited had not just sufficient air conditioning, but EXCELLENT TEMPERATURE CONTROL. So when my own parents asked if/how I was surviving (knowing I had, in fact, packed nearly a dozen bandanas), they were pleasantly surprised to hear that I was loving it (but mostly because of Gordough’s Doughnuts, which are the size of SANDWICHES. Remember, I’m one Fribble away from Type II swooping in to gnaw off my big toe).
At my first job, I would purposely arrive early enough so that, before anyone else got to the office, I would use my umbrella to rip apart the masking tape my co-workers had placed over the vents that kept the office chilly in the summer months. This would literally happen every day, but they loved me so much that I never got fired -- just berated by a barrage of women (and one dude) wearing wool sweaters in August, every single day.
I’ve also been known to sneak around other people’s offices, apartments, and MY OWN GYM (are you reading, Crunch Union Square? If you’re reading, TURN DOWN THE HEAT! THE BODY HEATS ITSELF! I AM A DOCTOR!), on the hunt for the thermostat that will relieve me from the torture of talking to someone and knowing they’re secretly thinking, Did this guy just come from swim practice? Good for him.
My friend, Jenna (a fellow New Yorker and xoJane writer who shares my pain), constantly receives texts from me complaining about stuffy trains, sweltering bars (don’t you want us to STAY THERE?) and -- worst yet -- the TV meteorologists who pop enormous boners for unseasonably warm temperatures that are literally a sign of the Earth slowly rotting, but, you know, “Grab the sunglasses, it’s going to be a beautiful weekend!” STFU, ROKER. DYING HERE.
As far as I’m concerned, most people are pussies when it comes to the cold.
“I’d rather be too hot than too cold,” I’ve heard time and time again. And the reason those people can deal with the heat, in my opinion, is that there isn’t some part of them that gets so overheated, so completely unable to deal with the fact that there is literally NO AIR on the subway platform as they wait 20 damn minutes for the Q train that they start -- literally -- tearing off their own tank top with their bare hands, just like the Incredible Hulk. THAT’S what being “too hot” feels like.
And, although I hear Botox is actually a reasonable tool for sweating less (but I’m afraid I’d turn into Marie Osmond), I’d rather freeze to death.
Visit me in Yakutsk!