I Always Let Myself Go In Winter, But I Look Amazing When Spring Comes

Now that winter in New England has finally released its hold on the region, my springtime reverse-hibernation rituals are nearly complete. Up until a few weeks ago, I was admittedly gross AF. I don’t think I’m alone here, but I must confess that in the winter, I’m slovenly, I sleep a lot, I hate leaving my house, and I’m most often found beneath a pile of blankets, books, and dogs. Then spring emerges, magic happens, and a metamorphosis takes place.

Everything grows wild in the winter.

Okay, almost everything grows wild. Look, I live in New Hampshire. It gets cold as an ice skater’s underwear up here, so screw shaving. It makes my skin dry out immediately, plus the second I step out of the bath or shower with my smoothly shaved legs, I immediately start shivering (and everyone who shaves their legs knows that goosebumps equal stubble). I let the eyebrows go (but the little bastards still won’t grow back properly—thanks, ’90s eyebrow trends), I give my legs a little insulation, and I admittedly avoid shaving my pits for way too long. Cookie upkeep is different and of course I’ll give in and shave or pluck everything else occasionally, but for the most part… nah.

In spring, baby, everything’s so smooth.

I hate it, but I also hate wearing pants around the house after Daylight Savings Time, so the razor wins out. I’m still kind of fickle about the whole thing, given that the temperatures during any given week still range between 50 and 90, but on the whole, shaving is once again a routine bath time chore. I’ll deal with it if it means I can live in cargo capris instead of jeans. What? Don’t judge; cargos and flannel are my aesthetic.

I have Hobbit feet from December to April

. No exaggerations. I’d like to tell you it’s because I adore Hobbits and enjoy pretending that I am one, but it’s really because I wear socks and slippers all winter long. No one sees my feet, so the toenails run rampant and I’m not as picky about shaving the tiny little hairs that sprout up on my big toes. One year, the manicure I got in November still showed up on the very tips of my toenails by April. What? I said I was gross.

Come April, I have feet like a wood nymph.

In spring, summer, and most of the fall, unless I’m fishing, I’m either barefoot or wearing Birkenstocks (I said it). So, once the pedicures start, they rarely stop. My toenails grow too fast to get lax during sandal season, and I don’t enjoy subjecting others to the sight of my feet in an unkempt, Tolkien state.

My wintertime uniform is pajamas

. Unless I’m leaving the house, it’s pajamas all day, every day. Don’t hate. I will literally take off one pair of pajamas, shower, and put on a clean pair of pajamas. I don’t even GAF. I’ll go to 7-11 in my plaid flannel PJs and smile for the security cameras.

Once the sun announces itself, I open my closet.

Granted, as I already mentioned, I live in cargos, but still. They’re clothes. Admittedly, I trade the long-sleeved flannel for short-sleeved plaid because it’s hot, so I keep up with my pajama aesthetic, but the point remains. Wearing real clothes again. My wife is exceedingly pleased with me.

It’s cool if my hair gets grody in winter.

I live and die by dry shampoo in the winter because it sucks to step out of the shower into a freezing bathroom while beads of water shock-drop down the length of your back. I don’t bother with hair maintenance as much as I should, either—why get a trim or touch up my roots while I’m hibernating? Besides, if all else fails, I’m happy to wear a hunter’s cap or a beanie 24/7, even around my house. Hides my hair and keeps my ears warm—win/win, innit?

But I rock mermaid locks in springtime.

Around April or May, no one sees my roots again. I never go longer than two weeks without cleaning up my fade. My carefully coiffed undercut is not allowed to get so long that it loses its shape and makes me appear as though I’m constantly ready to ask to see the manager. I keep up whatever fantasy color I’m currently in love with. I become #hairgoals, if only in my own mind.

Things get a little ashy when it’s cold.

Try as I might, I cannot keep my pale-ass skin properly moisturized in the winter. To be honest, it’s probably because I take boiling baths and showers the entire season. No matter how much lotion I slather on, however, my bleached flesh unfailingly takes on a silver cast, and I get the grossest patches of dry skin around my mouth, which … crap, probably means I drool in my sleep.

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