Sunday, February 10, 2013

Personal Heat Waves ~ From Turtlenecks to Tank Tops in the Winter

Personal Heat Waves ~ From Turtlenecks to Tank Tops in the Winter

I used to love winter clothes, the warmth and softness of a 4-ply cashmere cabled turtleneck sweater, the comfort of a Shetland wool crewneck, a chunky Irish fisherman’s knit cardigan over a cotton turtleneck, and classic wool trousers, fully lined, of course.  But, no more.

The advent of personal heat waves as a consequence of maturing has made a reevaluation of my winter wardrobe a necessity. If somebody had told me 10 years ago that I would eventually appreciate the wonders of a tank top in January, I would have through them daft. I was always cold. I spent evenings wrapped in an afghan huddled in front of the fireplace with my book or watching TV.  I slept enveloped in a down comforter trying to absorb the heat from my husband lying next to me. I needed fur to survive in the elements. And after my 5 years living in East Asia, my tolerance for cold dissipated even further.

But then, everything changed. It started slowly and intermittently. All would be well until I felt a surge of heat start at my hairline and move at a roadrunner pace down through my body until I felt I would self-combust. Perspiration would run down my face and back. I needed to peel off layers, one after the other until even in a tank it was necessary to duck outside to allow the frigid cold to stop it.

So there I stand, in 25 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, in my tank top with damp hair, gulping in deep breaths of cold air hoping to alleviate the attack. It passes. I go back inside. All of a sudden I am cold, and covered in dew. I pull on my cardigan and go back to life. 

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