January and Jersey

New Jersey is the most densely populated state...

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January in New Jersey is, in a word, depressing as hell. Ok, I know that’s three words, but I’m so miserable and cranky and tired that I refuse to go back and rewrite that. In all honesty, I’m not really that distressed. Yes, my hands and feet are so cracked and dry that dousing them with industrial sized vats of Gold Bond cream for days on end couldn’t soothe them, and the lack of consistent sunlight has resuscitated my urge to crawl under the covers approximately six minutes after I’ve arrived home from work, but I’m good. Yeah, I’m not really into arctic blasts of wind penetrating not only through my gortex jacket but straight through to all of my internal organs, and the dreary sight of black snow makes me want to poke my own eyes out with an awl, but I’ll be fine. Surviving a January in Jersey is analogous to building muscle. 



It’s like this. You spend hours in the gym sweating, grunting, and muttering profanities usually reserved for Hells Angels or Marines. You don’t want to do it. You would rather avoid it. But you do it in order to get that body you want. You put in the work because you know you will feel better down the road. There is a pay-off. You watch the veins in your neck bulge in the mirror while you hoist that bar bell over your head and think to yourself, “It’ll all be worth it when I put that bathing suit on this summer.” Well, all citizens of New Jersey suffer through the dismal and dark days of January with one thought in mind. I can’t wait to get the hell out of this rathole of a state. Err… uhmm, wait, that’s not it. We accept our fate (grudgingly) and continue to work and play and bitch and moan–and bitch and moan some more– about the long January’s in Jersey. We spit , curse, and hiss all the while but still persevere day after day and in the end it makes us stronger. New Jerseyans learn to appreciate the spring and summer so much because we have endured the wretchedness of a long winter. That first day when the temperature reaches over fifty degrees you will see us flock to the beaches and the parks. We will bare our chests (mostly the guys), break out the flip-flops and the hula-hoops and revel in the heat wave.
It’s a simple fact that January’s in New Jersey separate the men from the boys. Native New Jerseyans are tough as nails. Jersey girls are legendary. We have the Polar Bear plunge for crissakes. Just last week about 100 crazy bastards ran into a 35 degree ocean…for fun. We don’t crumble to pieces when the temperature drops below 60 like many of my friends and relatives do who live in more temperate climates. I have one girlfriend living in Florida who actually posted on her Facebook page that it was “freezing” and she couldn’t “stand the cold anymore”. It was fifty-eight degrees. Dear God get ahold of yourself woman. But that’s what I mean. We don’t want to hear it. We are from Jersey. Sure we’re mean and cranky right now, but we’ll get over it. We are just building up our muscles.


About Blithering Idiot

I am a teacher and I love my job.
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