People think I’m strange for a lot of reasons, but one of them is because I love Finnish winters. They’re iconic. They’re what I grew up believing winters were supposed to be. It snows a lot. The air is crisp and clean. The temperature is so cold that everything is covered with frost. It’s absolutely beautiful. One thing that I don’t like about Finnish winters is that moment, right after I step outside, when I have to ask myself, “Am I wearing pants?”
Allow me to explain.
If you’ve ever lived in a place that gets extremely cold, you know the importance of thermal undergarments. When I was a kid in Pennsylvania, I had a set my grandmother made me wear whenever I went out to play in the snow. They were bulky and uncomfortable, they made my clothes too tight, and it was difficult to move. Bleh.
Fortunately, the modern stuff is nothing like that. It’s thin, form-fitting, and breathable. The newer stuff fits comfortably under your clothes. It’s basically tights. When I put it on, I image that I look like Adam West’s Batman. Somehow, in spite of being thin, they do a good job of keeping you warm.
The thing is, they feel like pajamas or sweatpants. My regular pants don’t touch my skin when I walk, so it feels differently. In spite of the fact that I always check my pockets as I’ve leaving the apartment to make sure I have my keys, my wallet, and my phone, regardless of the fact that I can feel that I’m wearing boots and would have noticed when I put them on, I always get two steps outside of the building, feel the fabric of the thermal tight against my skin, and wonder if I’ve forgotten to put on pants.