I AM IN A DEEP STATE OF DENIAL. Christmas is not coming. Not yet. It can’t be.
I’m a devout daylight worshipper (albeit slathered in SPF 50 and hidden in the shade of a big umbrella thanks to the genetic tendency to roast a deep crimson), and Central Standard Time is my Kryptonite. Leaving work in the subterranean, post-5-p.m. darkness of winter sends me scurrying to Google to find out if in fact December 21 will be the shortest day of this year, so I can begin the countdown to my happy place again.
I’m convinced I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (but in the humorous, droll way, not the serious, worrisome way) and was so excited when last year’s winter solstice downward spiral seemed to be checked by the novelty of having a fireplace in our new house … finally, the endless nighttime has an upside. Let’s build a fire! Oh, and let’s chop wood. And stack wood. And hope that spiders don’t hitchhike into our house on said wood.
I soon learned that any breath of wind sent wood smoke back down the chimney and billowing through the whole house, so my joy at the newly-acquired fireplace was somewhat short-lived. I now keep the Oklahoma Mesonet website open 24/7 on my cell phone to check the “windcast” before we even think about lighting a fire. The attempt at a romantic Valentine’s Day fireside dinner (and subsequent wood-smoke-induced migraine) taught me that daring to tempt fate when winds top 5 mph was to be punished … and punished severely.
This year, I’ve decided that my approach to the winter doldrums will be to simply not acknowledge that winter is here. Lah, lah, lah, wind chill what? Ice-couldn’t-hear-you. Bring on global warming, the sooner the better.
Denial, thy name is Mia.
If pressed, I can admit there are some things I do like about winter. I enjoy hot cocoa in the afternoon instead of coffee. The exhilarating bite of cold weather (as long as I can hop back into my toasty car if needed) or the rare snowfall or even a blizzard – I figure, go big or go home. The camaraderie of my friends and family at the gatherings leading up to Christmas and the big shebang is great. And let’s not forget – it’s boot season!
We’ve got your holiday entertainment options covered in spades with our compilation of happenings beginning on page 36. When reading through the dazzling array of celebrations and anticipating all the cheer and goodwill this month will bring, I felt my Grinchy heart grow at least a size or two. But lest I get too comfortable with all the wholesomeness of the season, we’ve taken a look at the intriguing pop culture phenomenon The Lost Ogle, a website known for its scathing wit and sharp (and sometimes crass) take on hometown media, local celebrities and events. Along the way, the site’s relative obscurity has been eclipsed by some serious investigative reporting. Read about it on page 42.