Never is it as apparent that we are a city of women cut from profoundly different cloths than on the coldest or wettest of winter eves. Why? Because on any given Saturday night, you’re subject to find yourself standing heel-to-boot among a transparently visual sea of Human Icy Hots, or Semi-Repellers, or Hypochondriacs.
Confused? Don’t be.
It’s snowing. No, raining. No, snowing and raining but because your best friend is turning 30 and as a result finds herself at a crossroad that begs a puddle of vulnerable doubt in conjunction with her life’s ambitions, you are making the trek out from the depths of your comfort to function as the vessel that elicits her comfort at a birthday party. On the Lower East Side. You’ll tell her she’s doing huge things. That 30 is but a chip of the old block, you might share an anecdote about this girl you know through a friend of your mom’s friend who’s life changed for the better when she hit the 30-mark, etc, etc.
On your way to meet her, you notice a line comprised of a true mixed bag of nuts outside a door near Rivington Street. You briefly thank heaven and the angels that it omits that you’re not going to be waiting on a line. 30-year-olds don’t have birthday parties at places that boast lines. But lo and behold, the cab’s meter stops and there you are, left to loiter while you try to keep warm, rummaging through your purse to find your ID — which, mind you, you haven’t used since you were underage — thinking about how far your bed is, how close your temper is to lost and whether your friend is in there or out here, among the puddle of sequins and coats and bare legs and socks.
And then! You find her. She’s dressed as a human icy hot. Why, goodness, why? You take inventory of the rest of your surroundings and because of the handy guide we’re about to deliver, you start playing this game called Match the Girl to the Label.
First, there are The Human Icy Hots, who have seemingly never used the weather app on their iPhones, or more prehistorically, watched the news. It is 16 degrees out but Honey Banger doesn’t care. She hates socks. And tights. And evidently, doesn’t own a coat save for the paltry leather jacket slung over her arms. She doesn’t look cold which is confounding until you see her fall to the ground and realize she’s either alcohol or temperature inebriated. Her skirt is really tight, she’s wearing a going out top and man, oh man would I like to be a fly on the floor of which she resides tomorrow morning.
Then, there is The Semi-Repeller. She’s equal parts stupid and smart which makes her effectively a whole lot of nothing. Poof. Thin air. While she wears a beanie for cosmetic purposes, she completely omits the importance of a concealed neck given the climate and it’s clear that this is because her lapels are cool. She’s wearing a t-shirt under a pseudo-coat. It’s certainly not as frail as a leather jacket but it’s not quite a down comforter either. On her legs she’s got pants, which is great, but dear goodness! Your ankles! Those pumps! It’s snowing. Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, she is me.
And finally, there is The Hypochondriac. This asshole never gets sick because she is always over-dressed. Where a mere plebe (or Semi Repeller) might wrongly guesstimate how much time she will spend outdoors on a cold winter night thus under-dressing, the overachieving hypochondriac would make such a J.V. mistake. The thing of it is, past the dramatic layers of warmth that make ambling about palatable — two coats, a scarf, tights and socks, is a mohair sweater worn over a t-shirt that makes being indoors slightly unbearable. That shit is practically a full functioning heater. I’m sorry, have you ever tried to socialize in angora? I’m also sorry for that sentence but it is as counterproductive is trying to bathe in urine. Often if you know her, you don’t actually recognize her — she’s a walking ad for the whale-watching association of the Arctic.
And you’re just like, why am I here?
So, are you one of these girls? Do you know any of these girls? Have I forgotten to pin point another genre of girl? Tell me so many things that your fingers start falling off while typing. (But then figure out a way to click “post.”)
Illustrations by Charlotte Fassler