Doesn’t he look cold? Photo: Brennan Bova. Edits: Rame Abdulkader.
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It just makes you cold and frostbitten

There’s a specific dress code for this time of year that’s unique to Ottawa. I like to call it marshmallow chic, but let’s be real, there’s nothing pretty about puffy parkas and adults wearing snow pants. Fashion becomes second to mere survival. It’s one of the uniting factors about living in a climate this cold: everybody looks terrible.

But then, I spotted one the other day—one of those good-for-nothing short wearers. He was leaving Desmarais, ice-cold frappuccino in hand, khaki shorts on his legs. It was one of those record-low temperature days, and yet he was walking around like he had no care in the world, like the the nerve endings in his legs were permanently damaged and unable to feel cold.

Listen, if you want to give yourself frostbite, all the power to you. It’s a free country. But what I can’t stand is the second-hand cold I feel from just watching one of these weirdos! I saw someone walking in shorts through a snowbank the other day, and I could feel the numbness in my own legs. Just because you choose to be crazy doesn’t mean we have to be dragged along for the ride.

These students seek to tear apart the only binding fabric of the Ottawa population. An unspoken agreement that anything goes this time of year, so long as it keeps you warm. Nobody looks good dressed up as a marshmallow.

I ventured out to the store the other day, wearing my salt-stained boots and puffy winter parka, as god intended. The nods of solidarity you get from other coat-wearers is incomparable to any other form of social interaction. I feel understood, complete, loved.

Other delinquents choose to wear ankle socks with sneakers, no socks in boots, and light spring jackets in snowfall. Where are your mothers? Where’s your long underwear?

To those students I say, you’re not cool! But you’re certainly cold. There’s nothing hotter than being warm.