It’s cold as fuck in Chicago right now. The weather app on my phone is telling me that it’s currently 18 degrees outside, but it feels like it’s only 8. A measly, pathetic, kick-to-the-nads, single digit of warmth—if you can even call it “warmth.” I’m sure we’re not the only city experiencing this. Looks like NYC currently has a wind chill of 17 degrees, Boston feels like 11, and Seattle feels like it’s 38 (but it’s currently raining there so I’m sure they’re miserable too).
I’m bringing this up because last weekend, I got involved in a fierce debate. I was at a pregame at my friend’s place. The original plan was for all of us to go our separate ways to different parts of the city, but lo and behold, plans changed and we decided to go to a bar within walking distance of our current location. As we finished our drinks and made our way to the door, something fascinating happened: three people walked out the door without a jacket, and four people (myself included) went to grab our gloves, coats, and scarves.
“What’s the hold up, guys?” they asked as we bundled up.
“Are…are you seriously going to walk to the bar without any coats or anything?” we responded.
And from there, not unlike the Great Pee Debate of 2016, a verbal dispute between both parties arose, holding us up another thirty minutes. Nobody won. Taking into consideration that this bar did not have a coat check, here’s how it broke down:
The Case For No Coats
Explanation: With today’s technology (Uber, Lyft, other rideshare apps if you’re in Austin), the only time you should really be out in the cold is if you’re waiting in line for the club/bar/restaurant. Once you’re inside, you’re hands-free. You don’t have to hold a heavy jacket, and you don’t have to worry about sweating your ass off in a steamy, packed sports bar if you keep it on.
Downside: If you’re walking to the bar like we were, you’re going to freeze your ass off for those 5-7 blocks.
The Case For Coats
Explanation: I think our opening line for this argument was something to the effect of, “Have you been outside?” Look, it’s just so damn cold. I know that once I personally hit Winter Mode, I’m just programmed to wear a heavy coat everywhere, no matter what. Plus, not that I’m saying I’m a particularly fashionable person, but if you have a sweet ass jacket that you can rock like hell, why wouldn’t you?
Downside: A lot of this depends on the kind of bar you’re going to. Generally speaking, if you’re going to the kind of bars that I go to, there will not be a coat check. I’m talking crowded sports bars, dingy dive bars, and every once in a while, a night club that I have no business being in. That means that you’ll probably be hot and sweaty if you keep it on. If you take it off, now you just have another thing to carry. Have you ever tried holding a beer in one hand and reaching to grab a shot off the bar with the other, only to have the giant jacket dangling off your arm start to slide off and drag along the ground, adding more resistance than you ever thought possible? Not a great look.
I know this sounds like I’m biased against my own actions, but really I’m not. Does convenience outweigh physical comfort? Better yet, should convenience outweigh physical comfort? Is there an alternative that I’m missing here? Why have we not created a jacket that will keep you warm while also being able to fold into the size of a pre-packaged poncho that you could get at Six Flags for $4? I just want to know that I’m not the only person who has this conundrum on their radar.
These are the thoughts that haunt me, and will presumably continue to do so until March rolls around and the city begins to thaw..
[via ABC / YouTube]