A theory on the cabin fever mechanism
"I am not a skier." There, I've outed myself, I thought, as I watched the woman sitting next to me contort her face in an attempt to understand.
"Well you must do something in the winter? Everyone's gotta have something to do in the snow," she told me as the bus rocked back and forth on our journey. At that I looked past the seat in front of me, across the aisle, out the foggy window. Cross-country skiing fanatics surrounded me.
The shuttle bus I was riding was packed to the brim with people garbed in all manner of winter clothing - from scratchy wool pants to puffy down vests, though most were wearing form-fitting, neon ski apparel. Everyone but me gripped skis and ski poles bound in bundles, and everyone but me had some crazy story to tell from past Birkie races, or training, or speculations about the snow conditions affecting wax.
"I've really gotten into ice fishing this year," I finally responded. I turned and looked at her then to gauge her reaction. It wasn't much. In fact she looked a little confused, or perhaps unconvinced that counted. Or, maybe she just didn't quite understand what ice fishing is. After all, she's from Milwaukee, I reasoned with myself.
Either way, I was prepared to talk her ear off about fishing and snow and ice until she suddenly piped up about people who grumble in the winter.
"If you can't find a way to enjoy the snow and cold months then you don't belong here," she said, and then I knew we were friends. "Not to be mean, it's just that you're going to be miserable for half the year, half your life." I nodded in agreement as this 50-something mother of three rattled on about how clean and pure the air is in the winter. About how getting out in the cold was rejuvenating.