19 Things Only Chicagoans Understand About Winter
There are two things your buddies from not-Chicago will never understand: 1) how to properly consume an Italian beef, and 2) winter in Chicago. While we can't help the former, we CAN help the latter with these: the 19 things only Chicagoans understand about winter.
1. Dibs is a way of lifeJust remember, if you section off the parking spot in front of your house with lawn chairs and police tape, you can’t get pissed when you’re looking for a spot and someone else is doing the same. There are rules.
2. We wake up with a lot of mysterious bruises in the morningThanks, Clark St black ice slip 'n falls.
3. There is a reason our shoes/jeans are perpetually covered in salt stainsAnd that reason is Chicago.
4. Having a shovel in your house is not enoughYou need one for the car, too.
5. Winter starts on Halloween and ends on St. Patrick's DayFact.
6. A good parking place is more important than any social obligationThis spot > your nephew’s birthday party in Arlington Heights. Trust us.
7. We cover our drafty windows in plastic wrap so our heating bill isn't $700You'll laugh... until your heating bill is $700, too.
8. We have to come up with a whole new tipping system for takeout during a snowstormAnd that system involves tipping the Chicago pizza guy at LEAST $5 extra in a blizzard.
9. We have to weigh the tradeoff between texting and having warm handsAnd while emoji-ing waits for no man, it does wait for an L stop with a heater.
10. Snowplows can actually bury your car deeper in snowThere are tradeoffs for having a plowed street. Unless, of course, you're Ald. Ed Burke.
11. Our beers can freeze at outdoor eventsYes, it’s happened to us at Bears games.
12. Parking in a snowstorm is like the Wild West, if people in the Wild West had cars... and were in a snowstorm. We're talking a complete breakdown of social order.
13. We have to dress like burglars for much of the seasonBurglars who have perpetual hat-head, thanks to winter snowcaps. Really though, even our dogs are like, "WTF?"
14. We forget what bodies of the opposite sex look likeTHANKS A LOT, PUFFY JACKETS.
15. Winter potholes are so bad, our city government has its own pothole trackerOur city government. Has. It's own pothole tracker. Let that sink in for a minute.
16. We have to strip down from our Christmas Story-caliber snowsuit every time we go indoorsIt’s to the point where we have to plan our trips to take out the trash in advance.
17. We have to worry about ice falling off skyscrapers and killing usSo maybe that’s why we’re in such a pissy mood all the time, okay?
18. We know it's completely pointless to wash our carsBecause they'll be disgusting again in, like, three minutes.
19. And yet still, some of us make the best of itLike these crazy bastards.
Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.
Jay Gentile is Thrillist’s Chicago Editor and he never leaves home without a backup shovel. Follow him @ThrillistChi.