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I’ll be your Russian grandma

Isabel Vayser, Opinions Editor

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Bundled up in a turtleneck, a corduroy dress, tights and a puffy pink coat, I waved goodbye to my grandma and hopped on the bus for another day of kindergarten. Like every other day, I sat next to my best friend, Shannon, who immediately asked a question that confused me immensely, “Why are you wearing a coat?”

As I wondered if she didn’t see the snow on the ground, I gave her what I thought was a sufficient response, “My grandma told me to.”

Unsatisfied, she replied, “But it looks weird, and it’s not even that cold on the bus. You’re such a goody-goody.”

My heart sunk. My grandma asked me to do something with my safety and warmth in mind, and I didn’t see what was wrong.

Though our conversation ended there, the shame associated with wearing a coat never went away. I don’t know when it started or why, but there’s a weird stigma around coats. So in case you don’t have someone to constantly update you on the weather and remind you how sick you will get if you don’t wear a coat, do us both a favor and take me in as your adoptive Russian grandma.

By letting me take on this role, I have automatically become your new weather woman and doctor. As my first order of business, I’d like to inform you that between December and March it tends to snow often and the temperature can even drop below zero. Therefore, choosing the irresponsible route of not dressing yourself appropriately will surely result in some type of illness.

Now to support the correlation between what you wear and how you feel, let’s take the example of the boy who I saw walking into school wearing shorts and a thin sweatshirt the morning after the two days we had off due to the polar vortex. Get this . . . I heard him sneeze! If only my grandmother had seen him. But since you’re just becoming accustomed to this concept and grandmas should be forgiving of their munchkins, I’ll cut you some slack for your past mistakes and reference his unfortunate choice as a cautionary tale.

As any good grandmother, I only want the best for my little snuggle bunnies. I know it can be annoying to carry around a bulky coat all day, but the inconvenience is worth it considering the alternative of patchy, red skin and a weak immune system. We live right outside Chicago, a city renowned for its cold, windy weather. So if it’s colder than Antarctica with dangerously low wind chill or just below 50 degrees with a cool breeze, you’re allowed to put on a jacket and admit you’re cold. Besides, boy in the shorts during a polar vortex, you’re not doing a good job pretending that your sweatshirt is warm enough. I know you’re freezing. Grandma always knows.

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I’ll be your Russian grandma