The Awkward Guide

In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself

The Awkward Guide To Winter

‘Tis the season to be jolly. ‘Tis also the season to slip on icey pavements, step in puddles that were in fact much deeper than they first appeared, and to acquire permanently alarming hat hair.

Winter is rapidly setting in, bringing with it not only festive cheer and an abundance of Fox’s biscuits in the supermarkets, but also an entirely new array of ways to make a prat of yourself. So, as an early Christmas present (I’m just too good to you) here are some ways to avoid Yuletide awkwardness.

1. Never underestimate ice. It is slippery. No really, you might think “that’s only a small patch, I’m wearing appropriate footwear, I’ll be fine.” You won’t. You will end up skidding, slipping, sliding, or finding some altogether new way to crash to the ground in an undignified fashion. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, no matter what the situation, it is not acceptable to grab an unsuspecting stranger for support. Besides, you’ll probably just take them down with you.

And the other thing about ice? It’s hard. But you can’t cry in public, you can’t really wince or acknowledge your discomfort because that would just cause more of a spectacle. In fact, you can’t react to the incident in any way other than to chortle merrily and scrabble to your feet with an air of “oh, isn’t winter weather magical” while trying to ignore the fact that you may have broken your hip and your trousers are wet.

2. When it comes to clothing, layers are your friends. Not because they keep you warmer, though that is true, but because you will often find yourself having to negotiate between different temperature zones. Outside = cold, obviously. But indoor areas are not quite so straightforward.

Most normal people will have the heating on an appropriate amount so you’ll want to shed a layer or two when entering their homes. Grandparents and some shop owners, on the other hand, seem to have a small mental breakdown because it’s got a bit cilly outside and so crank the heating up to near solar levels. If you haven’t equipped yourself with sufficient layers to take off then, on stepping into the inferno, you may either become dangerously dehydrated through excessive sweating, or start to consider wandering around in your underwear to be a reasonable option. If you’re a student, and therefore severely allergic to utilities bills, then the indoor temperature may make the outside seem positively tropical. In this case as many layers as humanly possible is the only way to avoid unfortunate cases of  frostbite.

3. Hats are wonderful when you’re wearing them. When the hat is removed, however, things become a little less magnificent. It’s impossible to tell what is going to emerge from beneath the woollen cosiness, but it’s safe to say that 90% of the time it is not going to be anything good. Particularly if you have a fringe.

So hats are excellent for maintaining precious body heat whilst undertaking a journey. But use them with caution. Hats are not advised if said journey is going to lead you anywhere where hat-removal will be necessary.

All in all it is very difficult to survive the winter weather without finding yourself in some sort of awkward situation, whether it’s a public ice-related incident, or arriving at an important social event with hair that vaguely resembles roadkill. But as ever, if you give it some (slightly neurotic) thought, there are ways to limit the potential for such mortifying occurences.

The most polite snowball fight ever


The Awkward Guide accepts no responsibility for adverse reactions to the implementation of advice supplied herein. Side-effects can include: smug laughter, mild disdain, and temporary irritation.


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This entry was posted on 26/11/2011 by in Seasonal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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