When Autumn Leaves Are Falling

Summer and I tried to hold out until the official end of the season. I only just accepted socks back into my regimen two days ago as my toes were too cold otherwise. After our week of boiling hot weather, I thought maybe I’d be rewarded with my summer of work with a little summer of my own.

It must be said summer went out with a bang. Alas, no more. It is raining, and the high today will be 64, which means I officially must put on a long sleeved t-shirt. I have an oft-mocked system for how I dress.

One of the ways I unconsciously dealt with my anxiety was to make systems that I stick to somewhat religiously. There is some room for leeway, but it helps keep me from collapsing in a panic and not sleeping at night. For example, I decide things using numbers. When I was a kid, it was using the Magic Lucky Dice (which was a totally normal six sided die), but now I have a very sophisticated time system. For example, it is at this moment 11:11. Therefore, add up each digit together, which in this case makes four. Whatever options you are considering, line them up, and count through them up to four. The one that is in the fourth position, or repeats to be four, that is your choice. If I really don’t like what I’ve landed on (say, it’s on “clean my room” and I don’t want to), I may fudge and move one over or redo the process from there (until it lands on “drink”). I also use this to decide what I want off the menu at restaurants. Yes, yes, let the mocking commence, I don’t mind. My therapist in college said it was fine so long as I didn’t let it totally dominate me – which I don’t THINK I do. But it is 64 degrees, so it is long-sleeved weather.

For those interested, here is my “what to wear based on how cold/warm it will be today.” You use the predicted high as a frame of reference for when you get dressed, and check the weather whenever you need to go out for outerwear. I will start at 45 degrees and go up and then down, since that’s the easiest way for me to remember. As I add to my wardrobe, it gets a little difficult to remember and gets fudged a bit.

45-50: Hat, coat, and scarf.
50-55: Hat and coat, no scarf.
55-60: Coat, no hat.
60-65: Jacket! A long awaited moment in the coming spring. Jacket remains on until 75 (though if I get hot, I say screw that).
65-70: T-shirt! Another exciting moment. T-shirt remains the upper garment of choice in the upper degrees.
70-75: Shorts! I hate shorts, though, so I don’t always wear them.
75 and up: No jacket.
Once it gets that, hot, though, I tend to say screw it to the system and pretty much know what I’d be most comfortable wearing. It is most important in the colder weather, especially in New York. It got pretty religious to keep me safe there…Now, going downward.
45-40: Hat, coat, scarf, light gloves.
40-35: Hat, coat, scarf, heavy gloves.
35-30: Switch coat for wool jacket, hat, scarf, heavy gloves.
30-25: Wear both jacket AND coat over it, hat, scarf, heavy gloves.
(At this point, it gets a little bit confusing, as it really only ever got this cold in New York. Once in Tacoma, and not having this long underwear, I suffered).
25-20: All of the above, plus long underwear. I often had to hike this up under my work pants at the theater, since the underwear I had was designed for men.
20-15: All of the above, plus a sweatshirt as the first layer beneath jacket and coat. You can barely move – BUT YOU WILL NOT BE COLD. In fact, you get pretty toasty. It’s really difficult, but I had to do this a few times at the end of the year in New York.

So there you go. My coffee’s done, so I’m going to go shower (I had a late start today), so feel free to laugh at me in the comments while I’m gone.


About emilydnelson

A recent graduate of Hofstra University with a B.A. in anthropology, Emily is like every other twenty-two year old on the planet - trying to figure out what the hell to do now. Follow as she struggles with writing, her social work job, and bopping from coast to coast.
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