The cold, depressing armies of winter are rapidly approaching, Chicago. Images of snowflakes are creeping into the forecasts. The heat lamps on CTA platforms are once again funneling stale air onto the heads of commuters. The festivals and patios of summer are now distant memories. It's time to buckle down and prepare for the most challenging season of the year. In an effort to make you feel less isolated as you ready for your annual bout of seasonal affective disorder, here are seven miserable things everyone will experience as winter arrives in Chicago.
The unpacking of the cold weather garb
Remember last May when you jammed all of your coats, sweaters, gloves and hats into a box and shoved it in the back of your closet? It's time to find that sucker, because there's hardly a worse feeling than being ill-clothed in sub-30 degree temperatures. Or maybe you moved over the summer and, in an effort to fit everything into your cousin's 1995 Chevy Astro, tossed all of your winter gear while thinking, "I'll never need these things again." If that's the case, it's time to whip out the "emergency" credit card and head to the nearest outlet mall.
Depression—so much depression
The summer is a euphoric season. It offers dozens of amazing music festivals, late-night drunken ramblings and sweet, sweet Vitamin D from the sun. Over the next few months, the sun will become a distant friend; one that you were once close with, but have had a falling out with over the last month. The depression that will follow from this separation will be intense, and perhaps worse than any breakup that you've ever experienced. You'll find yourself crying for no particular reason and binge eating ice cream out of the carton.
A crater in your bank account from Uber rides
If you think you'll be saving money due to going out less this winter, think again. Once the frigid darkness sweeps over the city, the three-block walk to the El or the 15-minute wait for the bus becomes goddamn awful. You'll find yourself hopping in more cabs, Ubers and Lyfts than any other season. You might as well never leave your apartment and start burning wads of cash to stay warm—it'll probably cost the same.
Anger towards friends in warm cities
Everyone has friends that can't handle the polar vortex, and cut town for places like Los Angeles and Florida (really?). Those weaklings will post photos of beaches and rooftop parties to Facebook all winter long, and will become a deserving target of hate. You'll send them passive aggressive messages, and they'll respond with invitations for you to visit (which you'll probably take them up on).
The terror of rock salt
Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation deals with winter by throwing salt everywhere, which will stain your shoes, jeans and those Christmas socks you got from Aunt Judy. There's little you can do to get rid of the white streaks across all of your clothing, and you'll end up sacrificing hundreds of dollars in clothing to the winter gods.
An inability to laugh
There's nothing funny about a frozen layer of snot stuck to your upper lip. And there's nothing amusing about slipping on a patch of ice, scraping the hell out of your face. So when your stupid friend asks you to attend their stand-up or improv show, it's important to scowl and tell them that you won't be laughing again until April.
Disgust from people who say "winter makes you stronger"
We've all met people who try to find a silver lining in subzero temperatures by claiming that it makes you stronger, or that it makes you appreciate the summer all the more. These are usually the same people who've never worked outside a day in their life, and spend more money on cabs than most people do on college tuition. It's essential to suggest that they spend a week camping out in an alley and standing around trashcan fires where their only hope for rapture is an elderly soothsayer who won't stop recounting fictional stories of the time that they were elected mayor.