At this time of year it’s possible to consider the toque to be our national symbol. Canadians should not be going outside on blustery winter days without a toque or other hairstyle destroying headgear to keep them warm. Earmuffs will get part of the job done and save the hair, unless of course it’s windy, which it usually is since it wouldn’t truly be winter without the crippling wind-chill factor.
Those who complain loudest about the inevitable cold weather are generally those who don’t wear a toque. There is a mathematical complaint-to-inappropriate-attire ratio. The less appropriate the attire, the more complaints that the temperature outside is “freezing” and the bareheaded complainer is “freezing”. Get the connection?
Cold feet? Warm, waterproof boots with a non-slip sole should be standard Canadian issue. Add a long, warm coat – preferably with a hood in case the toque gets blown off – a pair of warm gloves and a scarf and you will be outfitted like a real Canadian, equipped to embrace, or at least tolerate, this long cold season.
Think about how we dress our little kids. They get a snowsuit, snow boots, a hat, scarf and mitts. Perhaps parents are so worn out from ensuring their kids are bundled up in preparation for the outdoors that they don’t have the energy to don their own hat, scarf, boots and mitts.
Heading into the wintery blast wearing nothing but running shoes and a hoody is a mind numbing practice usually attributed to kids who have graduated from the snowsuit. This age group might wear a coat but will likely not zip it up and will prefer to pull their hands up into their coat sleeves instead of wearing gloves.
I recall walking to high school wearing a long coat but no hat to cover my long wet hair. I was cold but I did manage to prove my mom wrong in her prediction that I’d “catch my death of cold”.
For many years since, I’ve worn a toque or slightly more fashionable winter hat, not to avoid catching cold but to avoid being cold. This tip of the hat to the toque is a prelude to encouraging you to go outside in the cold with your kids and enjoy winter without feeling cold. If this is goal you’d like to reach for, check out the New Year’s resolution tips on page 10 of this issue. Make 2017 the year of the toque eh?