On Instagram a few weeks ago, I jokingly shared that I was going to be hosting a fake Internet festival parody of Burning Man and call it Freezing Woman, where instead of a community of people sleeping in tents in the desert sharing everything they own, it’s a community of people in cold climates, home alone on their couches in days-old pajamas, drinking alone, getting free things from e-commerce brands to celebrate the onset of winter and the coach potato-ing that comes with it.
Then, after a couple of glasses of wine one Saturday night, I reached out to a couple of my favorite brands to see if they wanted to join in an effort to “make the Internet fun again,” and got some acceptances. Gaining confidence, I reached out to 3725361 more brands and got a motley crew of hilarious and creative PR people on my side, and suddenly this fake Internet festival became real.
Why I am the right person to host Freezing Woman
Basically, I’m an expert at being cold. I lived through the polar vortex. I have a gas fireplace. My fingernails are perpetually blue, my cuticles are perpetually crispy and my lips are perpetually chapped and the only thing that can get me out of my house in the month of January is a carbon monoxide alarm.
I used to feel guilty about the level of inner couch potato that comes out of me during the cold months. What did I even do last Nov-Apr? I honestly can’t remember because it was all a blur from that spot on my couch that has a permanent print of my butt.
I mean sure, I went to work. I made it to the gym because I pay a personal trainer and he charges me if I don’t show up, and my frugal-a$$ husband gets ticked when he pays for a fancy trainer that I don’t use because I‘m too lazy to change out of my three day old pajamas. (BTW, solved that problem last year by putting shearling liners in my New Balances and telling everyone at the gym that dirty pajamas are the new Lululemon, so I literally just roll out of bed, slip on my 247s and head to Dunkin’ for coffee. I go to a weird Rocky old man gym so they just ignored me and went back to working out on their circa 1982 aerobics machines.)
Anyhoo. Where were we? Ah yes. Reframing winter as a season to celebrate couch potato-ing, the only sport where I’ve ever made the varsity team. *Pats self on back*
Why I started Freezing Woman
Winter *technically* doesn’t start until December 21 but that’s meaningless in places like Oslo, Chicago, Boise, Minneapolis, Copenhagen, London and Toronto. Maybe where you live, too. Our noses are already running. Our closets are already cleared of all remnants of coat-free, open-toed dressing and speaking of our toes, gross. Our boots are next to the door, ominously awaiting the first snow that will be pretty for exactly 17 seconds before it turns our worlds into a slushy pollution and dog pee mess for a minimum of four months. Speaking of, I took the picture for this post yesterday during Chicago’s first snow of the season and it’s already brown. *Sad trombone* but also pleased because it’s fuel for this festival’s fire (err, freezing process?).
There’s a silver lining, of course, which is the excuse to rest in your inner couch potato for the next five months. We don’t talk about this enough, how wonderful it is to wallow in wool as the most antisocial, slightly dirty version of yourself slathered in creams and nothing but space on your calendar for entire weekends. It’s an annual life-break that people in places like California and Florida don’t get because they’re always getting invited to go hiking or attend al fresco dinners that will surely go past 8pm.
So that is why I started Freezing Woman, a 9-day Internet community of indoorsy cold people preparing for couch potato season. What if we reframe this season as one to celebrate? To rest, invest in skincare routines, take hot baths, release ourselves from all external pressure? Relish in our cashmere pajamas and hone our InstantPot skills? Invest in as much shearling as possible and delight in the season for the indoorsy? Listen to the same Lizzo song on repeat and go to bed at 8:30pm? Sounds like a literal dream.
But what if I can’t be a couch potato 24/7? Can I still join Freezing Woman?
*If* you have to leave your house to do things like go to the office, first of all, I’m so sorry (sometimes I have to leave, too, ugh). Second of all, it doesn’t need to be all “hiked uphill in a blizzard both ways,” if you know what I mean. At least you’re not the lady checking receipts at the Costco exit, I cannot think of a more miserable job to have in winter. I mean, they’re allowed to wear coats and stand under those heaters but those big open garage doors just let that arctic air blast them all day long. You’re lucky to get to snuggle on the cube farm all day long, and with a little planning and the right supplies, you can make it feel like you’re home on your couch. Here are some ideas to get you started:
An excellent ceramic mug
A space heater
Shearling lined boots that go with everything
Leggings that pass as pants with the right coatigan
A coatigan that you can wear as a robe and also over your blouse for work
A giant cashmere scarf
Cashmere lined leather gloves
CBD oil to limit stressors of your day
The right playlist
A fire screensaver
How to participate, you ask? There are three ways:
#1 You can passively consume the content we create for Freezing Woman
Use it to feel seen and understood in a way no one has ever articulated, laugh and enjoy the process from afar, occasionally making a soup recipe or opting for a bath instead of a shower, feeling free to stay in your pajamas for days or “air out” your wool sweater at night so you can rewear it tomorrow and the day after. We know you’re out there because I do monitor my page views and Instagram analytics, thanks in advance for your participation.
#2 You can actively create content for this event, by sharing through your own channels
I use Instagram, so if you share there tag me & use the hashtag “#freezingwoman” or email / DM your photos / screenshots to me so I can re-share it for the others attending our fake festival to enjoy — I’ll give you prompts every day on my Instagram stories, but basically, if you find yourself freezing, covered in wool, eating a bag of chickpea-based fake Cheetos in a moment of lethargy, this is the kind of content we’re looking for. If your having an excellent cup of tea or made a lazy soup that made you mildly happy it’s cold out, share it. If you find yourself bundled in a down coat, suffocating in your car while sitting in traffic surrounded by gray skies and brown snow, this is ideal content and please be sure to document it.
#3 You can enter the daily giveaways that I’ll be hosting in partnership with the brands that thought this event sounded hilarious and sent us stuff for free just to spread joy to cold people on the Internet (while raising brand awareness / street credibility.
If you’ve overextended you’re friend circle by tagging them in too many giveaways and worry that you might have no friends left because of it, you can also purchase the products I highlight (which are all items that I asked brands to donate, and do not get kick backs of any kind because I intend to preserve the trust I’ve built writing this here blog for years while working a demanding full time job that gave me financial freedom to not take a cent from anyone, all part of my longitudinal strategy to finally ask you to buy something from me on the day I launched my first book, which you did, making it an immediate best-seller, so thanks.)
Our Lady of Perpetual Lethargy