Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Long johns

It's the secret sweater.  You know how that penny-pinching person in your life responds to complaints of chilly houses with, "Go put on a sweater!"?  Well, I put on long johns.

I walk a lot.  My kids walk a lot.  It's cold outside.  I know that X percent of our body heat is lost through our head, and that X is some really big number, so you can be sure we wear hats and scarves, too.  But our legs account for a lot of the surface area in the geography in our bodies, and keeping the gams warm counts for a lot.

The main idea behind my dressing-warm philosophy is to trap air.  Air is one of the best insulators there is; that's why a big puffy quilt helps keep me so warm at night, allowing me to turn down the heat while I sleep.  Dressing in layers helps to trap air, too.  Sweaters, for sure.  Long johns, yes.

Long johns help even when I'm not moving around outdoors; my college is saving a bit of money by keeping buildings (and my office) a little cooler than in years past.  Not quite nippy, but definitely not toasty.  Say it again: long johns, yes.

My grandmother moved in with us when she got ill with cancer; in her weakened state she got cold easily.  She was also a stylin' kind of lady, and wouldn't wear long johns -- that is, until we found ones with roses on them.  Then, Go Granny!

My boys often wear pajama pants under their school pants.  The boys are so cool, they're hot!  My own long johns are scrounged and yard-sale purchased.  I'm not that picky about how they look (truth be told, some of them are just a little ratty). In a pinch, I'll even wear tights or hose underneath my jeans, just to take advantage of those pockets of air.

As my boys like to ask, "What are you wearing under there?"  The answer: Under where?  It's Under Wear!

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