It’s cold enough to make a man want to light-saber his way into the belly of a Tauntaun to keep warm. So plan ahead. Make sacrifices. Today, I’m announcing a few updates to Gentleman’s Code in the Cold:
1. Do not hold doors for more than two seconds. Not in big groups. Not because there’s someone you fancy running in from across the street. Not in restaurants while people inside are trying to warm up with a hot meal. See, you are letting cold air in. You are not a gentleman for holding the door for someone with arms and two gloved hands. (You can of course wait by the door for the person behind you and open it for them.)
2. Should you take your shoes off in a guest’s house? See below:
3. Between now and February, it’s acceptable to sleep with someone on the first date. (Baby, it’s cold outside.)
4. You’re eligible to do this twice more after Groundhog Day, depending on the outcome.
5. If you’re dating someone and you’re going on vacation (but it’s not a family function), you can bring them. It’s cold up North, and you don’t want to spend your vacation on the local Tinder check-in circuit. Go, make memories, share a bathroom. It’s the fun, no-pressure version of playing house.
Dating: About the only thing easier in the cold season
6. All your clothes that don’t fit right are now are useful for layering. I’m talking about that scratchy sweater that you think makes you look like Kurt Vonnegut but really makes you look older than him. Haul out that jacket you meant to get tailored. Fits great over that sweater, right?
7. Visible cotton long johns are the male version of yoga pants. That is, they are as embarrassing as if you borrowed your girlfriend’s yoga pants.
8. Unless you have sworn to protect Pearl Harbor from Hirohito, ditch your cotton undershirts. They’re holding sweat against your back. They hold that one droplet of rain that got down your the back of your neck on your way to work. They can be replaced with a rotating cast of synthetics or just your own damn chest hair.
9. A beard is no excuse to eschew facial care. But moisturize. Last year I went on a date with someone who knows something about beards, Iceland’s sexiest woman alive, Margét Erla Maack. Afterward, she mailed me a bottle of J.S. Sloane’s beard oil. Forget cologne, this is like oiling the stitches of the baseball glove of your face. (Which is what your face will look like after a number of winters of mistreatment.)
10. If you wear hair gel, the best way to keep it from freezing in the winter cold is to put a big egg-sized droplet in both hands and wash it down the drain. Then get a hat.
11. When traveling with someone else in the cold, or when running into someone else traveling in the cold, do not break stride to greet them. Say something like, “Hello! Weather, huh?” and then keep walking. Follow up with pleasantries and warm drink plans via email or text. Don’t make them wait and freeze.
12. Unless you’re on Team Zissou, take your ski cap off when you go indoors.
And do get outside, man. Nothing will give you the winter blues like sitting in your heated house in long johns. As always, be kind to the humans you pass on your journey. Stephen Fry once said, “Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.”