I begin 2015 as I ended 2014: writing on deadline.
The sequel to TABULA RASA is due soon. Painfully, anxiety-inducingly soon.
*averts eyes from calendar*
I’ve been working very hard on that, but I’m going to take a break, and in celebration of the new year, tell you a story about my insane, cycling husband who rides his road bike to work in all manner of cold, wintry weather. He would probably ride through the tundra, assuming there was a dedicated bike lane and those dang polar bears would watch where they’re going.
Not surprisingly, when one is an insane crazy cycling person riding in freezing cold winter weather, one has issues with staying warm because of that whole wind-chill thing. His particular problem is keeping his hands warm during his sojourns and so he asked for something for the Christmas that he hoped would combat this problem. Namely, the exact leather mittens worn by Tim Allen in The Santa Clause.
You can’t see them in this shot. In fact, they may not even be in this scene. I searched high and low, but I couldn’t find any picture of the mittens at all, which probably means they were only in one shot, in one scene, in the entire movie trilogy. But my husband saw them and he wanted them.
Yes, mittens made of leather, suitable for driving a sleigh.
I looked for these mittens before Christmas, not terribly hard, I’ll admit, because I didn’t really think such a thing existed. I mean, have YOU ever seen a grown adult person of the male persuasion wearing leather mittens?
No, nor have I.
And movies aren’t necessarily a great place for shopping ideas or else I’d don in an epic woodland crown most days. (See Thranduil right.)
Honestly, the other reason I didn’t scour the internets for them was because I also thought they were a little silly-looking. In his quest to stay warm while cycling, my husband couldn’t give three loogies about how something looked. If it’s warm, he’ll wear it. Within reason, of course. It still has to be aerodynamic. Snowmobile suits are designed to keep you warm in the wind-chill, but they’re not terribly appropriate for cycling.
But really, pretty much anything else is an option. This is a man who now regularly preaches the gospel of retro wool cycling jerseys to anyone who’ll stand still long enough to hear it (most people won’t). And if he told me that a recent study had shown lederhosen to be the most appropriate and best-performing article of winter wear for cyclists, he’d probably order some or commission their production for men who are six feet tall and not four-year-old Bavarians.
But back to the mittens.
Alas, Christmas comes and goes, and he does not get his leather mittens. No Red-Rider BB gun for him this year.
But then what happens? Two weeks after Christmas, the husband finds the very mittens he was looking for in a catalog that we happened to have in an area of the house where magazines and catalogs are often perused. (I shall say no more.)
Yes, apparently the exact leather mittens he had seen and coveted from The Santa Clause are real! They do exist! They’re worn by CANADIAN POLICEMEN and DOG SLEDDERS. And he’s going to be getting a pair very soon because I must reward his persistence.
The only question is, what size to get.
Did you know that gloves and mittens come in hand sizes? I’m not talking about generic S, M, L and so on. I mean, your hand has an actual size like—7, 8, 9—the way your feet do when you’re shopping for shoes.
According to the catalog you measure the circumference of the knuckles (in inches) and then look for the corresponding number in their sizing system.
How have I lived my entire life never knowing that there were HAND SIZES?
I find it astonishing that if this system of hand measurement existed, I haven’t known about it before now. I mean, I don’t wear hats, but I understand that there are hat sizes. I also understand that multiple different shoe sizes exist depending on if you’re American or European or Australian. Metric, non-metric, lunar, whatever. But HAND SIZES?
I feel like a dope.
Of course, even if I had known these mittens could be ordered from Canada, I don’t think I could have surprised him with them for Christmas. How in the hell does one casually determine the circumference of someone else’s knuckles? There is no plausible way of tricking someone into letting you get that information without giving anything away.
So, my dear, if you’re reading this, you will be getting leather mittens for your birthday, if not sooner.
And now I will conclude with my benediction for all of you for 2015:
May your love and concern for someone else’s happiness
take you to unexpected places of wonder and amazement.