Self-indulgent title, I know. But I can dream, can’t I?? Let me explain…
I’m NOT a “hot body” as in “I have Brad-Pitt-Abs-Of-Steele”, GQ cover model material, or even MUSCLE MAGAZINE material. FAR FROM IT! (but I’m working on that too – why do you think I go to the gym everyday? Sometimes I ask myself that same question. If it weren’t for the view …. But I digress)
By “hot body” I mean I have an unusually high skin-surface temperature. First, I hate summertime temperatures because I sweat like crazy, like no other human I’ve seen – with a few rare, sad exceptions. Shorts and sandals are my summer friends, making the temps bearable. At least it’s a dry heat, right? Hmph. Yes, that helps but I still have sweat dripping off my nose in August when going up 4-flights of stairs, carrying 6 bags of groceries.
When late September, early October comes I’m in an uncomfortable state. Here we are now, Autumn, and some days are still hot. BUT IT’S AUTUMN! It’s no longer socially acceptable to wear shorts. And some people on the bus and metro are wearing winter coats, scarves, and nary a shine on their foreheads. How do they do it?? It’s like they turn the page on the calendar and change not only their wardrobes but also their body chemistry!!
Yesterday was a pleasant day in Madrid – for standing still. Perfect temperature and rained in the morning and later in the evening. Once active, my body temperature goes into hyperdrive. Walk a block and I sweat. Go up a flight of stairs and I sweat. I know. I know. “Why is he admitting to all this stuff?”
I was on the hot metro, standing. Seated next to me was a 20-something woman who’d obviously just gotten back from the airport, pulling luggage with an Air France tag, she was wearing a buttoned WOOL coat, scarf, long pants, and I couldn’t help but notice her skin was perfectly dry. There must be something special about the Spanish biology which I’d love to be able to adopt, adapt, take as my own. But I can’t. I was there in my jeans, SHORT sleeve shirt, shoes, and sweating like no one else on the metro. I’m sure the other riders were looking at me thinking, “Look at that guy dressed in “summer clothes”, no jacket, and sweating! He must be on drugs!!” Yeah. Right. Me, on drugs. That’ll be the day.
At least when I go to/from the gym I’m carrying my gym bag so I can at least pass for someone going to/from the gym!!! But still, when I leave the house wearing my shorts, going to the gym, I still get odd looks from the cold-weather-wearing pedestrians.
My blessed discovery this past less-than-usual hot summer was a pair of LINEN pants which I’d bought at El Corte Inglés. Wow. Those things were fresh! Light, airy, and almost better than wearing shorts when going out to dinner, flamenco shows, or meeting friends for nighttime tapas. Okay, often if the occasion was casual I’d still wear my shorts, but sometimes we’d go into a bar and I’d feel very self-conscious. But at least I was comfortable, right? Those linen pants were life savers. No wonder so many Spaniards wear them in summer.
Late autumn and winter are my best friends here in Spain. I love the cooler temperatures. But even with that I’m often seen wearing short sleeves and light jackets. Nothing worse than wearing long sleeves, sweaters, and all that winterwear and going into a hot restaurant and not being able to strip down – and start sweating. For goodnesss sakes! It’s winter! HOW can you be sweating. Must be a law against that. Arrest me. I’m off to jail. Taken away for sweating without a license. Never to be paroled until the world freezes over. And they say Madrid will likely be 5ºC WARMER in 50 years. Ugh. Great. I can’t wait. Maybe streaking will be legal by then.