December 8 10

I am a comparer by nature. I don’t really feel badly about it. It’s sort of like how I have green eyes and chubby thighs…it’s just part of who I am. So, naturally, I am always comparing the differences between living in Atlanta and living in Toronto. Our year in the south was such a great one in so many ways. The biggest, of course, was the time we got to spend with my brother and sister-in-law and their three gorgeous girls. We miss them terribly, and my kids are counting down the days until we see them again.

But, you know, when I start feeling petty, I think about how amazing it was shopping-wise (TARGET) where they have this little thing called sales that don’t really seem to exist in the great white north (and don’t even try to tell me that a sweater marked down from $79.50 to $75 is a deal because it’s not. Not even close, Canada). I start to think about the things that we don’t have here (TARGET) like Girl Scout Cookies (and don’t even try to tell me that Girl Guide cookies are the same thing because they are not. Not even close, Canada). I start to think about how much more expensive it is to live in Canada…and we are not just talking about real estate (but hoo boy, let’s give us a big giant pat on the back for being the 8th most expensive city in the goddamn world). Even groceries are more expensive.

And you know what else is expensive?

I’ll give you a hint.

That’s right.

WINTER GEAR.

Last year my kids didn’t even have winter jackets. They had winter-esque jackets that I bought for under $20. I did buy Miss Emily a winter jacket because she was trekking up to Toronto and, of course, she left the $100 jacket in the airport. (I hope some pint-sized traveler is really, really warm right now). They didn’t need winter boots that have to be waterproof and weather-proof up to -40 degrees. Nope, they wore (TARGET) fashion boots. They didn’t need snowpants or hats or mittens or scarves.

I, of course, forgot about this little Canadian wrinkle. I mean, we moved back to Toronto in the summer. It was warm and lovely. My camera and I enjoyed the heck out of the fall and the stunning foliage that decorated our backyard.

And then, like that, I’m finding myself knee-deep in snow and my car thermometer is reading ridiculous number like -9 degrees and I don’t even know if that’s in Fahrenheit or Celsius and I don’t even bother finding out because really, in either system of measurement, it’s too bloody cold.

And my kids are wearing winter-esque jackets and my hats and scarves and emu boots and fake-emu boots and ohmigod I sent my son to school in his father’s snowpants because he didn’t have any and he wasn’t allowed to go outside at recess unless he had snowpants and so the poor thing had to go to school all abominable snowman-like. It simply slipped my mind that December in Toronto is COLD. And not just cold, it’s COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD. So, yesterday I picked up my cold and wet children and ventured to the mall so we could spend over 90 minutes waiting for someone at Brown’s to help us because there were 800 other horrible parents desperate for waterproof boots for their kids too. So, $230 dollars later my kids are all Cougared and Soreled up. Then $49 later Josh has snowpants to call his own. They are now set. They have boots and coats and hats and scarves and snowpants.

So, if we are in a comparing mood and we are comparing winter in, say, Atlanta to winter in, say, Toronto…Atlanta wins. Hands down. Feet down too.

Because now I am broke.

And *I* still have cold and wet feet.

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  1. Winter sucks. I have yet to warm up since the snow started here last Friday.

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    Comment by Kristabella on December 8, 2010
  2. Let’s all get a summer house where we can wear unitards all year long.

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    Comment by sam {temptingmama} on December 8, 2010
  3. Well living in Vancouver you’ve definitely got me beat for the cold winters but I’m pretty sure the CRAZY housing prices here have beat out TO. Having said that, I really don’t know who the winner is?? Perhaps PEI. Either way it sucks and I share in your pain. :(

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    Comment by Aeron on December 8, 2010
  4. Sooo right there with you. We moved from Arizona to Michigan this summer. We’ve never lived where it snows, and so every member of our family needed hats, scarves, mittens, jackets, snow pants, boots, etc. I at least anticipated this and started buying the gear as soon as it started to come out in the stores. I got snow pants for my little ones at Meijer for $20, and then ended up getting snow pants for my 14 yr old daughter and myself also at Meijer in the boys section. I couldn’t bring myself to pay more over twice as much for the same thing in an adult size at a sporting goods store. Luckily we are both pretty skinny so we were able to fit in the largest size in the boys department. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring that out.

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    Comment by Lorna on December 8, 2010
  5. You are so right about the winter, it is so annoying to get dressed up into millions of layers of clothes every time you go out, you just can’t escape the thing, summer is just perfect, if you feel that the heat is no longer bearable, you can always throw yourself into pool or just switch on the fan :-)

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    Comment by Lorne M. on December 8, 2010
  6. So why are you in Canada? Every country has crappy weather. Frankly i would rather it be cold,(dress for it)than sweaty hot. There are cheaper options than Sorel and Cougar.We do have discount stores. I know you are ranting. Sounds like you hate Canada. Again why are you here? No choice right?

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    Comment by Sandra on December 8, 2010
  7. Wow, Sandra. Well, one thing is clear…you don’t regularly read this site. If you did, you would know that I absolutely love Toronto. Frankly, it’s both insulting and ignorant to assume that people choose where they live based on weather. We live here for many reasons, some of which include friends who are very special to us and, you know, jobs that keep my husband and me employed, which is kind of a big deal in this economy.

    I’m actually not sure what your point here is…that I should leave Canada because I hate the winter? Um yeah. I can’t think of anything more assy.

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    Comment by Alimartell on December 8, 2010
  8. I was going to chime in with USA! USA! But it seems Sandra stole my idea, you Canada hater, you! You should leave your husband so you don’t have to deal with Canada anymore.

    USA! USA!

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    Comment by slynnro on December 8, 2010
  9. You are correct.I have not read your site for long. I thought your writing was amusing and fun to read. I impulsively responded to your blog today. I am in a bit of a mood and it rubbed me the wrong way.If I offended you I apologise. Ignorant I am not. An ass sometimes perhaps.That’s OK, I need not return. I hope you have a good life in our fair country. Crappy weather and all.

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    Comment by Sandra on December 8, 2010
  10. Ali, I sooo hear you. And I moved from Toronto to Montreal which is somehow even COLDER, and I hate the winter to begin with, so I’m practically dying. I went to Zellers and bought 2 pairs of children’s gloves and hats for $45. And they’re not even that cute. (And they don’t even fit.) Winter outfitting costs a freaking fortune – and it’s hard when they’re so small and the stuff won’t fit again. I’m broke too.

    And just think of the healthcare…

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    Comment by Grumble Girl on December 8, 2010
  11. I’m looking at the cost of buying winter gear just to go to Utah for Christmas and it is not fun. I don’t even own a long-sleeved shirt!

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    Comment by Avitable on December 8, 2010
  12. LOL, that’s kind of funny because after our year living in the states we concluded that while it was nice to get paid more money, we had to pay so incredibly much for health care and living expenses that it was definitely not worth it. I think it depends on which Canadian and which American cities you’re comparing. :) But I can definitely agree that Target is something that needs to be in Canada TODAY.

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    Comment by Shannon on December 8, 2010
  13. I hear you. I love living here but the cold feet and noses? I love them a little less. Sigh. I also just read Target will be here in 2 years. 2! But then what will I do when I drive to Buffalo….? :)

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    Comment by Leanne on December 8, 2010
  14. I despise the winter.
    There is nothing good about being cold. It only makes me grumpy and pissy because it is so expensive to be warm. UGH.
    EFF OFF WINTER.

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    Comment by Ella on December 9, 2010
  15. I know this won’t help for this year but next summer when Costco brings out their snowsuits make sure you grab them. Great set for pretty great price. Hopefully the boots will make it through next winter too. :-)

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    Comment by Jen S on December 9, 2010
  16. The snow is a bit of a cruel shock – you missed it last winter, but it was so mild in Toronto! I got a great snowsuit for my baby @ Joe Fresh, they have the cutest stuff and the prices cannot be beat! But it definitely does add up once you’ve got 3 munchkins, who will inevitably lose stuff before the winter season is over…I’m going to Florida in Dec, let me know if you want me to pick you anything up from Target:)

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    Comment by Jen on December 9, 2010
  17. Jen…we lost our first pair of gloves yesterday. hahaha.

    I’m going to the states twice this month, but thanks for the offer!!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by ali on December 9, 2010
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