For the cold babies

Solomon Gustavo staff writer

Like any other Minnesotan, I’m just trying to live my life. As in, I’m trying to stay warm

Acting as though this is not a problem, that winter and cold aren’t horrible things to avoid, but a welcome and comforting seasonal palate cleanse, is more Minnesotan than meanness wrapped in niceness, like vegetables and arthritis medication in a cheesy casserole. 

Though masculinity and traditional toughness are now being perpetually (and thankfully) re-examined by the 24-hour news cycle, many old metrics still apply.  

Being cold isn’t a look. Striking a shrugging pose for Instagram while ice fishing in a bikini is the Minnesota aesthetic. 

My brother Adam is obsessed with winter. He doesnt ski or hike or fish or snowmobile. He just likes winter, he said he feels more settled and focused, that he greets the first arctic gusts each November as refreshing, something complimenting life’s burning stresses and questions like a couple ice cubes watering down a finger of scotch for perfect sipping. 

We were leaving a funeral a week ago. Adam waited at the door wearing only slacks and a button-up shirt, watching as I fastened my Mount Everest-puffy jacket up to my neck, put on my winter hat and gloves and pulled my hood over my head. 

I’ve lived here my whole frigid life and I just don’t make the association between being susceptible to cold and weakness anymore. At another time in my life, I may have pulled up with only one thin layer on my back, masking my shivering, but showing my toughness.

If bundling up makes me a cold baby, than call me “Ice, Ice,” and hand me a blanky. Speak up, my good cold-blooded Minnesota-born-and-bred brothers and sisters, you are not alone.


–Solomon Gustavo can be reached at or 651-748-7815.

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