What People in Southern California Mean When They Talk About Winter Versus What Everyone Else Means

What's that, you say? Winter is already upon us? You never would have known living in Southern California. Not to brag or anything, but it was 80 degrees today. I wore shorts to have lunch and we sat outside. I'm not saying these things to make all of you braving Arctic-like temperatures on the East Coast jealous, I’m just saying that winters in California are, well, a little different from basically the entire rest of the country. And guys? Call me crazy, but I kind of miss the snow.

I’ve lived in California my whole life, but not always in sunny Los Angeles. Growing up in Central California (wine country, son!), I got to experience four seasons of weather. Summers were brutally hot, autumns were mild, springs were rainy, and winters could be very cold — one year, it even snowed for about 10 minutes (OK, so maybe not like the blizzards you see in the Midwest, but whatever we were all super excited). I was used to wearing jeans, long socks, UGG boots, gloves, a long sleeved top, a hoodie, and a jacket just to go to school some mornings. And then I moved to SoCal for college and haven’t left.

Southern California really only has two seasons, one of which is not what most people would consider winter. Winters here basically mean it’s just not summer. And when winter is over and summer arrives, we'll actually kind of miss it a little bit, even if the rest of the country gives us a lot of figurative side-eye for complaining about it. Here are 10 things about winter that mean something totally different in Southern California.

1. Going out in the snow

Everywhere else, this simply means stepping outside.

"Oh joy. More flippin' snow."

In California, this means driving several hours to a snowy region for a nice cozy retreat.

"Ohmygod snow weekend! Look at our adorable cabin. We can snowboard and ski and sled. We can just get drunk and build snowmen. We're such snow bunnies!"

2. It's cold outside

Everywhere else, this means it's 32 degrees outside or lower.

"Ugh, it was like 0 degrees yesterday with the wind chill. I was freezing."

In California, this means it's 62 degrees outside or lower.

"Ugh, it was like 50 degrees yesterday. I was freezing."

3. Getting all bundled up to go outside

Everywhere else, this means layering in bulk.

"I'm not sure how much is me and how much is clothes anymore."

In California, this means showing everyone how versatile your wardrobe is.

"I bought the cutest winter coat. Just in case."

4. Attending winter weddings

Everywhere else, this means no way in hell are you going.

"OK, no. It is 10 degrees out and you want me to wear a dress?"

In California, this means you finally have a chance to show off your killer dance moves.

"Yes! No having to worry about boob sweat while dancing! Thanks, winter!"

5. Driving in extreme winter conditions

Everywhere else, this means scraping ice off your car and praying to the higher powers that be that the roads have been salted and plowed.

"Screw it. I didn't want to go grocery shopping anyway."

In California, this means going for a leisurely ride.

"It's such a nice day out. We should put the top down to drive to the beach."

6. Having a pet

Everywhere else, this means putting on eight zillion layers to take your dog out for a three second walk.

"How is the dog not cold?!"

In California, this means... well, this doesn't really mean anything out of the ordinary.

"I think the cats are cold."

7. Consuming winter beverages

Everywhere else, this means ordering something piping hot to keep you from turning into a human popsicle.

"I love coffee, but I also want it to keep my hands warm."

In California, this means ordering something freezing cold so you don't melt into a human puddle.

"Iced. Just iced anything."

8. Going ice skating

Everywhere else, this means finding a semi-large body of water that looks safe enough to hold your weight.

"Ice rink? Hahaha, you're cute. You must mean that lake over there that I've been coming to every year since I was 5.

In California, this means going to a super fancy indoor ice rink and making a complete day of it with your friends.

"The ice rink is fun, but let's only do this once a year."

9. Wearing boots

Everywhere else, this means putting on something designed to keep your feet as dry as possible, no matter how ugly they may seem.

"Winter boots are not a fashion statement. They are an absolute necessity."

In California, this means putting on something that matches your outfit, usually with heels.

"Boots and shorts forever, fool."

10. Football games in December

Everywhere else, this means watching from the warm comfort of your home while you listen to the sports announcers joke about how freezing it is out on the field.

"Well, folks, it's definitely a cold one. As you can see, it's snowing heavily and the high will be a crisp -10 degrees."

In California, this means it's a perfect afternoon for game day.

"And it's another beautiful day for football. It's about 75 degrees here..."

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