By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Carole Townsend

(Not So) Common Sense
Timing is everything
By Carole Townsend

It’s cold outside. The cold weather took a while to arrive, but when it did, it surely did. I love it. Oh, I hear people complaining about the temperatures, but for Pete’s sake, it’s January.

It ought to be cold outside. In fact, I was getting kind of worried back in December that Al Gore might have been right about all that global warming stuff.

I do love the cold weather. For starters, my hair does great in cold, dry weather. We get precious little of that here in Georgia, so I have to take advantage of it when I can get it. Too, cold weather calls for warm clothes. Warm clothes, for whatever reason, seem to be more flattering on me. We don’t have to get into the specifics of that assertion here, but take my word for it. And let’s not forget the fact that science tells us a cold winter kills all the dormant bug larvae hiding just beneath the surface of our beloved red clay soil. In other words, a cold winter means fewer bugs in the summer. 

So the theory goes, anyway. Seems we never have a shortage of buzzing, stinging, biting bugs in the summer, no matter what kind of winter we had, but I’m choosing to look on the bright side.

There is one thing that happens every year about this time, and I’m not referring to the drop in temperatures. Every January, about mid-month, I make the daily trek out to the mailbox. And on one of these days (soon, I expect), I’m going to pull out the gas bill, the electric bill, a few pieces of junk mail, and lo and behold, I’ll pull out the glorious dead-of-winter catalog that comes from that famous lingerie shop from over the pond. 

Every page will be bursting with sunshine, soft sand, blindingly blue-green oceans and yes, scantily-clad models. Apparently, there is a faction of the population that takes mid-winter cruises as a matter of course, and they need a catalog to help them choose their wardrobe. This faction of the population is apparently very thin, as well. Emaciated, in fact. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

There was a day when I looked forward to receiving those catalogs every year, for one simple reason. I could wear the clothes that it offered up on every breathtaking page. Now when the catalog arrives, I just feel a little wistful. It makes me long for summer days spent by the ocean, nothing to do but decide whether to take a walk, a swim, or a nap. And truth be told, it makes me wistful for the days that I could wear the things in that catalog.

But timing is everything, isn’t it? Is there any time of the year at which we feel more pudgy and pale than the middle of winter? We’ve just eaten our way through November and December. We’ve been hunkered down on our sofas watching every minute of football we can, on these days that get pitch black by 5 p.m. And for many of us, football means food. We’re being honest, so let’s just put it all on the table. Football means wings and dips and sliders and chips, at least around here.

Now this year, things are a little different at our house. The catalog hasn’t arrived yet, but I expect it any day now.  Only this time around, I expect that I’ll feel a little bit better as I flip from page to page (as I always feel compelled to do). You see, we’re eating a little healthier. We’re exercising. We’re encouraging one another. While we may look the same as we did right around January 1, we feel better, both physically and mentally. And feeling better mentally means being able to look through a catalog chock full of skinny women wearing next to nothing at all, and feeling every bit as ready for a January cruise as they are. 

I may not look like they do, but I’ll be just as ready for that mid-winter cruise. How about you?

Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. Her fourth and newest book, BLOOD IN THE SOIL, is slated for April 5, 2016 publication. It is the true tale of a crime that took place in Gwinnett County nearly 40 years ago. Her most recent book, MAGNOLIAS, SWEET TEA AND EXHAUST (July 2014, Skyhorse Publishing) takes a sidesplitting look at NASCAR from a Southern suburban mom’s perspective. Her first two books, RED LIPSTICK AND CLEAN UNDERWEAR (a book about our Mothers’ advice) and SOUTHERN FRIED WHITE TRASH (a hilarious look at the unique, charming and sometimes outrageous ways we Southerners conduct ourselves) earned Carole almost instant national fame, with her “distinctive humor and hysterical honesty,” – Los Angeles Times. Carole has appeared on local and national news and talk shows, including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. When not writing, she travels throughout the southeast region, teaching writers’ workshops, speaking to various civic and literary groups, and advocating for the health and well being of the family. For more information, visit www.caroletownsend.com.