Wearing Shorts in the Winter: A Utah Thing?

I took the above photograph at a college football game I attended with my kids on Saturday. Please note that the person wearing a hoodie near the bottom is also wearing shorts.

While some people may be surprised at seeing someone wearing shorts in such conditions, it’s not an uncommon site in Utah. In fact I counted three people at the game who were dressed in a similar fashion.

Wearing shorts in the winter was something that became popular back when I was high school. (I never did it simply because my mom would have killed me for dressing like that in the winter.) Based on the way I see teenagers dressed when out in public, apparently is still is. If it was just the kid in the photograph, I would have chalked it up to being young and fashionable. But the other two people I saw had to be in their late twenties or early thirties. And when I posted the picture on Twitter, another Utahan mentioned that she saw someone wearing flip-flops during the storm.

While I can kind of see being able to justify wearing shorts in the winter when one is going to spend their the day in school or some other warm place indoors, wearing them to a football game when there’s a foot of snow on the ground, temperatures are near freezing, and it snowed during half the game is very perplexing.

On the way home from the game I started wondering whether or not wearing shorts in freezing weather is a Utah thing or part of a larger trend I don’t know about. When I lived in Wyoming for two years immediately after high school, I don’t recall seeing anyone wearing shorts in the winter whether at college or anywhere else in public. So, readers, I want to hear from you. Do they do this North Dakota or Canada when there’s a blizzard outside? What about New Hampshire? Is Utah the only place where this is cool? Let me know in the comments below.


Two Inches of Snow

Apparently I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. This realization smacked me full in the face two weeks ago when the kids woke up and found two inches of fresh, white snow covering everything.

Normally two inches of snow isn’t something to get excited about—at least not in northern Utah. Yes, we have the greatest snow on earth but it’s usually we more that I want to deal with. But this winter snow storms have been few and far between and these two inches of snow was the biggest storm to date.

Being an adult, no snow is good news. No, wait, it’s great news. I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll die in some horrific accident caused by snow packed roads on the way to or from work. And it makes running outside in the winter more enjoyable and inviting. I have no complaints about the mild winter.

But for kids, no snow is one of the worst things that can happen. Without snow there are no snowball fights to be had, snowmen to create, or sledding to be done. In short, winter becomes cold, dark, and pointless.

Thankfully my kids haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. They saw those two inches of snow and went crazy. They practically had their hats and coats on as they ran into our bedroom.

Kids: It snowed! Can we go sledding?

Me: [Getting out of bed and looking out the window] Looks like only two inches on the ground. Probably not enough for sledding

Kids: We can sled on two inches of snow!

Me: [Looking out the window again] But I can see spots of grass on hill.

Kids: But we haven’t gone sledding all year!

Me: That’s because there hasn’t been any snow this year.

Kids: Please!

Marathon Girl: Dad will take you all outside as soon as he gets his coat on. He needs to shovel the walk, anyway.

Me: [gives Marathon Girl the “Whose Side Are You On?” look]

Marathon Girl: [gives me the “What Are You Complaining About? This is the First Real Snowfall of the Year. Go Outside and Shovel.” look]

Me: Okay. Okay. Let me get read and you can start sledding.

Kids: Yay!!!!!

Fifteen minutes later I’m outside shoveling and the kids are running up the hill across the street, dragging their sleds behind them. I stopped shoveling long enough to watch them make the first few runs. Much to my surprise the two inches of snow seems to be just enough for sledding. The kids are screaming with delight each time they race down the hill.

I finish shoveling and head to the park to watch. Soon my kids are joined by other kids on our street and there’s a steady stream of sleds going up and down the hill. By the time they finish two hours later, there’s not a shred of snow left on the hill.

I take them inside to warm them up, dry them off, and give them some hot chocolate. Their clothes are soaked and they’re shivering with cold but have the biggest smiles on their faces I’ve ever seen. As they sip their hot chocolate they share sledding stories and how much fun the morning was.

Hopefully next time it snows, I won’t forget what it’s like to be a kid.