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Dressing for the Date

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Not just the calendar

Dressing for the Date photo

My winter coat and my summer dress are besties

A few weeks ago, people yelled at me because of my appearance and clothing choice.

It was Saturday, the 30th day of the month of May, and I was overdressed. In the morning, at synagogue, I wore a light jacket on top of a long-sleeved shirt, a skirt, leggings, and tall boots. In the evening, traveling to a wedding, I decided to go for my ankle-length down North Face "winter" jacket.

It was certainly a lot for May 30, and my friends had no qualms about telling me that.

"How can you be dressing like this? It's practically summer!"

"I can't believe you're wearing leggings and boots. It's May!"

At the wedding, there was a portable coat rack that traveled with us from the ceremony room to the reception room, and the whole night, it was home to a bunch of umbrellas and my ridiculous puffy jacket.

But I think I might have been the happiest person in Chicago that day.

Friends who ridiculed my clothing choice -- you are living in a fantasy world. You are living in a world where May 30 means "warm," where May 30 means "summer," where May 30 means "no jackets, no leggings, and just the warm, humid summer air and a cup of iced tea."

That world may exist somewhere, but it certainly ain't in Chicago in the year 2015.

How I wish I lived with you in this world! I wish I could be that girl who dresses for the date and whose bright yellow and pink outfit just screams summer and freedom and reminds you of that time when you throw your backpacks into your closet and get ready for a summer of stress-free fun in the sun.

But not me. I live in the world of "reality." I live in a world where, despite what the calendar says, Mother Nature has a cruel sense of humor and wants to keep us on our toes. I live in a world where we are given tools to help us survive each day -- not just a calendar, but also websites like Weather.com that can magically predict the future and guide our clothing choices.

I live in a world where you're never safe to put your "winter clothes" in the cedar closet for safekeeping from March 1 until December 1 -- I keep my winter clothes hanging right next to my summer clothes, because, hey, with all the back and forth in the Chicago weather, these clothes have become buddies.

Oh, how I wished I lived in a predictable land beneath the equator, where weather was always warm and the attitude was always that of summer. But, living in Chicago, the best city on the planet, you have to deal with the good AND the bad. And, friends, let me tell you -- the bad isn't so bad if, when it's cold, you're wearing a down winter coat.

So if the weather gets chilly again this week, don't be a hero. Whip out your winter clothes. Time to bring back your pretty woolen scarves, your fleece-lined leggings and your funky futuristic gloves with the special fingers that allow you to be warm and cozy while texting on your cell phone.

I once wrote that summer is a state of mind; but that doesn't mean that if summer feels more like Siberia, we can't dress appropriately and be happy.

And hey, come mid-June, let me know if anyone wants to go sledding or have a snowball fight!

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