I tell you this for two reasons. One: I think of this from time to time, and I think that you should have to think about it, too. Two: It really puts junior high into perspective, doesn't it? Showering in gym and being snickered at by classmates when you trip in the hall may suck, but you didn't have to beat a cow to death with a rock, now did you? (Mental note: use this information to console Bear the next time she has a junior high-related emotional trauma).
Also, there's this: I've noticed a more subtle rite of acceptance here in Maine. Mainers take a perverse pride in their frigid climate by refusing to admit that it's cold and won't even admit awareness of the cold by dressing appropriately for it. Sure, it's chilly today, but it's nowhere near as cold as it was back in '78. Now THAT was cold. (Insert anecdote about thickness of lake ice or birds freezing onto telephone wires, which, frankly, I think they're making up). The quickest way to get yourself labelled an outsider is toss off a comment like, "It's freezing out there today." Wandering outdoors in an ankle-length down coat or, God forbid, a ski mask is to invite both ostracism and teasing, no matter what the LL Bean catalogs try to convince you is appropriate for Maine winters.
Case in point: this morning when I left for the gym it was -10 degrees. I wore capris, a sweatshirt, and gloves. No coat. No hat. I wore the same attire to the grocery store after working out. I didn't get a single curious glance or question from any of the people I passed, most of whom were wearing either coats (unzipped) or fleece jackets. I felt like a true Mainer. And a little chilly. But mostly cool.
DISCLAIMER: Same rules most emphatically do not apply to Maine kids, who don't step out without coat, hat, gloves, scarf, and boots. As I tell the girls, adulthood means you earn the right to poor judgment. (I don't really tell them that, but they'll figure it out themselves one day).