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The modern distinctions between the American North and South are pretty simple. The North gets to feel a sense of superiority, have more access to public transportation, and deal with the bitter cold of winter. The South gets to avoid miserably low temperatures, enjoys a generally lower cost of living, and feels a different sense of superiority. Nature, that churlish trollop, has upset that balance by attempting to freeze Southerners.

I know how miserable you are, my brothers and sisters in Boone and Tuscumbia and Sarasota, for I was one of you not so long ago. You feel cheated and angry. And your ears probably sting like crazy. But, as a Northerner for the better part of a decade, I am here to help you get through this.

1. Layers, layers, layers

I know you had an awesome time on that one ski trip in 1998 with Derek and Lee, and all you wore were ski pants, a t-shirt, and a hoodie. This is not that ski trip, in part because you aren't that skinny anymore even though you eat vegetables now instead of flour tortillas with pizza sauce and string cheese. Find a long sleeved option to wear under that hoodie. If you have them, break out the long johns. Keeping your core warm will allow your body to distribute more heat to your extremities.

2. Minimize your exposure

Severe wind and cold can quickly lead to frostbite. If you want to feel terrified at how fragile your own body is, run a Google Image search for frostbite. (Do not do this. I'm sorry I even suggested it.) Make sure your face and hands are covered if you're venturing out into the lowest temperatures, and try not to stay outside for longer than you absolutely need to.

3. Stay salty

Salt...helps the roads stay clear? Not exactly sure how this works, but I think it has to do with the snow/freezing rain seeing there's already a bunch of crystallized white stuff on the ground and deciding to go elsewhere. It's the urban sprawl of weather. Salt your driveway and sidewalk, and then put a bunch of salt on whatever you're eating. Go ahead - be that guy at Wendy's everyone's worried will drop dead of hypertension on the spot.

4. Maintaining your car

Shit, I have no idea. The only time I've ever dealt with a car in winter weather was during an ice storm in rural Wisconsin, and I'm pretty sure I should have died. You should not set your car on fire for warmth, but if you do, make sure it is not in or that close to your garage. Why are you leaving the house anyways? Stupid.

5. Keeping a positive attitude

Don't bother. Winter always wins, because the Earth is a living thing and we are the stubborn chest cough it has been trying to get rid of for hundreds of years. Suffer through this and remember that soon it will be summer and you'll be complaining about how your car's A/C smells awful because Lee got high and stuffed Swedish Fish in the vents on your road trip in 1999. Goddammit, Lee.

6. Entertaining yourself

If you're stuck at home with your significant other, remember: nobody ever had to worry about finding the right obstetrician because they watched too much Netflix.