In my mind- and don't laugh, though I think you will- my face is pale white, lips half-frozen as I catch my 7AM train in the middle of winter. There are plenty of things in this mental image that is just wrong. My face has never been pale white- the New Zealand sun is harsh and there is less of the pollution that shields your face from darkening UV rays. Winter in Auckland is hardly ever that cold, not when you're talking an average of 7 to 8 degrees. You'll even see someone (usually a fat person) in nothing but a summer shirt, as Kiwis generally think that to be physically affected by the elements is a sign of weakness.
But this is my image, my truth. I am forever done with heat, and sweat and fitted clothes when your body is hardly ever fit for it. So I embrace the coming of the colder season with a cheery nonchalance even as my skin struggles, my nose bleeds and my wallet moans.
A work colleague laughs gently trying her best to indulge me when I say that a new pair of winter boots I had just bought arrives at the office by courier (you don't leave $350 leather boots sitting outside your door unguarded the whole day) is an 'investment'. 'Do you somehow get some money back?' she asks me as if I was dumb enough to use the word 'investment' in a context that was second-nature to her (she's an accountant).
'Actually I do' I reply. "It makes me realise that I deserve the best things in life that I am able to get for myself."
I actuall didn't really say that.
I just smiled and laughed sheepishly, indulging her in return; I don't really need to explain myself to anyone and that for me, is one priceless luxury I can afford to give myself again and again.