Advice for awkward people

Dear Evan,

I’ve never been bothered by cold. I’m from northern Vermont, and we’re much more worried about heroin addiction than blizzards. But I’ve never experienced such a dry climate as I have my first winter in Pittsburgh.

I’ve gone through entire bottles of moisturizer in days, my face has shriveled up beyond recognition, and I bought a different-colored neti pot for every day of the week. Even when I use toilet paper to wipe my makeup off my face every night, my skin is still as dry as… well, no, that’s a disgusting analogy.

Do you have any secrets on how to survive these terrible times?

Lotion Is Keeping Everything Almost Reasonable, Although Inclement Situation Is Not Ideal, Need Therapeutic Help for Epidermis Soon, Until Nonessential


Well, you’ve at least got your nose and sinuses covered — most singers I know swear by the neti pot as devoutly as my friends freshman year swore by eating at least three bagels on a hangover morning, except neti pots actually work. I personally dip two fingers in my water bottle and stick them up my nostrils every five minutes, but if you’re a nut about keeping sanitary, then I guess that’s not a proper way to deal with a dry nose. So, good on you.

The bad news is that there’s no easy solution here. You could lug a bucket of water around with you everywhere you go, and splash yourself periodically, but then everyone would want some, and the rest would evaporate before you knew it. You could spend every spare moment of your day in the University Center’s pool or sauna, but community pools personally turn me off — imagine how much pee is in there! — and when you eventually have to leave, you’ll be back to epidermal hell, this time with shriveled fingertips.

You could also hibernate through the winter. I personally view this as the best option: You get to sleep through the most fretful months of the school year, and I’m pretty sure it’s a viable excuse for missing class — unless those large, hairy, shambling creatures you see around campus aren’t actually bears.

Or move to Florida,
Evan Kahn