Emily’s Dancer Diary - December 12, 2006

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As the first snow fell last week, I began to ponder one of winter's most important quandaries: how to remain fashionable while battling the cold. We have 6.5 girls from California on the team, so, this is the first real winter some of the girls have ever experienced, and in one case, the first time one girl has ever seen snow. In case you're wondering, I account for .5 persons since I've lived in Boston for a little over two years, which is long enough to have jumped on the Red Sox bandwagon and be able to nod knowingly when someone jokes about the Big Dig, but not long enough to stop letting cars in my lane and expect a thank-you wave afterwards.

Anyway, since I am now a winter wonderland guru, I've decided to spend a few minutes helping my California teammates with tips on how to survive the cold season as a Celtics Dancer. (Yes, I could just hand them this list offline, but then I would have to think up another column idea, now wouldn't I?)

Problems we encounter:

1) Celtics Dancers come with a lot of baggage. Literally. With 5+ costumes and more on the way, we have a lot of "stuff" to pack for each game, which introduces the problem of rolling our suitcases around town during the impending winter. I walk to work and go straight from work to games, which means I have to roll my florescent, lima bean green suitcase filled with costumes at 8 a.m. down my cobblestone street to Starbucks, then across a bridge and down stairs for my 20-minute journey to work. Skip ahead nine hours. Back over the bridge, across slippery locks, up stairs, to get to the Garden. This was difficult enough on sunny days, but in snow, I think I'll be even more of a sight for ridicule or pity, depending on the soul of my onlooker.

I get the typical comments each time in Starbucks: "Well, at least you won't loose that suitcase at the airport." As if I had never thought of that. "Going on a trip?" I used to answer yes, and make up outlandish destinations. I stopped doing that, realizing that I see the same people in Starbucks most mornings, and they know you can't fly back from Madagascar that quickly. Oh, the lies, the lies. Once in a while, someone will recognize the suitcase as the ones carried by the Celtics Dancers, and they look at me like I must have stolen one from some hot girl, since I don't really fit the stereotype at 8 a.m. with no make-up, hair pulled back, and a jacket large enough to cover anything remotely feminine about me. Solution: save your lunch money for taxi fare when it's suitcase day.

2) Hat hair. Cold weather equals hat. Hat equals hat hair. And that's a problem. (Thank you, Logic 101 at UCLA.) No amount of teasing, curling, fluffing, and hair-spraying can combat such an abomination. When you go to games straight from work, you can't shower and re-dry your hair. And once you have hat hair, you have it for life. (Or until you shower again, but that sounds much less dramatic.) So you do walk to work hatless and earmuffless and die of frost bite, or show up to games with hat hair? It really is a toss up. No solution for this one.

3) Remembrance. At 6:30 a.m., with a day of meetings, conference calls, etc. ahead of you, it is hard to be thinking of which pair of sparkly boots you'll need 12 hours later. This isn't really a winter-specific problem, but we'll include it here for lack of a better context. Solution: pack the night before. Yeah, that'll happen. Right after I pack my lunch for the next day instead of spending $10 at Finagle-A-Bagel everyday.

4) Baggy clothes during winter don't help the mental campaign needed to exercise. I feel like a twig all day, swimming in my large winter sweaters as I walk to the vending machines at work, and then all of a sudden I'm wearing a teeny tiny green thing dancing in front of thousands of people. Solution: none. If you have one, please email me ASAP, and cc every other female in America. Thanks.

5) Long johns. Not sexy. Enough said.

6) Mittens, hats, and scarves, oh my! Sure all the trendy stores make cute, matching sets, but the cute ones never seem to do the trick. I'm one brisk breeze away from buying a bank robber mask, as I like to call them: the face mask-hood-in-one that reveals nothing but your eyes. But, really, how serial killer do people look in those? I'm sure the security guards at the Garden will love it when I show up to games in one of those masks. And even if I take it off before entering, we are back to the hat head problem. Again, they'll think I stole my lima bean green suitcase from a hot girl. Solution: bank robber it up, baby.

7) How I Didn't Meet Your Mother. In LA, you wear your little tank tops out all year. My first time in a bar in Boston, I was bundled up to the hilt outside. And when I got inside and shed my winter garb, I had a cute little tank top with low-rise jeans underneath. I looked around and every other girl was in a turtleneck. I stood out, but not really in the way I wanted to. Solution: assimilate. And for your own sake, with alacrity.

There you go, my California girls. Words from the winter wise.

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