02/06/2014 11:57 EST | Updated 04/08/2014 05:59 EDT

Dear Winter, How Can I Miss You if You Won't Go Away?

Dear Winter:

I've been meaning to write this to you for some time, but to be honest, I've been so huddled up under layers of sweatshirts and blankets that it makes using a keyboard difficult.

I suppose all that's really done is prolong the inevitable. But our time has come.

We've known each other for many years, winter -- more years than I care to think about. We've had good times, you and I: remember when we went tobogganing with my family that time? And when we built that massive snowman with my friends? Who can forget learning to skate when my neighbourhood arena was still an outdoor rink and then practicing on the small rink our school custodian would so carefully cultivate for us on the schoolyard each year? There was even that brief, if somewhat ill-advised flirtation with skiing thanks to that guy I dated for about 15 minutes a quarter-century ago, and the capper -- the sleigh-ride on a bitterly cold January night with my husband, the night he proposed.

Good times.

But all good things must come to an end, and so, I have to tell you, I think it's time we re-evaluate our relationship.

I could lie and tell you that you haven't done anything wrong, but I won't do that. Those good times are worth something to me and I won't insult our tender memories.

And so I have to tell you, it's not me, winter, it's you.

Things started off this year as they have for so many others -- you were gentle and sweet, and the romantic in me fell for it, just as I always have. I bundled up in my favourite red coat and broke out my colourful scarves and we spent time together in the outdoors. Your crisp air, your swirling snowflakes, the twinkling Christmas lights -- all of them held me under your spell.

But then January came, and you turned cold. It's OK, January can do that to the best of us; the long stretches of dark, the post-holiday letdown and oh, the post-holiday bills. Singularly, they're bad, but together, well, it's not a good mix.

That kind of thing can put a strain on the strongest of relationships and ours has always been somewhat tenuous.

You're a bit like that this year, winter.

And so we must face the harsh facts. I am a fickle mistress and you are a bitter companion.

I long for variety in my days, and you offer nothing more than prolonged stretches of the same. I dream of colours, and you offer nothing but grey. I long to feel the sunshine on my face and you can offer me little more than a watery glow through a snow-filled haze.

So perhaps it's time we found partners with which we are better suited. You deserve someone who enjoys your erratic nature -- who lives for your sound and fury as you bluster and bellow throughout the world; someone whose spirit of adventure complements your passionate spirit. I need a companion with a more laid-back disposition, who will caress me with gentle breezes and allow me to bask in their warmth for months on end.

Please don't take this too hard, winter. You know it has to be. I am growing weary of you and you will take your leave of me soon enough anyway, turning your eye to another, newer suitor, who, like me will easily be swayed by your charms.

But we know it won't be forever. You will return and once again woo me with your promise of sleigh rides and snowball fights and then the novelty of our courtship will wear on my nerves until I am begging you to please just go away and leave me in peace.

We're getting to that point, now, winter. It's not to say that I want you out of my life entirely. You still have value and worth. Your frosty film makes us appreciate what lies ahead. But maybe you don't realize that you're just all a bit, you know, much. Spending time with you this year has been a bit like watching an endless loop of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Sure, we snicker a bit the first time around, but after a while, you're just not fun anymore.

So let's do this split with some dignity. Spend a little less time together every day, and let's make the time we spend together just a little less intense. Eventually, our relationship will just wither away.

Trust me when I say, it will work out best for all of us. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

But, hey, don't go forever. Come back in November. Call me. We'll chill then.


No winter