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On Cold Comfort Farm
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I was on the phone yesterday talking to a friend of mine whose husband had pulled her out of her cozy nest on Cape Cod and dragged her to the hinterlands of New Hampshire.

He’d landed a nice little job working with highbrow clientele at a ritzy ski resort. Part of his job requires him to ski, his favorite thing on earth. His one true passion in life. He never had to think twice about taking the job. He scurried around the house, cramming clothes into a suitcase, hurrying her along as though the job would disappear if they didn’t show up immediately.

Now, this part of New Hampshire is sometimes the windiest and coldest place in the U.S. As I was dialing her number and trying to think of something encouraging to say, I was basking in the warm sunshine streaming into my cubbyhole.

She answered the phone, blubbering like a 6-year-old.

I felt so sorry for her.

I kept chattering away, asking what was going on, how was the weather... Big mistake. Seems the weather was the major culprit behind her angst and depression.

“You should see what I’m wearing ...(sob! sob!)... you know how I used to be so fashionable? (wail) I look like an ad for the 99 Cent store!” Lots of boo-hooing followed.

“I have on four pairs of socks (sniff!) some leg warmers (ah-hooo) thermal underwear..and a ... a ...(waaahhh!) bathrobe from K-Mart!”

I could only imagine what her poor animals must have been thinking, seeing their momma so upset.

She said they hated it there, too. They refused to go out for “walks” in the snow.

“They’d rather (sob!) pee-hee on the patioooo!”

It had been snowing steadily and she felt quite sure the slopes would open within a day or two, well before the usual season started.

Part of her plan to stay “normal” she said, was to start working. Given that there are almost no other jobs available other than at the resort, she had been working part-time at the Sweet Shoppe, which enabled her to have access to countless whoopie pies. They’re pretty good, too, cause she sent me one in the mail.

That little binge had to stop because she quickly gained weight.

Then came the offer of working in the spa at the resort. She was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

She had to go in for orientation, and sat way in the back. With a table full of Brazilians. In the summertime, the resort hires Sherpas.

The Brazilians wanted her to be the spokesperson for their table. She shrunk back, but managed to get through the meeting without too much difficulty.

She sobbed all through her story, feeling sad because her husband loved his job and she hated being there.

I asked if she’d managed to meet any of her neighbors, having lived there now for six months.

“No, I don’t like to talk to anyone, and they’re all in their 80s!”

I asked my pal if she thought about having a get together and having the neighbors over.

Maybe spread a little “holiday cheer.”

Out of the question.

How was she managing her depression, I wanted to know.

“Yoga...meditation...Gossip Girl...and...(sob..sigh..)”


“I have a joint in my underwear drawer.”

I laughed. Smoking pot? Not her scene.

“Where the heck did you get a joint?”

“My friend Amy brought it to me when she came to visit. She said she should have brought a kilo after seeing where we live (boohoohoo). I hate this play-hace.”

“Are you going to smoke it?” I asked, still laughing.

“No...(sob) I’ll probably need it for the woodstove!”

Poor ol’ thing.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her the sun was shining and the birds were singing in my backyard.

Especially not after hearing about the moose family taking up residence in hers.

Sounds to me like the neighbors up there might appreciate a cannibis club.

That would definitely be a way to make some new friends.