Jonathan Richie BW.tif

Four pieces of double-sided tape and a sheet of thin plastic. Pair those materials with scissors and a blow-dryer and you have the first sign of Christmas and the holiday spirit for me.

That’s right I’m talking about winterizing the windows of my apartment.

The idea behind winterizing windows or installing window treatments is to keep the cold air out and hopefully keep the warm air inside the home.

The process is simple enough. Secure tape to the borders of a window then attach a sheet of plastic to the tape covering the entire window. Finally, use a blow-dryer to seal the plastic in place and keep out that nasty cold weather.

I will go to great lengths to save money. Well, maybe not great lengths, but decent lengths. Like I have the heat set to 62 degrees during the cold months. I am more comfortable in my sweatpants and long sleeve shirts made with similar materials to long underwear. If there is a product that will keep the cold air out and the heating bill down - sign me up.

This year I was caught by surprise with the cold blast we experienced last week. So, I went out and bought the little red box with three pre-cut sheets of plastic and a roll of tape seemingly three times longer than it needs to be.

In my early days, I hated this process. It took too long to put the tape on the window. And more than often the plastic would stick to the tape before it was in place. That would require the whole plastic sheet to be removed.

Then imagine if everything went to plan and the tape was secured and the plastic sheet in place, however, when going to blow dry the plastic it may loosen, and the tape may fail. This means you have to start all over again. But first you must detach all the tape and plastic already on the window.

In my youth, I thought this was my mother playing a cruel joke on me. I’m just a simple kid who doesn’t know how to keep cold air out of his bedroom with these devil-ridden window treatments.

Narrator: Years later he would realize it was not the process of putting plastic on the windows that made him feel inferior. But it was that he was trying to rush through the job and quickly get back to AIM Instant Messenger or his PlayStation 2 system or whatever his 12-year old self was doing at the time.

Then what if I left the curtains or blinds open underneath the plastic?

Because that leads to a whole ‘nother decision, which is, is it best to keep them open and get as much sunlight as possible but then have my apartment be an open book at night.

There are some who have sophisticated windows that do not need to go through this ritual as the snow begins to fly.

Good for you. I hope to join you someday. But for now, I will continue to live in my semi-hermetically sealed home until the ground thaws.