Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Weather or not...

The other day, my mom was talking about how people seem to complain about the weather more than just about any other complainable topic. (I just made up the word “complainable” – I’m going to say it means “something worth complaining about.” Hey, if “comfortability” is a word, then darn it, so is “complainable”…) And it really DOES seem to be that way – everyone talks about the weather. They talk about it when it’s too hot, or too cold, or too rainy, or not rainy ENOUGH (that’s been the talk around here lately). Usually, these conversations begin with something along the lines of “how ‘bout this heat?” or “how ‘bout this cold?” or “how ‘bout this rain?” or “where on earth is all the rain from that tropical storm that those incompetent meteorologists promised us??” (Seriously – where is it? A tropical storm hits the gulf, and all we get is a few clouds and a pitiful spritzing of leftover tropical storm mist?? This summer drought is SUCH a complainable topic…)

I guess when you think about it, the weather is one thing that everyone experiences, no matter what – rich or poor, thin or fat, democrat or republican, American or Egyptian or Japanese or Swedish or whatever. If you ever go outside, you experience the exact same weather as whoever happens to be in your general vicinity. And that makes it a great “small talk” topic. Maybe you don’t want to get into an in-depth discussion about the differences between Obama and McCain or the evils of trans fats – especially if you’re just standing in line at Starbucks and about to order a (probably trans fat-filled) muffin and simply want to be friendly to your fellow line-waiters. A casual remark about the unending heat and lack of rain is sure to resonate with everyone else in the store. It’s one of those easy, simple, non-threatening topics that can fill up random gaps in conversation…

And weather DOES seem to profoundly affect people – to the point that they use it as a deciding factor in life-changing decisions… like moving back to Texas after spending two years in New Jersey. SOMEone wasn’t very happy with the New Jersey winters (I’ll give you a hint – it wasn’t me… :)), and decided that months of unending Texas summer were easier to bear than months of unending New Jersey winter. This, of course, makes me wonder about Chicago – where months of unending winter can stretch into even MORE months of unending winter. If we move, will we soon have the ultimate complainable weather situation?? Or will the Chicago winters (although brutal at times) seem more bearable than the New Jersey winters, because we won’t be living out in the boonies this time? (Do the boonies make winter last longer???) If all goes well, we should find out soon enough…

The one place I’ve never heard any weather complaints is Hawaii – it’s hard to complain about the weather when the weather is perfect most days. Although I’m betting if I listened more closely to the locals, there might be some complaints about how one day is exactly the same as the next, and wouldn’t it be nice to get a little variety once in a while? One person’s “trapped on an island of sameness” is another person’s “tropical vacation.” Of course, it’s like that with just about any weather, I suppose. My “I hate thunder and lightning and possible tornadoes” is Rick’s “cooooooool!!”

So yeah, people complain about the weather a lot, but maybe it’s just because it’s a known commonality. It’s a much safer bet to say “how ‘bout this heat?” than to say “how ‘bout that Obama?” :)

Weather like this takes some getting used to...

3 comments:

mom said...

At least five minutes! :-)

Love ya'

Lisa said...

Yeah, but just to be absolutely SURE, I think once we get there we should stay for five or six days... :)

mom said...

I thought you were going to say five or six MONTHS!