Friday, October 2, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful

First we didn't really have a spring. After two hot weeks back in April we had two dreary, cool months. It rained nearly every day in June. July and August were spring-like but not summery. I think I turned on my air conditioning exactly once, which was great on the pocketbook but felt unseasonable. Then a few weeks ago the leaves began dying on the trees without turning, and last night was so cold I considered putting on my heat. In other words, we didn't have a spring or a summer, and now it looks like we might not have much of a fall.

Weather is the most ridiculous thing to talk about yet we can't stop talking about it, probably because it's the only thing besides taxes and death that effects all of us and yet is completely beyond our control. I hate talking about weather but after four straight days of not wanting to get out of bed because it's the warmest place in the house, four straight days of cloud cover, four straight days of wearing a sweater when I don't want to be wearing a sweater, it feels like the only conversational game in town.

I got my hair cut yesterday. My stylist is one of those people who always sees apocalypse around the corner. For a year now I've spent 45 minutes every six weeks hearing about bread lines and how utility companies and banks are the undoing of civilization as we know it, and about how before too long we're all going to be bartering for scraps of meat. I once offered him some meat rather than a check as payment for my haircut but he somehow was not amused. At any rate, the conversation yesterday did not once touch on banks or economic calamity. It was all about the weather. He claims we're going to have the worst winter ever in the history of humankind, featuring such historic cold that it won't even be able to snow. We're going to spend five months huddled under Snuggies, breaking apart furniture in order to feed the fire because the utility companies will be in possession of all our money by December at the latest. Apocalypse will be the fault not of capitalism but of Willard Scott.

I understand the feeling. It's a cruel enough world out there, but at least we can ordinarily count on some warmth and sunlight and the maple trees turning orange and crimson. There is one distinct advantage to all this gloomy weather, though: going back to bed feels like an offensive rather than a defensive measure.