Wednesday, January 7, 2009

whatever the weather

Ralgh and I have taken refuge in the warm house of a friend, and for the first time in months, we have the luxury of not noticing the weather. Today, as almost every day since I've been back in Portland, it's raining. I only know this because I had to walk outside this morning to collect my dirty clothes for free laundry-doing. It was a total of four minutes in my cold, damp Vanta C, then I returned to the kitchen, where a steaming cup of coffee awaited me.

I've always tried to avoid being one of those people who talks about the weather. It's boring. Unless I become a Meteorologist, or some serious global warming shit hits the fan, I'll always feel like talking about the weather is sort of like stating the obvious. Sometimes I find it hilarious, though, to really enthusiastically sigh weather reports to people who hear them all the time, like bank tellers and baristas, people who make a living making small talk. "Oh, JEEZ! You're lucky you're working in the air conditioning; it's a scorcher out there!" I'll say, animatedly wiping my brow, and the customer service representative will agree, because it's her job and she has nothing else to say to me. She won't get the joke, though, and I'll walk out the door laughing at how good I am at impersonating a real customer.

But living in a van changed all that. I was at the mercy of Mother (effing) Nature, and she reminded me every day. At Burning Man, the Vanta C became a greenhouse, a place to avoid at all costs. In the Midwest, Ralgh and I shook with the knowledge that we were about to be electrocuted, crouching wide-eyed in fear as late night thunderstorms pounded the roof and quaked the van. In the northeast, our feet and noses went numb and we could feel wind seeping through the cracks in the windows, everything inescapably frigid. In Portland, the rain never stopped falling, our skin swelled with dampness, windows and blankets grew moist with condensation.

Oh my god... I have become one of those people who talk about the weather... All the time!

Being able to ignore the weather is a luxury provided by shelter and warm clothing. If you have shelter and warm clothing, and you still find yourself talking about the weather on a regular basis, then you should maybe consider taking on additional hobbies or joining a reading group to boost your conversational skills. Another option might be reading or listening to the news every morning, and that comes with the added bonus of knowing what is happening in the world, which could come in handy the next time you have to vote or impress a girl or something. You people with your warm clothes and cozy homes have reduced the weather to small talk, when it is really so much more! People are dying out there, for the love of god! Really fabulous, albiet mildly malodorous, women and their dogs are slowly losing their minds and could go completely 'round the bend any time now! And you reduce it to an uncomfortable, half-hearted side conversation while you wait for your latte (at least tip your barista for putting up with you; throw a dollar in that jar!).

Speaking of amazing tips, a lucky barista in NE Portland clocked out of her shift last week and rode her fixed gear bike home while wearing my wedding ring, which I uncerimoniously and anonymously removed from my right hand and tossed in the tip jar. And I didn't even force her to listen to me talking about the damn rain.




7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahem. I think they're calling it "climate change" these days.

Trina said...

I love how much you kick ass.

Sara said...

ha. I can relate. I always hated talking about the weather. And then Matt got a job doing snow plowing. So now it's all we think about. Is it going to snow overnight? Or not? Is there a front coming in? Did you check the weather channel? Did you set your alarm for the 3am snow check? Goodness. It's all-consuming.

MANDA said...

I agree with Trina. I, too, love how much you kick ass. :-)

Rachel Tamed said...

The wedding ring in the tip jar is Eva's answer to the question: are we there yet? :)

Shannon said...

HOLY SHIT!! Lucky girl! She has a kick ass story!! I hope it was a good cup of coffee.

Stephanie E said...

I hope that you got a chance to come here to NH...it's beautiful!