I feel awkward posting more than one thing the same day. To be fair, I’m not always in a writing mood, so you’ll just have to save this up for a rainy day…a great segue into my post.
I talked my friend on the phone today, we’ll call her Bea (pronounced Bee). She lives back in the PNW, Pacific Northwest, and we got on the topic of weather. People who come to visit me from colder/drearier places are always surprised at how warm it is in the South. When we came down, I was kind of in shock, but part of that had to do with the fact that we were actually going to be living in a place that was warm, if not scalding, and sunny most of the time. Bea used to live in the South as well, but she moved back home recently.
When I asked her about the weather back home, she said that it was really nice the other day, but TODAY and most days had been completely awful. The weather there has been in the 50’s, considerably warmer than it has been. I always know when it is nice, because people stay inside just long enough to type “SUN!!!” into their social media status before running out into the street and getting hit by a car. First, because they were staring at the sky, and secondly, because their eyes hadn’t adjusted to the brightness. They were quite literally, blinded by the light.
If you’re having trouble thinking about what that would look like (the lack of sun, not getting hit by a car), let me lay out winter as it looks in downtown on an average day. The concrete is gray, the buildings are gray, and the sky just blends in with all that. It’s like the evil novel I won’t mention, except you’re staring at a lack of color instead of a ridiculously written fan fic turned novel. People with depth perception would have huge issues commuting there, because it’s so fucking gray. All the time.
I’m not really exaggerating, even though I sound like I am. It’s overcast about 9-10 months out of the year. I’ve been told in the last few years and noticed before we moved that it was getting worse. The clear skies are best and last longest in the summer. It can be sunny in the winter, but it’s not often. There is SUCH a surge of excitement when it happens though. It’s like living in a small town when the circus pulls in or a no-dancing town after Kevin Bacon teaches everyone the error of their ways or living as an Amish person your whole life and then going on Rumspringa (the free for all teenage phase where parents let their youth rip roar into the urban streets with everyone else). Which is probably a lot like the town before Kevin Bacon moved there.
Then I supposed to Bea that what she was describing to me also probably looked like the following:
Several hundred years ago, families only bathed once a year, usually in May. The first to bathe was the father, then sons, then wife, then daughters, and at last, the babies. That was how the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” came from.
“That’s so gross!” Bea said. “Like the water was so dirty that people were actually at risk at throwing away their babies?”
“It appears so,” I said. ” ‘Let’s comb the water, make sure the baby isn’t in there. The bubbles aren’t any indication.’ Anyway, so I imagine that that’s what home looks like right now.”
“Disgusting, dirty, bath water that you can get lost in?” Bea asked. She paused. “Yeah, that sounds about right.”
There you have it, folks. Why so many people up north have Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). Yes, that exists, as does freezing rain, something my mom thought was a joke until she moved there. The overcast sky looks like bathwater. I may miss home, but I don’t miss dirty, bathwater sky.