October 26, 2010 Comments Off on Weather Zen
Today is blustery and chilly and is mostly overcast, although the clouds go scudding by so fast it is sometimes sunny. It’s one of my favorite kinds of day and I get kind of ticked off when people slam it.
There are three girls in my Italian class who are ditzy and great friends, and whenever the professor tries to bring in a little pop culture, they go nuts and start chattering in the back row. It’s actually kind of funny, except the class doesn’t move forward until they’ve finished telling the professor exactly what TV shows they watch. They don’t have the patience to try it in Italian, even in abbreviated form, there’s just this explosion of energetic English from the back of the room. Clearly the idea of using an easy topic of conversation to improve their conversational Italian hasn’t occurred to them.
So today they come in all puffed up and ruffled like tom turkeys, exploding to each other, “OMG it is so fucking cold today. I woke up this morning and it was sunny and I was like, oh, okay, and I wore a sweatshirt.” “OMG I know it’s like 40 degrees. Swear to god I almost like crouched down behind a parked car to hide from the wind, I am so fucking cold.”
I have never really understood why people complain so consistently about the weather. Why is it so important? I mean, granted, if it’s cold and rainy you would rather not go outside, and every once in a while the weather will really stomp on you and ruin your nice suede boots and blow your hair into a snarl. But in general, you put up your hood and just go. And the amazing thing is, if you dress for the weather, you’re usually okay. Meteorology and modern textile design are wonderful, wonderful things. You can look up the projected temperature and precipitation and put something warm and/or water-repellent on you if necessary. It all turns out okay in the end.
I’ve noticed this in the winter. If you walk around outside hunched over and tense, you feel much colder than if you relax and think, “It’s quite cold today, and that’s all right.” Zen makes you much warmer. And it works with rain, too; you look outside and think, “Okay, I’m going to get a little wet today.” And then you’ll be fine. It’s a very American, very spoiled-college-kid approach to be offended by momentary discomfort. “They deserved a free pizza along with their life, liberty, and pursuit of whatever, it was fucking inalienable.” Zoom out and let 15 minutes of being cold and wet get lost in the big scheme of things.