Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Badphairy Gets Her Snuggle On

I think I’m figuring out why Bay Areans categorically refuse to engage in outside endeavors during the rainy months. If one doesn’t take advantage of the only inclement weather we get, how is one sure one will get the requisite amount of snuggling each person needs?

Eight months out of the year, it’s relentlessly sunny, tempting us with all the pleasures of the Great Outdoors. There are big trees, mountains, ocean, lakes, volcanoes, all the views one could want.

I’ve noticed that when I spend a gorgeous day indoors, I am afflicted with a peculiarly big-city-ish sort of anxiety. “I know there was something celebratory going on today I could have attended, had I looked hard enough, or at all.”

I didn’t feel that way in MN, often. There were the particular seasonal feast days, May Day, solstice/equinox, and the obligatory “your people were once Lutherans, so we’ll just get together and eat and not talk about religion for the day, okay” days. Those usually involved a lot of beer once the driving to and fro parts were over. But in general, there were lots of weekends when there was nothing to do but hole up in your house and hope no one you knew fell off a roof, slid off a highway, or electrocuted themselves playing golf.

However, MN has one thing NorCal pretty much doesn’t, which is weather year-round. There are plenty of stormy days during the summer which make it requisite to hole up in the house with your sweetie while you both try to convince the other person that you have no idea how to reset the breakers, should that become necessary.

I have to state at this point, that I was finally certain I was no longer afraid of A: the dark, and B: flashbacks of old Stephen King novels, when I managed to descend into the World’s Creepiest Basement (my duplex in downtown Mpls) without a flashlight, to reset my breakers. When I returned upstairs without being eaten by vampires, werewolves, or industrial laundry machines, I knew the dark held very little fear for me anymore. This would be a cute story had it happened when I was twelve. Sadly, I was twenty-six.

Growing up in a climate with reason for sayings like “Make hay while the sun shines” exerts a powerful pull even when one now lives in a climate that’s sunny 85% of the time. I think that’s why when the three rainy months come, the people around here utter sighs of relief. Finally, a reason to burn plastic-wrapped $12 bundles of wood from 7-11, haul out the thermal underwear, and collapse in an exhausted heap.

“Winter” no matter what yours looks like serves a purpose. It allows the land to rest. In the Midwest, the land is resting from the onslaught of herd animals, farm machinery, and the weather. In California, the land is trying to get a rest from the constant human/vehicle traffic. It’s not just the land, arguably the animals and humans that live here are all trying to get some rest and escape traffic…by going somewhere. Which seems a tad backwards, now that I think about it. If everybody stayed home, there’d be no traffic, and everyone would end up resting. Hmmm…

What? There are several men dressed in dark suits outside who wish to speak to me outside? They’re driving a limo with an Exxon hood ornament? Err, no thanks. Tell them I gave at the office.

In any case, when the rain fails to stop by April 1st, I notice the uber-Californians are starting to get edgy. The thought of all those twee, blaze orange, overpriced, spandex, yoga/biking outfits going to waste begins to light a spark behind their $500 sunglasses. By the time the rain finally does peter out, they will be afire with the desire for ever more dawn yoga, evening rollerblading with Critical Mass, and possibly Pilates at lunch. It’s our version of the Circle of Life, minus the messy entrails and such.

For now, it’s raining, and I’m off to get my snuggle on in case it’s sunny tomorrow. Cheers.


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