You would think that by now I would have mastered the art of small talk. For the most part, I have, however I lack the patience to discuss what is probably the most talked about topic of conversation on the planet – the weather.
It really doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. Each and every day there will be someone who will start a conversation (and often they are complete strangers) with “hot enough/cold enough/dry enough/wet enough for you?”
Now, to be clear, it’s not that I’m anti-social (although I can be aloof at times); it’s that when most people talk about the weather, they do it from a negative point of view. Frankly, I don’t really care about anyone’s negative views of our meteorological condition. That’s because there is nothing anyone can possibly do about it.
I can categorically state for a fact that, with the exception of my 13th birthday when plans went awry because of climate, I have never complained about the weather. I just simply deal with it. I look at the positive side of things (yes, I’ve matured since I was 13). We live on a planet that has an atmosphere. To our knowledge this is the only heavenly orb that can sustain life as we know it. Shouldn’t that be enough to satisfy us?
And let me pick a bone with my TV anchor brethren. In the world of small talk, weather chatter is usually the segue that gets the discussion turned toward the upcoming forecast. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard for me when I hear what I like to call “anchor weather whining.” Because for every person in the audience who might not like the current climatic condition, there is always someone else who does. Too much snow for you? Well the skiers would like it. Too much rain for you? Well the farmers might like that. Too hot for you? There are some who like a heatwave. Too cold for you? Dress accordingly!
Some of the people who complain about weather the most say things like “I just can’t stand the idea of going through another winter.” Well unless you have a restraining order from the rest of the planet, there are other places you can choose to live. That’s why I can’t deal with the weather whiners – you can’t change the weather, but you can live somewhere else, so what are you really complaining about?
Here in Montreal, Canada I graciously accept all four seasons. I’m never in a hurry to leave any of them because time is fleeting anyway. But I’m reminded at this time of the year of people’s desire to want to get through climates quickly. We even forgo the accumulated knowledge of meteorological science to put our faith in rodents, just to grasp at the possibility that our weather will change faster.
Each February 2nd we have Groundhog Day. In the U.S. they deal with Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. Here in Canada with have at least three famous furry prognosticators; Wiarton Willie in Ontario, Balzac Billy in Alberta and Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia, all in our haste to shoo winter away.
I’m in no hurry to see summer. And when summer comes I’m in no hurry to see winter. I just simply enjoy each day for what it is. Another opportunity to be above ground and experience the wonders of what our climate has to offer.
That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.