A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
Well, I guess you’ve all heard that it’s still raining. And it will continue to rain and rain and rain until one day it stops and BAM it’s 95 degrees and humid until October.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining about this. I am well aware that two weeks of rain is still vastly preferable to tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, brush fires, droughts, locusts, blight, and volcanoes. With all of the terrifying storms and other natural disasters happening around the country and the world, I often think about how lucky we are here in New York. Add it to the list of reasons I could never be convinced to move to Los Angeles despite the fact that “it never gets cold and people are so much more relaxed!” Give it up, you guys. You totally wish you were us.
The real problem with the rain is not the fact that it’s wet or chilly or humid or gloomy. No, the issue—or really the phenomenon I’ve noticed—is that when it rains like this for days and weeks on end, it seems to have a strange and adverse effect on daily social interaction. Brains get sleepy and people become awkwardly unable to comment on anything but what’s happening outside.
How about this weather we’ve been having, huh? Eh? Awful stuff, hey? Wet enough out there for ya? When will it stop?! Where’s the sun already? We’re going to need an Ark! I thought it was APRIL showers! Ha ha ha.
Okay, that’s quite enough of that. I’m just as guilty as the next person here. Case in point: today’s post. But I’ve been trying to figure out why this type of weather creates such a lack of conversational inspiration. What’s said isn’t even clever or playful like “snowpocalypse” (which I still think is pretty adorable). Perhaps the fog and mist have seeped into our heads and settled in to cloud over our thoughts. Perhaps not seeing the sun for awhile makes our gray matter gray-er. Or perhaps the weather is just a standard conversational crutch, and so we take advantage of the help while we have it. If there’s nothing but blue skies, there’s nothing to gripe about. And everyone knows griping is more fun than making pleasant observations on pleasant things. So we’re forced to think of something else to say. Like: “How ’bout them Yanks/Mets/Giants/Knicks/Batavia Muckdogs?” or “How’s your mother?” or “You wouldn’t believe what the podiatrist told me yesterday…” or “I’m thinking about becoming a professional curler” or even, “Did you see that article last week on nematodes? Why, they are not toads at all!”
Having just now identified this social quirk, I vow not to be part of the problem anymore. No more idle rainy day chitchat for me. I’m off to bone up on those nematodes so I’m ready for tomorrow’s coworker run-ins in the kitchen. I figure I’m set with the “not a toad” thing for today. That is conversational gold.
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Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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