Dispatches from the Suburbs of Hell

Heaven is for the obedient. Hell is for the wrathful. What of the ones in between? We wind up in the Suburbs. Our sin is individuality. Our punishment is boredom. But at least we're in good company.

Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, January 17, 2007



Of all the aphorisms attributed to noted American humorist Mark Twain, perhaps none is so enduring as his commentary on New England weather: "If you don't like it, just wait a minute." It endures, I think, because it's true, as any citizen of the Northeast can tell you. And it was perhaps nowhere more true than this winter, the mildest on record. We had temperatures in the high 60's as late as DECEMBER. December and we were running around in shirtsleeves, man. On the one hand, it was great. On the other it was just disturbing. I mean, this is New England. We're supposed to be complaining about the cold and the rock salt rotting the undersides of our cars by now! Warm weather this time of year just doesn't feel right.

Mother Nature evidently thought so too. As I woke up this morning to temperatures in the single digits - a whole six degrees, mind you - it was with a bittersweet satisfaction. Hooray, it's finally winter. HOLY CRAP IS IT WINTER!

That's how it tends to go with mild winters. It's as if the temperature hits the snooze alarm, oversleeps, then panics and overcompensates. Oh I'm sure there's some more scientific meteorological explanation - one that can be explained with brightly-colored charts and those lines with the triangles on them and copious use of the word "front" - but the effect is the same: suddenly it's winter.

I guess I have no right to be surprised: I'm a native New Englander, and over the course of 31 years I've seen many a rough winter. My mother will gladly tell you the story of how she nearly lost me in the Blizzard of '78. But it was just so nice to not have to turn on my heat in December. I guess I was spoiled for mild weather. And when I look at the freaky weather happening elsewhere in the country - the deadly ice storms, the hurricanes - I guess I should count myself lucky that a little chill in the air is all I have to worry about. And I guess, in the face of global warming and other looming environmental disasters, a little seasonable weather is a welcome sight.

But it's still frigging cold...


Blogger Ramona said...

::steals your blankie::

...your mother tossed you out in the snow at such a tender age?

Wow, that explains a lot.

This winter has kind of reminded me of the winters I spent in Old Californy...it was almost sweater weather on certain days.

But since the weather's been so funky, you're going to be paying for it come springtime, when it's time to shear your wool.

7:55 PM, January 18, 2007  

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