Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weather or not

To quote my youthful coworker Scott, who occasionally uses colorful and pungent language, it's been hot as balls here in the Northeast. Actually, it really, truly isn't the heat, it's the humidity.
Do you suppose that that expression is such a cliche, and is hated as such, because it is so effing accurate?

I've been told that my great grandmother was a Southern belle who liked to make a lot of her gentility and delicate nature. I assume I inherited this quality, because I haaaaate humidity. Ugh! I don't mind feeling hot, but being consistently damp and sticky is like inhabiting the seventh level of hell. In the past couple of years I've been to Arizona/New Mexico no fewer than five times and I have to say, they do hot weather right. Yes, that other cliche. It really IS a dry heat, and I really like it.

To be contrary, of course, I rarely if ever use my central air because I am a fresh air freak, and also was born and raised in a household that was stoic and old-fashioned about such "luxuries" as AC. So I change clothes at least twice a day, shower frequently, and make inordinate use of talcum powder in certain places to avoid prickly heat.

This past weekend has been especially brutal because in addition to the humidity, it's been raining off and on since Friday night, with enough irregularity to make outdoor activities difficult if not impossible. A trip to Storm King a friend and I have been planning for a month was cancelled yet again as thunderstorms were predicted for that area. Something about open fields and monumentally tall metal sculptures didn't seem like a good mix to us. So I've been indoors mainly, muttering, puttering, cleaning, and sweating, moving fans around the place to oscillate in my specific direction at every turn.

I must announce the imminent demise of my summer frock. This is an empire-waisted voluminous gauze number that serves as a housedress when it is too dang hot to wear much of anything. The unconstructed fit has no waistband to bind/chafe and the fabric swishing around my legs feels nice and relaxing. I have a vintage cotton caftan purchased at a rummage sale a while back that I have great hope for, but I may have to retire the original frock and hope a true replacement shows up soon after. This one is beginning to take on the transparency of tissue and I fear tearing will be inevitable.

At any rate, I awoke this morning with an idea. I could get out of the house for a while and stare at walls not my own, AND get some writing (if not actual work I brought home) done, AND enjoy AC I wasn't paying for if I hied me to the nearest Borders cafe. So away I went with my laptop. What did I expect on a rainy Sunday? Peace and quiet and a table by the window that was also miraculously near an outlet. What did I get? Screaming children, tables all taken, and no joy in the prospect of huddling on the floor behind the men's magazine rack, where a lone outlet taunted me. I browsed a few DVDs and left, and it dawned on me that the only time Borders would be a good choice for hanging with my laptop is weekdays, when I'm ensconced at work. Gah.

You can't always get what you want, no?


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