Oh the weather outside is weather

Oh the weather outside is weather

Weather is such a wonderful thing. Just try and imagine going to your second cousin's wedding, sitting at the "we invited you but didn't expect you to say yes" table, and trying to have a conversation with the elementary school best friend that lost touch when she moved away at age ten but reconnected on Facebook a few months ago so we had to invite her, without weather. It would go a little something like this:

You: Nice to meet you. How do you know the bride?

Friend (we'll call her Mandi because spelling it with an "i" makes her hot, right?): Jennifer and I were best friends in elementary school that lost touch when I moved away at age ten but reconnected on Facebook just a few months ago.

You: So, you aren't really friends?

Mandi: Of course we are! I love Jennifer like a sister! I'd do anything for her!

You: What is her son's name?

Mandi: She has a son?!?! Ummm, I'm going to go with Zumba.

You: Zumba? You think that your best friend named her son after a dance fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez during the 1990s?

Mandi: Sure, she is sooooooo into fitness.

You: She weighs 29 stone.

Mandi: But she carries it so well.

You: I'm getting a drink.

See how quickly that awkward conversation went downhill? It could have easily been saved by weather. Weather would have prevented you from getting completely sidetracked. Let's try it again but this time with weather.

You: Nice to meet you. How do you know the bride?

Friend (we'll call her Mandi because spelling it with an "i" makes her hot, right?): Jennifer and I were best friends in elementary school that lost touch when I moved away at age ten but reconnected on Facebook just a few months ago.

You (knowing she isn't a real friend): Wasn't the wedding beautiful? The weather really held out. I was worried it might rain.

Mandi: I love the rain in the summer. It can be so romantic to walk in the rain and it makes my clothes just stick to my skin.

You: Let's go have sex in the bathroom.

Mandi: Sure!

Do you see how weather completely saved the situation? Weather literally allowed you to have sex in the bathroom of a hotel airport during your second cousin's wedding. Weather is the ultimate wing man (in case you haven't noticed or aren't a fan, I've been watching a lot of How I Met Your Mother lately, which can explain my writing style here). This brings us to the point of this whole blog: The Best Type of Weather.

Hot Weather

There are some people that can't get enough of warm weather. They flock to the beach and congregate as close to the equator as they can get. Those are the people that are constantly putting up pictures of their feet in the sand or bright blue skies on Instagram just to make all their friends that live in colder climates jealous. I'm talking to you people living down in Florida on the coast. I'm also talking to you people that may live in Arizona and New Mexico. You know, the places where it may be hot but it's a "dry" heat.

I say hot weather is a lot like New York City. It is a great place to visit on a vacation but there is no way I'm living there. For me, the hot weather is just a precursor to a sunburn. You people with a darker skin will never understand the aversion us pale-ies have to the sun. It can be torture. My Italian wife will never understand. We go to the beach and I slather on SPF80 while hiding under my wide brimmed hat and long-sleeved shirt still to get red. She walks around without a single bit of protection and just browns up like some sort of Roman goddess.

Many years ago Rizzo and I went to a football game of the Washington Redskins. It was in September or October so it wasn't even the middle of summer. I was wearing my Atlanta Braves baseball cap because I'm a huge fan of football. Clearly the stadium knew I was there to hang out with Rizzo and not to watch the game because I got a sunburn. On my bald head. Through a baseball cap. This wasn't even one of those trucker hats with the mesh that Ashton Kutcher thought was cool in the early 2000s. It was a real, solid cloth, baseball cap. I still got a sunburn. Hot weather equals lots of sun which equals sunburn which equals no thank you.

Hot weather also means sweating like Forest Whitaker in, well, every Forest Whitaker movie. I tell myself I sweat more than most people. Maybe it is fat-guy issue but I'm very concerned with what I like to call "sweaty back". Sweaty back is the blotchy sweat marks on your shirt because it is hotter than hell outside and no matter what you do or how much many minutes you stand directly over the air conditioning you can't prevent the sweat marks.

A special note to you people living in the southwest of the US in the "dry heat", you can shove it right up your butt. Dry heat is a myth that people tell you to trick you into going somewhere that it is regularly 110 degrees. Arizona is so hot that grass doesn't even live there. In the dry heat of Southern California that people turn to paint in order to make their yard green again. Hot is hot. If the temperature is 120 degrees then the dryness factor does not matter. Nothing should live there.

Cold Weather

There are also those who tend to enjoy the colder temperatures. I used to think I was in that group. I love snow. I love how beautiful it is when the ground is a lovely white quilt covering the landscape. Trees are draped in a lovely curtain of pristine winter majesty. It is a beautiful sight. You sit inside with your family enjoying hot chocolate. You made sure to pick up those special snow day foods that you would never eat when trying to be healthy (for our house it usually consists of tortilla chips with cheese dip and some sort of french fry). It is a lovely snow day.

A beautiful snowy night.

A beautiful snowy night.

That is until you have to get out there and shovel all that damn snow. After 36 straight hours and 36 inches of snow you wish the world would come to an end. You try to stay ahead of the game by going outside to shovel every couple of hours but by about 8:00pm you give up not even thinking that it is going to snow all night long and all the hard work you put in the day before means absolutely dick. Even if your driveway did somehow magically stay clean the 14 foot pile of snow that the snow plows piled up in front of your driveway still has to be moved and since it has turned into a solid block of ice you have to pull out the blow torch just to make a dent in the bastard. Snow days are awesome for about 8-10 hours on a Saturday. Other than that snow days are awful.

Digging out.

Digging out.

"But Wes', you say, "hitting the slopes for a ski vacation in the cold weather is amazing!" Uh, no it isn't. I have never met a person that enjoys skiing. They all say they enjoy skiing but every time someone I know returns from a ski trip all I hear about it how many warm alcoholic beverages they consumed in the ski lodge. "Hey Bill," I say to my imaginary friend named Bill, "how was the ski trip out in Colorado?" "Let me tell you, Wes,"Bill says clearly not just a voice in my head, "the resort was the best! We had drinks at every meal! They made the most amazing Hot Toddy that we drank all night in front of the fire listing to the piano." "Great! But how was the skiing?" "Oh, I went up on the slopes for about 10 minutes but it was like 15 degrees below zero and I fell and busted my ass on the double diamond so I could barely walk." "Are you sure it was the fall that kept you from walking or the .16 BAC that you were sporting?" "Well I had to stay warm and numb the pain somehow. Besides, Saturday night was $15 Martini night so how could I pass that up?"

Perfect Weather

By now you must be wondering what is the perfect weather. The answer is simple: cloudy, overcast, between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and maybe the slightest drizzle or two. You think I'm joking but I'm not. It is the perfect outdoor weather. I love it!

Enjoying a beautiful morning outside before work.

Enjoying a beautiful morning outside before work.

Why is this weather the most perfect condition for any human? Let's start with the temperature. It's not so hot that you look like a swimmer coming out of the pool the instant you step outside. In this weather you won't start sweating the instant you open the door to get that breath of fresh air. It also isn't so cold that you have to wear long johns, a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, an overcoat, gloves, scarves, a stocking cap, three blankets, and a ski mask to avoid frostbite. The temperature is perfect for either relaxing on the deck without freezing to death or to get in some moderate activity like say, playing cornhole while drinking beer, without passing out from heat stroke. It is the perfect temperature.

Next let us consider the overcast conditions. Clouds are our friends. They protect us from UV rays so we don't get burnt to a crisp in 37 seconds. It also protects us from that pesky skin cancer. Clouds also hide the brightness of the sun. Have you ever stood outside in the August heat around noon and tried to open your eyes without sunglasses? It's impossible unless our friends the clouds roll in to provide us with a natural, and welcome, break from that unbearable sunshine. Clouds: natures Ray-Bans.

Look at that beautiful spring sky.

Look at that beautiful spring sky.

Why the drizzle? You are thinking to yourself "Ok, I get the temperature and the sun can be overbearing but what is with the drizzle?" The answer is simple. It's all about the smell. I don't know if everyone can smell it. Perhaps some people are more sensitive to it than others but the smell of a gentle rain is refreshing. It's almost intoxicating. It makes you feel alive. It makes you want to go for a hike.

During the summer of 2012, Rizzo and I made a trip to England and Scotland to visit some friends. It was in Scotland that I found a place that has the best weather on the planet. Every day was the same. The temperature never got above 60 degrees, it was cloudy and overcast all the time, and the drizzle on and off was refreshing. I think that was the only summer vacation I have ever had when I didn't end up getting a sunburn. Not everyone would agree with my assessment of the weather. Take a look at this picture.

That picture was taken at a random stop on the side of the road. Look at the rolling hills. Amazing green grass under grey overcast skies. Beautiful. Then take a look at Rizzo. She is sporting jeans and a coat. She purchased that coat in Scotland because she thought it was too cold and needed something to wear. Now look at me. I'm rocking shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Why? Because I can without the fear of sun burn melting my skin. The gentle mist keeping me cool and refreshed. It was truly heaven on earth.

I suppose that everyone has their own idea of what is the perfect weather. For some it is 100 degrees while lying on the beach and the sun's rays cooking your skin. For others it is the bite of the winter felt on rosy cheeks as the snow falls down. For me, it is a cloudy sky, and modest 60 degrees, and a slight drizzle. No one is right and no one is wrong. Except for the fact that I'm right and everyone else is wrong. I'm moving to Scotland. Or Portland.

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