One upside of the hot weather: this is what I had for dinner tonight.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and if you are, you’re probably nice and cool right now) you’ve heard that there’s a massive heatwave moving across much of the U.S., one that has spent the day settling in over the Mid Atlantic. Tomorrow and Saturday are supposed to be the worst of it, but the fact that the heat index is 111 degrees in DC right now – at 9:30 p.m. – doesn’t bode well for the next couple of days.

As the temperature and humidity have been climbing over the last few days, I came to a fairly startling realization: I like epic, record-breaking snowstorms a lot better than epic, record-breaking heatwaves. Being a person who revels in moderate weather, I still pretty much hate both, but I just hate snowstorms less, and here’s why:

  • Snow is prettier. Everything looks magical with a coating of white, whereas browning and wilting don’t look so nice.
  • It’s acceptable – encouraged, even – to hunker down in a snowstorm, but not during heatwave. Everyone is just expected to muddle through.
  • Work never closes down because it’s too hot, but a decent snowfall can garner a day off and the blizzard netted nearly a week off. (This, of course, is merely an annoyance for me – but fairly life-threatening to people who work outdoors.)
  • When it’s cold, there’s all manner of beverages for warming up: hot chocolate, coffee, tea, whiskey… But because of dehydration, heatwaves require water, and lots of it. Bo-ring!
  • Unless the hunkering down allowed by a snowstorm is taken to an unacceptable level of sloth, you (and those around you) don’t smell during a blizzard. This is exceptionally untrue when it comes to extreme heat. Everyone, even ordinarily fastidious people, gets stinky fast in this weather.
  • No one is ever tempted to cope with a snowstorm by going out in an embarrassingly limited amount of clothing. Not so with the hot.
  • And, possibly most importantly, I don’t have to feign any sort of enthusiasm for this weather. Being from New York, there’s some expectation that I like winter, or at least “get” it, and as a result can somehow tough it out. (This is totally untrue, but it persists nevertheless.) There’s no such assumption when it comes to summer, which – I think – means I get to be as whiny as I want.

Keep cool these next few days, folks. And drink a lot of water, even though it’s boring.

9 thoughts on “111°

  1. susan July 21, 2011 / 10:45 pm

    Snow also provides extra outdoor fun…sledding, snowballs, fort-making. Heat waves dont! 😦

  2. Eileen July 21, 2011 / 10:45 pm

    1. You crack me up
    2. it is cooler – though not by much – in Houston (words I never thought I’d utter, especially not in July)

    Stay indoors, crank up the AC (bill be damned) and drink lots of water – perhaps spruce it up with some frozen berries instead of ice and add some lemon

    Good luck!

  3. Eileen July 21, 2011 / 10:47 pm

    PS. Excellent dinner choice

  4. Common Loon July 21, 2011 / 11:28 pm

    I would argue a couple of points, but I enjoy your logic too much!

    Buy a Super-Soaker (and use it)! They don ‘t work well in a snowstorm, but they provided hours of outdoor fun for some kids I know…Or go find that waterfall from Wayback Wednesday and resume that pose 🙂

    So glad our heat has passed (unfortunately to you). Today’s high of 88 with dew points back to the 60’s feels so blissfully awesome…turned off the a/c! Just hang in there until next week. It gets much better!

  5. Mom July 22, 2011 / 6:27 am

    And, because we are all so fickle, next time we have a blizzard, we’ll all be wishing summer back…. BTW: triple digits in Bing yesterday too (officially — not just outside my house)!

    I enjoyed your list too!! And, really, you don’t have to shovel sun & the grass needs less mowing and somehow manages to replenish itself when the temp moderates. Would you dare hand out deodorant samples on the Metro, as a random act of kindness???

    Why, I’ve even taken to providing the trash haulers and mail carrier with ice water. At first offer, they looked at me like my brain had fried, but were ever so grateful. Nice 🙂

    • Eileen July 22, 2011 / 9:20 am

      Ma, there is NO amount of deodorant that can counteract 111. Especially not with the crazy sweating that accompanies it.

  6. Joanne July 22, 2011 / 9:47 pm

    Believe you me, as the the almost seven months pregnant woman, I have spent lots of time pondering how hot it would have to get for everything to stop. Then I start praying the AC at work would break, so I would have a legit reason to play thempreggo card and go home. The ten minute Salk from my desk to my car in the afternoons sap me of all strength, and I end laying on the couch for at least a half hour when I get home! I hate heatwaves.

  7. Shannon July 23, 2011 / 6:29 pm

    I’ll give you the aversion to limited amounts of clothing…when my 70-something neighbor decides to use his riding mower without a shirt on, I have to go wash my eyes out. Uggg!

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