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.