I guess I love to complain. Six months ago, I complained to everyone about shovelling my sidewalk every morning. Three months ago, I complained to everyone about the neverending rain. Today, I'm complaining to you about the summer heat and the generally miserable conditions of the dreaded Dog Days of Summer. In my defense, I do compliment nice weather, but in balance I have to admit that my climatic complaints grossly outnumber my compliments. That's the ABC's of me, Baby!
I'm not sure if my endless complaining says as much about meteorlogical mayhem as it does about the fact that I have nothing better to talk about. Let's face it, complaining about the weather is so incredibly futile that it's truly a waste of breath. Mike Aldridge mentioned a quote in his column in this week's Democrat that summed up weather-related banter nicely: "Everybody's talking about the weather but nobody's doing anything about it." Indeed.
So, why do we keep talking about it? Well, we all know the answer: it's a surefire conversation starter. I can talk about the weather with a complete stranger just as easily as I can talk about it with my Dad. Weather is universal. It's not typically emotionally charged. It's generally apolitical. Talking about it beats the heck out of awkward silence. In short, it's the perfect subject for friendly chit-chat. So, when I want the detailed weather report, I usually head down to the barbershop -- I'll bet that nobody in Cynthiana hears as much about the weather as Margaret, Woody, and Jeff.
It says a lot about us that we still bother to talk to each other about the weather. In bigger towns and on meaner streets people hardly make eye contact; nobody there would waste breath on a subject as pointless and unchangeable as the weather. Yet we do. In a society where it's everyone for themselves, I doubt that people would even care enough to talk to their neighbors at all. Yet we do. You see, when we have those little conversations, it isn't really the weather that we're concerned with, it's our neighbor. Caring enough about our neighbors to stop and share a conversation about the heat or cold or rain -- knowing darned-well that there's nothing either of you can do to change it -- makes us pretty special. And that, my friends, is why I don't live in a bigger town or on a meaner street.