55F and rainy today in glassland, and the glasslanders were out in force trying to prove that it’s warm.
As I’ve said before, born and bred northwesterners have been genetically modified to perceive “chilled and wet” as “warm and dry,” and there’s no sense in trying to convince them otherwise. An amazing number practice what I call “calendar-based dressing.”
Calendar-based dressers use this type of logical progression to guide sartorial decision-making:
- It is June.
- June is a summer month.
- Summer is warm.
- Warm weather clothing consists of tank tops, sandals and shorts.
- Today I will wear a tank top, sandals and shorts.
It’s OK as far as it goes, but when there’s a cold, windy drizzle outside and the thermometer reads “55F,” that’s not very far. Besides, calendar-based dressing drives these hapless glasslanders to some truly horrific choices in working attire, i.e., huaraches over wool socks, quilted, waterproofed poncho with shorts, and my personal favorite, the classic Hawaiian shirt missing every button but one, over fleece-lined sweats.
With a tie.
Before anyone from, say, Minnesota, chortles at glassland’s expense, I should bring up one of my fondest memories of Minneapolis in the spring: Sandal-shod picnickers in 38-degree sunshine, wringing the slush out of their picnic blankets.
Calendar-based dressing will do that to you. When I first moved to Washington DC, the room-mates from hell* had two hard and fast rules: Nobody turns on the air conditioner until July 5, and the heat doesn’t come on until the day after Thanksgiving. I spent the 90-degree plus month of June in the office.
Me, I subscribe to an infinitely more practical attire indicator: I check the thermometer outside. If it’s wet, I wear a sweater. If it’s dry, I wear a sweater.
*The infamous room-mates from hell were so-named because of feline, not thermal, policies. While I’m a great lover of cats, I object to keeping a litterbox in the kitchen even if “uzzums likes to be with people when she tinkles.” Matters didn’t come to a head, however, until I glimpsed one of my roomies scooping out the litterbox with my best soup ladle, giving it a quick wipe with a paper towel and PUTTING IT BACK IN THE UTENSIL DRAWER, while the other room-mate looked on. Casually. As if they’d done it a hundred times. I gave notice approximately 30 seconds later.