If you live in sunny Southern California you may have noticed something odd today: it’s not sunny. That’s right folks, the slippery rainy season has finally arrived. So get your umbrella out of storage, roll up your pant legs, and be prepared to spend an extra ten minutes on the freeway.
Look, I’m cooler than most people who live in Los Angeles because I’m from the east coast. That’s just how it goes. It means that I’m less superficial, it means that I’m more resistant to cold temperatures, and it means that I have more than a passing familiarity with the strange water that falls from the sky once or twice a year. I grew up in Maryland, where there is not only rain, but “thunderstorms,” a concept a LA native might be forgiven for considering mythical. As much as I appreciate my hometown for allowing me to put things like “rain” and “snow” on my Cool Guy Resume (still looking for work in that field, by the way), the weather is one of the primary reasons that I abandoned my birthplace and moved to this unwieldy Frankenstein’s monster of a city built on top of a desert.
Seriously, weather on the east coast sucks. It gets cold. Really cold. And most of the time it doesn’t even have the decency to snow. What’s the point of cold weather if it isn’t going to snow? And then in the summers it gets hot. Really hot. The kind of heat and humidity that you can feel permeating your entire body, weighing you down as you try to wrangle a bunch of camp-goers at your summer job. Global warming is probably shifting all of this toward the hotter end of the spectrum (it’s a balmy 37 degrees in Annapolis right now), but the fact remains that the climate is no good.
That’s why people flock to Los Angeles in droves on a daily basis. Sunny and 70 degrees everyday – that’s what they say. And it’s mostly accurate, though climate change has had a few choice words for that stereotype as well (80 degrees on Thanksgiving? That’s a bit much, even for me).
The weather consistency out here is consistently consistent, so on the rare occasion where something different happens, the population gets a little crazy. The majority of the people living and working in LA – myself included – possess neither a rain slicker nor an umbrella, so there are shivering masses, soaked to the bone, all over the place. And then there is the traffic. Half of the drivers slow to a halt, unaware of what to do on a wet road; while the other half kick their speed up a notch or two, out of frustration with the locals. Los Angeles transplants tend to complain about native drivers – it’s kind of a pastime for my people – but I am of the mind that everyone’s driving gets 50% worse when it rains, whether you were born here or not. So I drive as safely as possible, as if that will save me from the incompetence of others (because I am the only person I think can drive – the same thing every other human being on the planet is thinking about him- or herself).
Sure the rain can be a nuisance, but it’s also kind of nice. I relish watching people try to navigate the puddles that accumulate because the dude who designed this city never considered the fact that water may one day need to drain from the streets. And it certainly cools things off in the middle of a late-fall heat wave. Plus, let’s not forget about California’s extreme drought. As a guy who sometimes falls asleep in the shower (accidentally, I assure you), this a huge relief. The drought is over! That is a statement that I’ve been facetiously declaring all day. Unfortunately there are probably plenty of knuckleheads who think that’s actually the case. Let’s give it a few more days of rain before we all start turning our decorative fountains back on.