I’ve been thinking about posting for the past couple of days, but honestly I’m running low on ideas. Suddenly it’s spring in Paris and all I want to do is sit on a bench in Place des Vosges with the sun on my face, soaking up all the Vitamin D that I’ve missed out on in the past four months of grey gloom. It’s making me single-minded and boring as hell.
One of the things that bother me the most about my parents is that they incessantly talk about the weather. My mother is as close to a weather hypochondriac as one can possibly be. We are always on the verge of “the biggest snowstorm of the year,” “the driest summer in recorded history,” or “a hailstorm with hailstones the size of a baby’s fist” as far as she’s concerned. She’s especially smug when the weather does match or exceed her fatalistic expectations. My mother rocks the “I told you so!” like nobody’s business. On the other hand, my father is more or less a professional snowboarder at this point in his life, so our conversations always begin with a detailed account of the snow conditions at the local ski areas, despite the fact that I live on another continent. I keep telling him that he should start a blog of snowfall and grooming reports – he could probably make a killing in the Colorado ski community. Anyway, if you are someone who happens to believe in the magical power of one’s own thoughts to change the world around you (remember, Freud tells us that only savages, children, and the mad believe in such a thing), I suspect that my parents are actually just canceling each other out in their extreme weather augury:
Mother: “Please, please don’t let it snow six feet tonight!”
Father: “Please, please let it snow six feet of feather-light power tonight!”
Anyway, this is longwinded way of explaining that I hate how much my parents talk about the weather. And yet, and yet, and yet I suddenly find myself PHYSICALLY UNABLE to speak of anything except the weather: how grateful I am to see the sun, how lucky we are to be able to leave our windows open for a few hours, and how pleasant it is to see everyone in Paris out and about and enjoying a reprieve from the blistering cold. Adulthood has been for me a slow, but steady realization that I’m not nearly as different from my parents as I might have hoped, and that it is actually okay. My parents are pretty awesome. My mom hopes it doesn’t snow tomorrow because she is probably going to go for a killer hike if the weather holds. My dad is praying for snow, but that’s because he is the only 65-year old I know that snowboards over a hundred days a year.
I used to think my parent’s near-maniacal obsession with being outside was annoying – why couldn’t we just be sedentary like so many other families I knew? Why did we have to live in this spectacularly beautiful and entirely inconvenient place? Why were we always DOING things TOGETHER as a family, like skiing and bicycling and hiking and camping at the beach? Why did I have to have a father who described the ski area as his own personal church? HOW WEIRD. Now that I’m older and see that my parents are happier, healthier, and just generally more terrific to be around than most people their age, I realize that they had the right idea all along. When in doubt, go outside and move around.