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Monday, March 21, 2011

tra la

So here we are.
Spring is finally, officially here. Not that you’d know it from looking outside my window. 
Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. I came to New York via Chicago via Pittsburgh, all lovely cities with lovely denizens who openly recognize the colossal joke that is the vernal equinox. It’s an annual charade on the local 6 o’clock news: the anchors come back after their second commercial break with a big First Day of Spring story, accompanied by cute little flower graphics, only to turn it over to the weather guy who chuckles during his ridiculously dismal forecast of cold and snow and gray and wind while pointing to a map with a giant L and that cold front line with the blue triangles hovering over the tri-state area. And every year he says the same thing:
Sure doesn’t seem like Spring right now, does it?

And the weather guy laughs and the anchors laugh and the sports guy laughs and starts talking about spring training down in Florida and how that’s where the springtime weather is and the weather guy laughs and the anchors laugh and the sports guy chuckles at how clever he is before reading the NCAA scores.
Am I right? Come on, Detroit. You know what I’m talking about. Testify, Cleveland. Can I get a “hallelujah?” 
I wouldn’t mind so much if I hadn’t gotten such a misleading education. Thanks a lot, kindergarten. Thanks for convincing me that nature simply flips a switch and winter instantly turns to spring with robins and flowers and sunshine. That never comes to pass, and now we all pretend that it’s warm enough to eat outside when it’s 55 degrees just because the calendar says it’s March. Robins aren’t always the first sign of spring in the city... I think New Yorkers get more excited about seeing the first Mister Softee truck on a warm day, even if it’s in February, and even if they realize that the little white truck of hope is filled with empty promises as well as empty calories. 
Because the truth is, I’m not even sure there’s such a thing as four distinct seasons anymore. I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, but I’ve also seen it hit 90 in October and 70 in January and 45 in June. 
You learned it too, didn’t you? That winter is cold and that spring is warm and that summer is hot and that autumn is cool. Complete with falling snow, rain, sunbeams and leaves, respectively. Learning the seasons is big in the kindergarten syllabus. But whether it’s because of global warming or whether it’s because nothing is as simple as we learned it in kindergarten, the old lessons don’t seem to apply anymore.
I wonder if kindergarten will ever adapt, or if children’s television will, for that matter. Yes, TV also taught us the simple lessons of summer, fall, winter and spring. Maybe children’s television will step up to teaching the new climate reality. Maybe someone will finally write an honest song about the seasons. Let’s take a stab at it now, shall we?
Hey little children, isn’t it fun
To dance in the rain and to dance in the sun
The seasons keep changing, so let’s learn each one
Four seasons, four verses, and then we’ll be done
The winter is chilly, there’s ice and there’s snow
But not in the tropics, or in Mexico
And even up North, sometimes warm breezes blow
So really, the best thing to do is wear layers
Then comes the springtime, but really it’s not
Sometimes it’s freezing, and sometimes it’s hot
Don’t store all the sweaters and snow boots you’ve got
Because seriously, you’ll still need to wear layers
Summer is next, and boy howdy, it’s warm
You’ll sweat in the sun and get wet from the storm
No matter your city, humidity’s the norm
But because of rampant air conditioning, you’ll probably need a layer
And then there’s the autumn, it’s sometimes called fall
But often you’ll feel no real difference at all
The temps dip and rise, it’s Mother Nature’s call
So yeah, you’ll want to wear layers
Hey little children, isn’t it fun
To dance in the rain and to dance in the sun
The seasons keep changing, and we’ve learned each one
Four seasons, four verses, and we’re almost done
Four seasons, four verses, and it matters none
The seasons are only for fashion now, hon’
And that’s why all the designer’s collections include layers
Hmm... it’s honest, but I just don’t see it being sung by a Muppet. Oh, well. I tried.
Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 


  1. Um... sorry, Jeremy... my description of the newscast is not specific to any particular broadcast. It's just what seems to happen everywhere, every year. I tried to boil it down to an amusing syrup of familiarity, but apparently I'm no Nigella Lawson.

    Unless you mean the song. No... right now it only exists in lyric form.

    web... blah... log apologizes for any inconvenience this lack of link may have caused you.