Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Only In Utah!

Skylar said it was "hot" and he was "sweaty" so that's why it was a good idea for him to take his shirt off and go sit on the furniture. I told him this wasn't my preferred choice for him, but he laughed it off like he always does when he doesn't want to argue anymore.

We're in that weird time of year where the iceberg that sunk the Titanic floats down our street every night and then all the fires of hell descend upon us by 10:00 AM.  "Just open all the windows. It's September." I hear myself saying every year around this time, as though God has designated this month for consistent temperature control.

We open the windows, and we bake during the day and shiver in hypothermic misery all night. 

"September is the best. So pleasant. So lovely." I insist. 

I claim it's the one month that really is just right. In reality, it's the one month where I'm uncomfortable nearly all the time. 

I wore a sweater to the class I teach the other day because it seemed like it might be cold. Forty-five minutes later I stood in front of a class of masked students trying desperately not to raise my arms for fear they'd see my sides were fully drenched in sweat.

My friend John Michael did a monologue for me on this several years ago. I was an audience of one, but a good audience nonetheless, laughing and clapping and gasping the way I imagine you all do when you read this site.

He said that no matter where you are in the world, inconsistent temperatures or weather patterns elicit the exact same response. It can be blue skies one minute and then pouring rain the next, and undoubtedly a middle-aged woman named Andrea or a middle-aged man named Richard will pop out of nowhere, shake their head, smile, and say "only in ____!"

"Only in Utah!" they say here every September when a temperature swing of 40 degrees meets us from one day to the next.

"If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes!" they'll shout, as though they live in the one place on the planet that experiences seasons and micro-fluctuations in weather patterns.

"Only in everywhere since the beginning of time." John Michael hypothetically responded to the hypothetical Andrea and Richard as he concluded his monologue to my thunderous applause.

I walked into the house a few minutes ago to find Skylar in the same chair from above, again shirtless. "It's so hot again," he complained. "It was freezing this morning!"

"Only in Utah!" I sarcastically responded as he rolled his eyes at me.

We really should have invented an outdoor thermostat by now. 

I mean, really.

P.S. please go read this new piece I wrote about going through puberty in a roller skating rink in the 90s. Muchos gracias. 

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Ugh, that’s a huge pet peeve of mine. Weather fluctuates in (dare I say it?) unpredictable ways everywhere! I have lived in the PNW, the south, and the mid-Atlantic. I studied in London. My parents have lived in the Midwest and the southwest. Weather is crazy and finicky everywhere! Nobody has special weather!

  2. Oh no... I'm that guy. Elicit. Unless you meant illicit which changes the meaning and I'll have to reread as such. And yes, only in Seattle...

  3. Typo alert: "inconsistent temperatures or weather patters" - pretty sure you meant patterns.

    My friend in Denver went from 90 degrees on Monday to snow on Tuesday and I thought - well we're not THAT bad here in Michigan (regardless of the people who insist "only in Michigan!")

  4. I spent three years in a equatorial country where from midnight to noon, the weather would change maybe five degrees. June to December, the weather would change maybe ten degrees. Maybe a shocking twelve sometimes. It was always warm and sometimes hot and humid instead, especially when the sun was strong.

    I now live somewhere where it is cold at night and in the morning, and it is hot in the day if the sun came out. I am annoyed by having to wear layers.

    I did not appreciate enough how spoiled I was in my previous home. Mimi

  5. In August of this year, Iowa had a derecho go across the whole state with winds of at least 70 mph most places and Cedar Rapids, IA seeing wind speeds at 140 mph. That is equivalent to a category 4 hurricane. Thing is, we didn't get any warning, let alone days to prepare. It wasn't even forecasted to rain that day. Only in the Midwest!

  6. Ninety degrees Sunday, forty-five Tuesday. Only in Ohio!

  7. I like the shirtless Skylar posts! If I had a spare $100,000 I'd take a shirtless picture of Skylar to the plastic surgeon and say, "Make me look like this."