It’s the beginning of Winter here in the Bay Area, and, while the start of this god-awful season is not as significant an event as, say, the beginning of Winter in Northern Wisconsin, it’s still the beginning of a distinct period of time with colder weather, dead leaves, grey skies, and a general feeling of ‘meh’ that consistently kicks my ass. I don’t know whether I’ve got seasonal affective disorder, or if I just hate Winter and am trying to justify this purely aesthetic dislike of the season by convincing myself I’ve got some kind of pathology. But either way I’m giving myself permission to hate Winter.
Winter starts with Christmas, which is really sort of a cruel trick. It’s a holiday that really should be held at the end of Winter so that we all get tons of sweets and gifts as a reward for making it through three hellish months of cold and bleakness. Instead, Winter starts at this high point of “holiday cheer” and just keeps descending. In America we get a couple of three-day-weekends in January and February, which, even though they correspond with the birthdays of MLK and our two most famous Presidents, would probably have had to have been created even if those people had never existed, just to give the broader American public some small ass things to look forward to in January and February.
Also in January you get the NFL playoffs, and the first weekend in February is the Super Bowl. I can remember as a kid (and when I was way more into football than I have been in the last few years), how completely depressing it was the exact nano-second the Super Bowl ended, and the big, entertaining reality show of the NFL just stopped and went away from then on, and you were left with a month and a half of Winter remaining and one less fun thing to do to keep you from succumbing to the nihilistic bleakness of it all. Now this problem is compounded by the fact that we all know the NFL is a barbaric festival of cumulative head trauma, and so former super-fans like me aren’t even that much into the sport to begin with now. The Super Bowl is suddenly mostly about a chance to have beer and nachos now, but truthfully I can and do make beer and nachos happen on any random Sunday anyway, so what’s the point?
Anyway, I’ve lived in California most of my life, and the one Winter I spent in Massachusetts was enough to make me grateful for this fact. I don’t know how the hell anyone handles the bleakness of Winter in the more northern latitudes, where you’ve also got the freezing temperatures that are theoretically capable of killing you just because you went outside with the wrong clothes on, and all the relentless shoveling you have to do to just get into your damn car and go to work every morning.
It’s also not like I love super hot Summers, either. All my psych meds make me sweat profusely even at room temperature, and so 90+ degree heat is not my friend. Also, despite being a Californian who has lived next to the coast for nearly his whole life, and someone who can currently see the Pacific Ocean from out his window, I don’t surf, am not that great a swimmer, and don’t enjoy having that post-beach shower where I have to get all that goddamned sand out all the different crevices in my body. I’m not a Summer person either.
The seasons that are best are the more moderate ones, where the Earth’s neither too far nor too close to the Sun. Spring and Fall are dope. Unfortunately, while there are probably places on earth I could move to to get freezing cold (like Winter) or blazing hot (like Summer) all the time, I don’t think there’s anywhere to move where it’s basically Spring for six months and then Fall for six months. I think my mental health outlook would be improved 100% if I could find that place, though.