You Can’t Change the Weather, But You Can Change the Subject*

*Advice I should have taken five prontos ago.

Society has deemed the classic small talk topics to be weather and sports (i.e., the Jurassic but well-intentioned “How bout dem Yankees?” or the earnest soulwrencher “How great has this weather been?”). Everyone jokes about these goodies because they’re the lowest (of the low) common denominators of conversation. In fact, they’re so universally accepted as not-big-deals that people will even throw them around sarcastically in verbal battles with good friends just to unnecessarily communicate how very comfortable they are with themselves in acknowledging awkwardness that may or may not have actually occurred.

How about that new local weatherteam?!
photo courtesy of Flickr and CarbonNYC

Here’s the thing though. Some of us wouldn’t even be allowed to socialize with other humans without small talk. Case in point: me. So I take it pretty darn seriously. My half-arsenal doesn’t even have space to accommodate the wide berth of two subject areas because, let’s be grimly honest, sports takes time, enthusiasm, and mild research. Weather just requires leaving the house occasionally. Even just once every few days is enough. In fact, for the love of cumulonimbus (the real purdy ones), a window will do just fine.

I hope there isn’t a snow day, because I’m snow banking on some real gems of verbal exchanges on the morrow!!
photo courtesy of Flickr and foto3116

The point to which I’ve used the weather as fodder for any and all informal conversations with my office coworkers is beyond acceptable. It’s the only thing I will in fact allow myself to talk about in the company of all except my inner circle (i.e., my BFF Mr. Fax Machine). I feel my mouth open, and I immediately run through the temperature stats for the past few days, decide whether I should focus on local or national coverage, consider any and all recent global national disasters (poor taste, but there’s more than a few to choose from), and decide whether precipitation should be a starter subject or a winder-down. I actually get excited when the temperatures suddenly shift, especially if it gets cold (I mean, I thought this was summer, people!) because I’ll have something to jibber about in the break room. Sometimes I’ll even just shout some recent weather trivia (i.e., 30% chance of brisk rain on Saturday!) at someone to show that I’m prepared and ready should they choose to engage with me.

Prematurely gray sky? Well, actually, I knew this was going to happen. That weird girl at work predicted it.
photo courtesy of Flickr and romulusnr

But it doesn’t end there. I will actually dominate the conversation so that the person cannot take credit for any of the weather knowledge or factfinding that I am so diligent about. If they try and hint at something, I will brashly suggest otherwise. As in, “ha! I’m pretty sure you mean a drizzle, not a downpour, my dear Carol…It is Carol, right?” Or “Hey Steve, be safe driving home! Limited visibility. Chance of fog. That’s my boy!” I don’t know what I’m trying to prove really, but I think I’ve proven something else entirely. Something else, indeed. I am.

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