News & Politics

A Modern Defense of Bad Weather

Rain-soaked monument by Flickr user Eric Fischer

It’s the water cooler conversation of the minute: this gray, this gloom, this interminable rain. I have stayed quiet, nodding when people lament the sad fashion state of waterproof outerwear. I’ve bit my lip as others complained of cancelled plans and ruined suede. But I can be silent no longer.

I like the abominable rain and what follows is a brief account of how it positively affects my day. Tell me I’m not alone here.

1. The alarm goes off, introducing the dulcet tones of Sia’s “Alive” to my soundscape because it pumps me up for the day ahead. What’s that other ambient noise? Is that rain? Automatic permission to hit snooze. Co-workers will excuse my haggard, half-dry hair on the weather because “I was born in a thunderstorm.”

2. I walk to work, something I couldn’t do before I moved here from LA. I am now part of a community of humans that marches down 18th Street together. Some mornings, I recognize comrades from my Adams Morgan patch. The guy with the Frank & Oak backpack; his presence lets me know I’m running late. The hostile terrier (“Please don’t pet him.”) who gets left at City Dogs just as I pass by on my punctual days. But when the rain comes out, I see the people on my walk that I recognize only by their zany umbrellas (I’m talking to you, grown man with a Thomas the Tank Engine brolly. I respect your commitment).

3. My truest lunch desire is to always eat a Pret hot soup or curry pot. Warm, salty, comforting food stuff with a pre-chewed feel more common to very early and late stages of human life. With the incessant rain, there is zero pressure to cross the street to the salad places.

4. It’s 6pm and time to go home. Still raining? Request an Uber. 300x surge pricing? What seemed outrageous under drier skies feels like validation in the rain. Everyone is doing it. Set pickup location.

5. The fridge is bare and you’re meant to be meeting up with whoever-it-is for drinks, but no one expects you to do much under these conditions. The world may be arcing towards a place where there’s no such thing as relaxing, but the rain is still a universal excuse for laziness. Yoga class? But it’s pouring out. Grocery shopping? Too wet. Brunch tomorrow? Let’s reschedule and have a lie in.

Contributing Editor

Amanda has contributed to Washingtonian since 2016. She has written about the right-wing media personality Britt McHenry, chronicled her night with Stormy Daniels, and come clean about owning too much stuff. She lives on H Street. She can be reached at [email protected]