News & Politics

The 7 Stages of Experiencing DC’s Horrible, Hot, and Humid Summers

We’ve all experienced DC’s steamy, sticky, miserable summer days. But since it’s hard to express in just one word how awful the humidity is, here are the seven stages of coming to terms with Washington’s worst weather.

1. Optimism

You haven’t yet left the air conditioning, but you think you’re ready for the heat. You even remembered to put on deodorant, and you think to yourself, I’ve got this. 

2. Shock

Then you walk outside. I mean, you knew it was 90-something degrees. But you didn’t expect it to feel this bad. 

3. Improvisation

You adapt your outfit—and try to figure out if you really need to go to work today of if you can just work from your nice, cool, air-conditioned home.

4. Anger

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You showered today, and for what? You’re nothing but a sweaty mess now, and the only thing hotter than the air outside is your white-hot fury.

5. Bitterness

Then you get on Metro, and look around, and realize that no one seems to be as hot and sticky—or angry—as you. What is wrong with them?

6. Acceptance


You can’t change the weather, but you can change your attitude about the weather.

7. Exhaustion

You’ve finally made it to where you were going, but you’re so worn out from fighting the elements that all you can do is sit still, breathing that cold, sweet, recirculated air.


Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.