Why is everyone so angry all the time? I have come to the ‘big city’ to visit my mother and I am, all over again, struck by how angry everyone is. If they are not angry, they are at the very least anxiety filled and on edge. Grocery cart road rage at the Bi-Lo. Tense, frowning faces everywhere. Defensive body language. Genuine road rage in the car. Rude behavior everywhere. Pushy, grabby, you’re-not-getting-the-best-of-me attitudes.
I blame the local weather.
Storm Track, Storm Center, Storm Central, Stormy Monday, Stormin Norman. (Ok, maybe not the last two) Whatever they are called, they are urgently pleading with us to be aware that it might RAIN today! They shout at us about how sunny it is and how we need rain, or how we might not get rain, or the impending apocalyptic doom of a thunderstorm. They dazzle and hypnotize us with their bright, colorful and flashing maps. They leap toward the camera like Pekinese puppies in fancy suits and dresses, emphasizing the dire need for us to DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE WEATHER! They promise us that They are going to try to get nice, mild temperatures for us for the weekend. Oh What Power They Must Have! We are impressed and believe in them!
Then there is the Five Day Forecast, the Seven Day Forecast, the Ten Day Forecast The Hour-By Hour Three Day Forecast. Tomorrow’s weather is not good enough for us because we must know that it is going to be HOT in SEVEN DAYS so that we can PLAN AHEAD!! Oh, and don’t forget the Micro Climate Forecast, which explains why they can tell us the oh so very needed rain shower our lawn desperately demands was not in our area but was all over the rest of the city. This way we can even feel left out, slighted and insulted by CLOUDS!
After the weather forecast is over–be it in the news program itself or in the commercial/teaser for the upcoming news–we always feel a bit like the desperate girl a week before the prom with no prom date and no dress. Will I be left out? Will I find the dress I need? Should I buy it? What if it doesn’t work out? What if we don’t get the rain? WHAT IF THE WEEKEND IS RUINED BY A THUNDERSTORM!!!!??? WHAT. WILL. I. DO?
And just as we begin to calm ourselves with the consolation that it might all be ok, here it comes again. It seems that in a five hour period of time the average local station delivers two million sound bites about the weather–all at TOP VOLUME AND MAXIMUM URGENCY!
I’m sure that whatever ‘local weather’ is in every small town has the same kind of approach, but in a ‘big city’, there are multiple local tv stations shoving the weather down our throats at all times and competing for our attention by constantly upping the volume. The weather does matter and I will admit that I love the animated maps of weather.com and believe that good information in times of severe weather can and DOES save lives! But on a daily basis, this is just too much. It leads to feelings of anxiety, inadequacy and frustration as we gulp down yet another heaping bowl full. I wonder just how many incidences of violence in the checkout line or road rage might actually be linked to the helpless, panicky feeling generated by some Storm Center report declaring that it might not rain for the NEXT TEN DAYS!
It’s the weather. We cannot change it.