I think I know why people talk about the weather. It’s because there is nothing we can do to control it. If we can’t control something, then we can damn well talk about it. This is why people stop by my office, which consists of an entire wall of windows overlooking a courtyard and tell me “You wouldn’t believe how nice it is outside today!” Squinting from the glare, I think No shit, Sherlock, but what I say is “You don’t say?” because people need to hear themselves talk about things they can’t control.
It would be OK if they stopped there, but they usually follow up the immediate weather report with an extended forecast. Invariably, they paint a picture of the weekend weather as perfect: Even if it will be cold and rainy with wind gusts up to fifty miles per hour. “Nice weather to curl up with a good book!” They say. I’d love to reply “Or great weather to plan that suicide you’ve been putting off!” but most people wouldn’t see the humor in that.
It is an American thing to be delusional about the uncontrollable. Several years ago I was working at a company that experienced one lay off after another. It was difficult to see our friends and co-workers leave. Those of us lucky enough to keep our jobs yammered on about what a great opportunity it would be for the departed. “You’ll find something better than this!” was heard over and over again. My Irish friend had a different take “This is shit. If I got laid off all I’d be saying is what the feck am I going to do now?” But that type of comment makes people uncomfortable. If you can’t control something, you want to think that it is beyond your control for some greater purpose; “When one door closes, another one opens” type of thinking.
“We had this cook book that was displayed in the kitchen with our Pottery Barn china that Scott picked out. Every week he would say to me, it’s time to turn the page!” Julie says laughing. I wonder to myself how she couldn’t figure it out. By the end of the night we have had our fill of laughter and drinks.