“Weather ain’t nuthin’. If it’s rainin’ out, take yer slicker. If it’s purty, leave it ta home.”
—An American cowboy
I read that quote long ago in some coffee table book full of beautiful photos of cowboys doing what cowboys do—or used to do, back when the West was the West and this country had a good five-cent cigar. It’s really just a more piquant way of delivering a common dress-for-the-weather adage: “There’s no such thing as bad weather—just bad clothes.”
I find it easier to live up to this advice in the winter, when you can pretty much control your own personal temperature by piling the clothes on and pulling them off as needed. Not only that, but I actually like cold and snow most of the time.
Ice is an entirely different matter; I out-and-out hate ice, because I walk a lot and I hate falling. I’ve never gotten hurt, but I have gotten mad. And a bit scared one time, when I slipped near the top of the steep path that I usually insist on taking on the way back from work because it’s the fastest way to get home. I did a complete Superman (or -woman) arms-out-straight face flop and began sliding rapidly backwards down the hill, toward the curving road across which no driver would expect to see a bundle of winter clothing hurtling at full speed and would therefore probably have run right over that bundle.
I somehow stopped before reaching the road and, once I stood up, laughed my head off. Lordy, how funny that must have looked, I thought, to anyone who happened to be going by at the bottom of the hill!
Summer, though—that’s the hardest time for me to live up to the “Weather ain’t nuthin'” advice. Heat and humidity make me totally cranky. I find them unbearable and become unbearable myself, whining and complaining pretty much non-stop on the hottest days. The funny thing is, I spent a good part of my growing up in a tropical place, where, in the summer, a temp of 90 degrees at 7 a.m. was not unusual. But I never remember feeling hot. I knew it was hot, but I never felt it as discomfort.
Of course, during my earliest years in a cold and snowy place, I never felt cold, either, even though we spent hours playing outside in our snowsuits. Mind over matter I guess; and to children’s minds, other things matter a lot more than weather—things like building snow people or sailing sticks in curbside rivers born from rain.
But I do believe trying to cowgirl up to the weather part of The Cowboy Code is a worthwhile endeavor, winter or summer. Saves a lot of energy lost in grousing, for one thing—energy that I can then put into thrift store visits justified by the need to find clothing that will help manage whatever the weather’s dishing out.
For another thing, withholding my weather complaints also withholds some fuel from all the little fires being stoked by everyone else’s weather complaints, which makes for a pleasanter time for everyone.
And for a third, it’s respectful of my host. I sort of feel, lately, that I’m a guest on this planet and in this life. And as we know, it’s never polite for a guest to complain about the accommodations.
Enjoy the weather!
Categories: Fashion Quote of the Week