Weather Superior

Whenever there’s an extreme weather situation, or some kind of natural disaster-type occurrence in a place where it doesn’t usually happen, you can guaranteed that the following conversation will happen thousands of times:

Person 1: Oh my God, that was crazy! I was scared!
Person 2: Big deal, that happens here all the time! You’re such a wimp!

Wherever you live, if you’ve lived there for more than a few years, you’re better equipped to handle certain weather situations more than others: northerners laugh when the south shuts down after they get an inch of snow. Southerners laugh when we in the north complain about it being 100 degrees once in awhile. People on the east coast mock the west coast for shivering in 50-degree weather. And the west coasters shrugged when everyone on the east coast flipped out about the recent earthquake. Some hurricane veterans scoffed at the eastern seaboard’s fear of the approaching Irene. “Oh, it’s only a category 1, that’s like a bad rainstorm.” Well, maybe not. Ask Vermont.

Is this a tribal thing — the need to believe that your group of people is superior because you’ve survived a certain kind of hardship more often than others? That you’re stronger because an earthquake/hurricane/flood/tornado doesn’t scare you? I guess it’s human nature to need to feel superior, but don’t get too cocky about it, because Mother Nature’s probably got something up her sleeve that will make YOU pee your pants one day.

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Weather Superior

One thought on “Weather Superior

  1. Jackie W. says:

    “I guess it’s human nature to need to feel superior, but don’t get too cocky about it, because Mother Nature’s probably got something up her sleeve that will make YOU pee your pants one day.”

    Maybe it’s the whole “my pain can beat up your pain” thing that drives people to one-upsmanship about weather stories. When all is said and done, though? Cram us into the same beach house during a Category 5 hurricane, and we are all exactly the same level of screwed.

    I also wonder if memory of the actual weather event factors into it. Like, I am sure Grandpa didn’t ACTUALLY walk uphill through 14 foot snowdrifts –both ways!– to get to school, but in his mind that’s the way it happened. So you nod politely and then excuse yourself to upgrade your apres-ski outfit to a Level 2 Michelin Man before you hit the slopes, haha. In 1976, I was in Atlantic City during Hurricane Belle. It was downgraded from a Category 3 to a minimal hurricane by the time it made landfall, so someone who’s lived through a real hurricane would probably laugh at me. Since I was only seven years old at the time, however, it sure seemed scary to me!

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