We’re facing potential danger here in Southern California, something that could affect the entire region. I might be preparing for the worst. It’s just that ten days ago when they said it was going to be 83 it was 97. And that can only mean one thing, there will be no stopping the Complain Train.
I have a very high tolerance for heat, and having spent most of my life in Chicago, I am no stranger to high temps and even higher humidity. So maybe I am being unfair when I say Southern Californians are a big bunch of babies. They have about a dozen unpleasant days in a climate that is pretty much the best thing in the world year round. Oh sure it can drop to 30 some winter nights but that’s 30 degrees above zero and not 30 degrees below.
I know it’s all relative. And when you’re used to a certain thing, change is difficult. But what I’ve come to also believe is that we all really love to complain. It’s how we bond. It’s our universal ice breaker. And once initiated the competition to out-oye each other is an alluring mistress. “You think you’re hot, my big toe is sweating so much I can’t even walk to the frozen yogurt shop.”
I’ve thought of my grandmother a lot the last couple of weeks. In the midst of the heat I also had to take the bus and had a lot of “poor me” instincts regarding my current financial situation and how “inconvenienced” I was having to wait for the bus, take what would amount to a 25 minute car ride and turn it into an hour and a half public transpiration excursion, and to have to suffer through walking a mile in the heat with my laptop laden backpack tearing into my sweaty shoulder. Oh boo hoo!
My father’s mother took the bus all her life in cold and hot, raised three kids on her own and worked a full time job to support them. And although I could not have known her then because I was just a distant thought in my father’s eye of how he wanted a comedian for a son one day, I never heard her complain about anything. She spent her time after retirement shuffling between the three families’ homes in the suburbs and entertaining us with visits to Jack in the Box and the toy store when we were treated to an over nighter in the city. She lived out of a suitcase, slept on one of our little beds and cooked all of her specialties. Again, no complaints.
I wish I wouldn’t have been such a selfish, self-absorbed performer in my young adulthood so that I could have wanted to hear more stories, absorbed more of her strength, and asked her more about her life. From my perspective now, she’s the type of person to aspire to be and no one of entitlement and money could hold a candle to the amazing character she possessed.
So when people said how hot it was last week I said, I can’t complain because we really have it great here and there are so little days that are uncomfortable. Some people agreed, some just wiped the sweat off the top of their head and said “it’s pretty freakin hot though” and some simply shrugged and said “so you want fries with that?”