Just Bitchin’ About the Weather

barnLike most people, I have a short memory. I always forget, while I’m bitching and moaning about how cold it still is in April, how much I despise the Summer.

I’ve got a great deal to do today and a very small window in which to do it. I have to accomplish several Herculean tasks while the weather cooperates — before it gets so hot and sticky that all I can do is concentrate on remaining as still as possible while still managing to meet my family’s basic needs. The summer, at least for me, becomes an exercise in time and clothing management.

Like a farmer, I try to avoid doing anything strenuous after noon. Activities that involve heavy lifting — like laundry and vacuuming — simply must be ticked off the list by mid-morning. I no longer garden, but when I did, I had to rise before the cock crowed to tend to the tomatoes and the green beans.

Because of my aversion to sweating and all of the discomfort that accompanies it, cooking in the summertime is problematic. We tend to eat a lot of salad. My husband used to barbecue, but that went by the wayside when we moved here — there’s just no place for a grill. And, really, that’s just fine with me. Barbecuing is far more trouble than it’s worth — particularly because it’s my husband’s milieu. Honestly, all he ever did was stand over the grill and burn whatever meat product was on the menu — I did, pretty much, everything else.

I was almost always forced to take on the role of “barbecue assistant”, which entailed handing Fang whichever tool he deemed necessary to the task at hand. Anyone who ever watched us barbecue was probably put in mind of one of those medical dramas — Fang played the role of the competent, yet surprisingly handsome, surgeon while I was cast as his efficient O.R. nurse. Substitute “spatula” for “scalpel”, “tongs” for “Kelly clamp” and, well, you get the picture.

The main problem with this analogy, though, would be in my manner of dress. My barbecue attire was closer to scantily clad magician’s assistant than to O.R. nurse. I tend to kiss modesty up to God in the summertime. I try to wear as little as possible. Though I try to guard against it, I often look like a hooker on her way to the corner or someone who has just managed to escape her captors. And I don’t care. Because I’m hot.

I’m ALWAYS hot and I ALWAYS have been. Poor Fangette also got the “hot gene”. I like to blame my severe dislike of heat and humidity on my Irish and my Dutch ancestry. “My people”, I like to say, “were not made for this weather!” Given the wide array of Western European blood that pours through my veins, I don’t have a spit of Mediterranean blood — not one drop. I thought my daughter might have a fighting chance at avoiding the “hot gene”, given that my husband is 100% Italian, but she seems to have been unlucky in this area.

She also didn’t get his aquiline nose — my husband has THE FINEST Roman nose I have ever seen! It’s really something. If they ever lose all images of Caesar or his descendants and they have to find a nose, you know, for sculpting purposes, all they have to do is come to New Jersey and seek him out. Frankly, I’m surprised that my husband hasn’t been stopped on the street by a world-renowned plastic surgeon who would finally, upon stumbling upon Fang outside of, say, the supermarket or the car wash, be able to end their lifelong quest for the perfect nose. It’s that good.

Almost the first thing I did, upon meeting Fangette, after counting up all of her fingers and toes, was to check her nose. I knew right away she was doomed. Doomed to go through life with my pug. I was pleased that she got his chin though — she hit the genetic lottery there — because I barely have a chin at all. Well, I HAVE one, but it’s, let’s just say, vaguely defined. My husband and my daughter, though, they have great chins. Chiseled chins. They have delightful chins. Their chins are a constant source of envy for me, the nearly chinless.

Being challenged in the chin department is made more difficult as one enters midlife. Because of the developing wattle. It’s one thing to have the beginnings of a wattle when you have a chin — less noticeable that way — but when you are already chinless? That’s tough. In the wintertime I am able to camouflage my deformity by wearing turtlenecks — I find the drapey kind work best. Tank tops and camisoles, my “go-to” summer top choices, do nothing to hide the emerging wattle. My only hope is that people focus on my cleavage rather than on my chinlessness.

I’m really looking forward to the next couple of months — to dressing like a streetwalker, to getting up at the crack of dawn, and to eating like a rabbit. I can’t wait. It’s not too early to be looking forward to Winter, is it?

photo credit: barn

19 thoughts on “Just Bitchin’ About the Weather

  1. Ned's Blog says:

    You guys should consider moving to the Oregon coast, where summer is pretty much like winter everywhere else. We grill a lot in the summer, mostly to keep warm.


    • javaj240 says:

      My cousin lives in Seattle and is forever reminding me to “quit my bitchin'” — yeah, you can take a guy out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of a guy!

      Today it’s cold and rainy — just the way my people like it. Depressing, morose, morbid. Ah, The Irish!


  2. ksbeth says:

    i love the description of you standing by, like an attentive, yet sleazy, or nurse. guess that would probably be everyman’s fantasy combo )


    • javaj240 says:

      If I ever write a book, “Attentive, Yet Sleazy” will surely be on the short list of titles — no question abou it!


  3. Ginger Kay says:

    Can we just be BFFs? Because I have a poorly defined waddlesome chin, and I live in sunny Colorado saying, “My people aren’t meant to live in sunshine. We’re meant for dreary skies and damp houses.” I would complain about a damp house if I had one, but since I don’t, this is 100% true.


  4. I wish my ex-wife had had the Hot gene. We were in Sri lanka once. It was 95 degrees, 95% relative humidity. Even the Sri Lankans were admitting it was a bit humid. We were lying in bright tropical sunshine, and Alison said ‘I’ve got a cold arse.’ This was her natural state but given the meteorological conditions I doubted it to be true. ‘I have, honest. Feel.’ And she did too, bless her. her feet weren’t too hot either.
    And mnotasupermom, that warming feet on your husband? It’s one of the few capital crimes in the UK, along with treason and arson in Her Majesty’s shipyards


    • javaj240 says:

      Well, I’m sure being cold all the time is no picnic either. But, I will say this —- you can put on a sweater even if you look ridiculous wearing one in 95 degree heat — there’s only so much one can take off that is socially acceptable. Believe me, I know — from experience.


  5. b+ says:

    My mother would start in April…”Christmas is just around the corner,” she would say. Sigh! We never really could get a grip on what time of year it was. I don’t think I even noticed I was dressed like a street walker in the summer but then I was from a very small town and the neighbor was a former madam.

    I could really relate to this post. Well done.



    • javaj240 says:

      Having a former madam as a neighbor must have been interesting! I love your blog, by the way. I have been working my way through it and have been enjoying it.


  6. Leah Rubin says:

    Yeah, I’m always freezing, except when I’m so hot I could die. I have about a seven degree comfort zone… That’s a lie, it’s really six, but I can’t say ‘six degrees’ without everyone thinking I’m heading into a Kevin Bacon story. Which I’m not, but I am a big lover of real bacon. Just sayin’. So I feel your pain, and don’t worry about the wattle. We’ve all either got one, or it’s in our future!


    • javaj240 says:

      I’m heading over to your blog as soon as I have a chance — anyone who can go from “I’m always freezing” to “Kevin Bacon” to “real bacon” to assuaging my wattle worries in the space of one comment is my kind of gal!


  7. Vanessa says:

    Just the funniest. ALWAYS the funniest.

    “I’m really looking forward to the next couple of months — to dressing like a streetwalker, to getting up at the crack of dawn, and to eating like a rabbit.” — I just…I just can’t even…

    Marc is always hot, and I am always cold. We’re a great pair! Also, he too has an amazing nose! I always say he looks like he should be on the back of a Roman coin.


  8. imnotasupermom says:

    Same here, except I’m always cold and my husband insists on having the air conditioner on full blast until October.
    My revenge is to stick my feet on him at night.


    • javaj240 says:

      I have a king-sized bed and I would characterize my husband and I as “Pawn-sized” people — the reason being is so that we don’t have to have ANY physical contact while sleeping. Seriously. That would drive me crazy and I would likely suffocate him in his sleep.


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