April 28th, 2011 / 9:37 am

A Fear of Weather

Spring is coming. Spring is here. It’s raining and the grass is once again buoyant. Speaking of rain: weather scares me.

Growing up, my parents taught me that if I get rain on my head and I don’t immediately shower to clean it off, I’ll get sick.

This makes very little sense. Rain ought to be clean. It ought to be a pure – if not the purest – form of water. Certainly, it ought to be cleaner than the water I get from my green showerhead, which is still city-treated water, gone through further treatments via the showerhead.

All logic aside, I am working hard not to run home and take a shower. Like, right now.

Growing up, my parents taught me that I must protect my chest from the wind. Yes, the wind. That is, if it’s cold or windy, the wind can get trapped in my body. My chest and neck are the most vulnerable places. So, I wrap scarves around myself, not for style but for safety. Trapped wind can bring about the most gruesome sickness.

Again, logically, I know this isn’t true. The wind doesn’t get caught in my chest and the wind doesn’t make me sick. One gets sick because of viruses and bacteria, or, sharing spit, which is kind of the same thing anyways.

Furthermore, the only to get better once the wind gets trapped in you is to release it. You release it by putting eucalyptus oil or spearmint oil on your back. Then, you use a coin to scratch the skin in long sweeping motions along the muscle lines. The skin becomes bruised. It looks like the back has been whipped. But the bolder the discoloration, the more wind has been released. In Vietnamese, it is called cao gió. (There’s supposed to be a dot under the “a” but MS Word won’t let me insert it.) To this day, when I’m sick, all Western knowledge aside, I insist my partner cao gió for me so I can get better. Of course, I take medicine too, but only as a last resort.

[Note: this is not my back. And the paler the skin, the “worse” it looks.]

I’m not really a superstitious person. I read my horoscope for fun. I am happy when a black cat crosses in front of me. I could care less about ladders or salt or whatever, but I can’t shake these weather-related superstitions. Whereas I know rain and wind don’t make me sick, I’m diligently aware of weather. O look: here comes the sun! Thank goodness. Or else, I’d probably have to camp out in this coffeeshop for the rest of the day!


  1. Samuel Sargent

      The best thing to do when you get rain on your head is to strip naked and roll in the mud. The mud is a natural shield between you and the rain, as opposed to your clothing which will keep the rain close.

      Wind getting trapped in your body sounds like something an old Asian lady would make up to explain why she was farting so much.

      My grandmother is afraid to talk on the phone when there’s lightning outside. She knew someone who was doing so and got electrocuted (not fatally) when their house was struck. I’ve pointed out to her that she has a cordless phone now but that doesn’t affect her view.

      I’ve had second degree sunburns on 3 different occasions (the first two when I was too young to know better, the third when I was an adult and using SPF 50 Waterproof Sun Block. (Fuck you, Banana Boat.)) My ideal weather is controlled by a thermostat and switch.

  2. Jhon Baker

      once walked two miles in pouring Chicago rain after my starter burned out. I was so wet that all my skin, even under my clothes, was prune’d to old man effect. Walking into the artists restaurant on S Michigan the water was still pouring off of me and soaking the floor. The staff brought out cloth towels and paper towels. When I presented my cash to pay for coffee and a sandwich – they politely refused the dripping wet bills and said it was alright if I waited for my ride there, the coffee would continue to be free.
      I would have killed a few homeless for a shower right then.

  3. Anonymous
  4. kb

      Cold sunny days like today make me antsy. Look out window, want to go outside. Open window, do not want to go outside.

  5. Anonymous