Do we secretly want the weather to be bad?
After a famous survey revealed that us Brits spend an average of six months of our lives talking about the weather, it really didn’t surprise me. Think about it – how many times have you heard the weather being mentioned so far today? Have you looked at your weather app, or listened to others talk about the extended heatwave we have to look forward to? Even if I optimistically say I haven’t mentioned the weather yet myself today (that sentence doesn’t count) I have still been repeatedly told by my friend how hot it was on her holiday, how another friend can’t maintain her tan due to our disappointing summer, and instead of a hello from my neighbour I received a friendly “beautiful day, isn’t it?”. Case and point – we cannot escape it.
Quite why we are so meteorologically mesmerised I am not certain. But I think it’s because we generally lack extreme weather in this country, therefore small changes seem to really affect us. We aren’t brave enough to be outdoorsy, as our weather can be so erratic, and that in turn makes us annoyed. We like things to be predictable, and when the weather isn’t it makes us cross. The fact that our seasons seem to be changing, and global warming may be contributing to our previously great British weather seems an unfair infringement on our rights to garden parties and BBQs. It’s like a slight to our very core values – we WANT to have that perfect picnic with Pimms and summer strawberries, but mean old Mother Nature just won’t seem to let us. And that’s just not cricket.
But perhaps we do like it this way. Secretly. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and here are my thoroughly researched reasons why we secretly want the weather to be bad:
- It gives us something to talk about. It’s a non-controversial subject that gets everybody chatting. But it’s boring to keep talking about the sun – I’d much rather hear about your smalls getting blown away by a sudden summer breeze that dared to darken your doorway.
- We suffer from ‘good weather guilt’. Surely you’ll remember parents and teachers forcing you outside the minute the sun shone, to ‘make the most of the good weather’? Well, this still affects me. Why can’t we occasionally watch a film when it’s sunny? Or go bowling on a warm day? Bad weather rids us of good weather guilt and lets you do what you want.
- It gets us out of things. If you’ve been dreading that BBQ your nosey neighbours insist on throwing every year – one spot of rain and you’re excused. If it’s a bit chilly it gets you out of gardening, going for a jog or running for the bus. It just does.
- We hate it too hot. I don’t actually count myself in this category as I love the heat, but I cannot stand other people banging on about it being ‘too hot’ for the few days a year it happens. Please people – if you want it to rain please don’t wish it upon us all.
- We love winter fashion. Even though I am a huge flip-flop fan, I can’t resist the feel of a big winter jumper and nice waterproof boots. It’s the best part of winter. Which brings me onto my next point…
- Bad weather means fewer flashes of flesh. I’m no prude, but a slight hint of sunshine and people start walking around with only a pair of ragged old pants on. I hear people bandy the term “sun’s out, guns out”, but my local neighbourhood is more “BBQ food’s out, get your moobs out.” Faced with the prospect of this, give me a snowstorm any time.
Perhaps most of all though, many of us do love to complain. And moaning about the weather doesn’t upset anyone, criticise anyone or attack anyone. Nothing unites like a common enemy – and don’t we just love to pretend our weather is the worst.
What do you think? Do you live for long hot summers, or do you secretly hope it’s a washout? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and don’t forget to have your say in our latest paid surveys at Opinion Outpost UK. Where you can earn extra money online, whatever the weather!