Sunday, April 15, 2007

Under The Weather

Lest the title of this little post mislead you, this is not about being sick. It really is about weather. But again, before you jump to conclusions, this is not about the anticipated rain, wind, and even snow that we are anticipating here in New England over the next 24 hours. On April 15.

Snow. April. Wrong.

But it isn't about that.

No, this is about my mom.

My mom has a fixation on weather. She is the Weather Channel's number one fan. She watches every day. Believes every word. And it dominates her thoughts and her phone conversations with our family.

Mom lives in the south. We live in a small town in Connecticut. Our town is never mentioned on the Weather Channel. New York is. Boston is. Sometimes Providence. So the weather she sees on TV is always reported from a town many miles away. Or even worse, just some general comment about "the northeast". And mom generalizes from that and assumes she knows precisely what is happening at our house.

And eye witness accounts will not persuade her differently.

For example, she never calls and asks "so how's the weather?" No, she already knows how the weather is. Or at least how she thinks it is. So she shapes the conversation accordingly.

Here is a typical phone call:

Mom: So is it raining hard?

Me: No, we don't have any rain.

Mom: But the TV says you do.

Me: Well, they got it wrong cause it's not raining.

Mom: But they say it's raining really hard there.

Me: Trust me, it's not.

Mom: Well I think it is cause they said it was.

How can you argue with that? She believes it because Willy the Weatherman said it was so. We've even gone so far as to instruct the kids to agree with whatever weather scenario she offers because trying to explain the real weather almost encourages her to argue with us. And if she talks to more than one of us during a phone call, she asks each of us about the weather, so even a crack in our solidarity is a foothold for her to wedge her beliefs into our reality.

But it goes deeper than that. It isn't just her total reliance on TV weather that makes this difficult. Oh no. What makes her weather mania particularly interesting and frustrating is that all weather, in her opinion, is bad.

Rain is always a lot of rain. A hot day is always too hot. A simple snowfall is a storm.

Undoubtedly, my mom heard the story of Noah's Ark at a young and impressionable age and it permanently colored her perception of weather events.

If she sees Willy the Weatherman report that the northeast has gotten a few inches of snow, she'll call immediately, with panic in her voice, to ask if we are "iced in". Even though she has visited here in the winter and seen the plows go by and clean the roads even while the snow is still falling, she has visions of us trapped in our home and eventually being forced to kill and eat each other, starting with the smallest and weakest. (Too bad for Daughter13!)

And every weather event is just like that in her head. All are bad. All are extreme. All put us at risk.

Mom called yesterday after having seen the forecast for the northeast. She knows we are expecting some rain today. Some wind. And in some places, even some snow. To be more precise, the real forecast for our town is rain and winds gusting to 35 or 40 MPH. Nothing too serious. But clearly she thinks we are at risk. Had we already gone shopping for extra food? Would we go hide in the basement if the wind started blowing a lot? Wouldn't the combination of the anticipated rain and snow just turn everything into an icy mess?

I tried to reassure her that we would be okay. It was just gonna be some rain. Maybe a bit windy. But we did not need to take survivalist-type precautions. We would be just fine.

My mom clearly thinks I'm crazy.


Jill said...

That is really funny. Sounds like you've got all the right ingredients for a horror flick though. I can just imagine Daughter13 barricading herself in the attic.... :)

Gardener Greg said...

Well I am glad to see that my son has been bumped to the number 2 spot on the weather channel's fan list. He lives and breathes weather. This morning while I was on my way to work, my cell phone rang and it was him informing me that we had lost power to my house. Most people would be upset without lights and water but he was concerned about the weather and wanted me to check the weather channel for him as soon as I got to work. It's a sickness I tell you. Thanks for letting me know he is not alone. Maybe we should start a support group for families of weather channel addicts.

Chicky Pea said...

It's an old person thing. They are OBSESSED with the weather. Yes, your Mom does sound a little extreme but trust me, she is not alone. Maybe when you get older the only thing you have to look forward to is the weather? Wow, that is kinda sad, I had better start getting all my fun in now :-)

Oh yeah, and we are supposed to get snow too, I even heard possible 10 inches. That just sucks!

I won't even make any additional comments about that ten inch thing.

Winston said...

You inspire me, sir, to pen or peck my own blog about weather worship. Thank you!

Bardouble29 said...

I don't know who I feel worse for, your poor mom, or poor daughter13!

I have relatives that are obsessive over small things too. I have just learned to smile and thank them for the information, and not to argue...that only encourages them.

Redneck Mommy said...

I do the same thing to my best friend who lives on the east coast. I drive her batty.

I could pretend I know it doesn't annoy her so, but I know it does.

And that makes me giggle just a teeny bit.

(What are best friends for?)

Maybe I should get together with your mom. She sounds like she could teach me a trick or two.

Above Average Joe said...

I guess your mom is the reason the local news insists on telling us the weather 10 times per newscast.

Try to stay dry. It's a monsoon up here.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Well worrying is what Moms do you know. It does sound like yours has it down to a science though.

meno said...

My dad is the one in our family who obsesses over the weather. He owns a barometer, anemometer, a rain gauge....etc. He used to keep a journal, and mostly all it had in it was weather notes.

Rainbow dreams said...

Somehow I felt wrong smiling as I read this - but I couldn't help myself... :)
I wonder what my eccentricities will say about me to my kids when I am older..... I dread to think....!
thanks for the insight and the smile, Katie

Jocelyn said...

This is hilarious. Your mom has found a convoluted way to show her love and concern for y'all. And what great power she wields--she really *does* control your weather.

Jazz said...

My mother in law has an obsession with the weather. And traffic. Every time we go to the cottage on a friday evening she calls to say we should maybe leave later because the highway is backed up. It's Friday. It's 5:00 of course there's traffic. But if, on top of that, the weather isn't perfect...Oy!

Will we too become obsessed as we get older?

mist1 said...

I can't believe you wrote this. I just made the same phone call an hour ago.

Kati said...

ROFL Awwww, you know she loves you & she's just worried about ya. ;) Wishing you a quick return to spring.

Beth said...'re mom is cute. Now when MY mother does that, it's not cute at all.

radioactive girl said...

My mom is the same way. Surprisingly, she had no idea we got so much snow last week. I forgot to tell her (because my arms were about to fall off from shoveling) and now she is upset that she found out from someone else. It's nice that she is concerned about us, but maybe she needs another hobby!

Winston said...

Just wanted to make sure you did not miss your spawn...

MileHighDivaCyn said...

Well your weather is cause for concern. Having lived on the east coast, a Noreaster is nothing to play with as I recall. However, I also lived in hurricane country and that really made me a "weather watcher."
But I must agree, the older one gets, the more weather conscious they become!

Big Brother said...

Please if ever the weather channel becomes the high point of my life, just put me out of my misery...;o)

Teena said...

My mother used to do that same thing. She'd be watching the weather channel four provinces away and telling me what it was doing outside ... and be wrong.

I'm soooooooo ready for spring.

Dorky Dad said...

But what would moms do if they couldn't worry about the weather? Isn't that like a rule or something?

charlottalove said...

I'm guessing either 1) you mom does not read your blog or 2) she has a good sense of humor.

Get your umbrellas and parkas out!

Jenster said...

LOL. I can relate. My parents are in Arkansas and my mom called me to tell me we were expecting a nor'easter up here. LOL

tkkerouac said...

too funny, you have a cute mom!

thethinker said...

That's hilarious. I'd love it if my grandmother did that.

velvet girl said...

That's really funny! For a while there, I thought that you were talking about my mother. She also lives in the South and we also live up north and she always includes a snippet in her phone calls about the weather that we're supposed to be having which she saw on the weather channel.

At least she believes me when I say that what she heard isn't correct, but it still doesn't shake her trust of the weather forecasts.

Logophile said...

Yer killing me.
I know those arguments; Ive LIVED those arguments.
"Don't argue with the crazy people, children, just agree and eventually they will start talking about cousins you don't remember."

Helen said...

Wow, I haven't visited in aggges, and I'm glad I did. Great post.

Wizened Wizard said...

When you think about it, the weather is a pretty impersonal thing to be quized about and set straight on, so maybe you're lucky!

Of course, it is good to have an emergency plan, and obviously you have given yours some thought. Did Daughter13 think she wouldn't have to sacrifice if things get tough? In these weather events, some win and some lose, and at least she's probably tender.

Seriously, poor Mom. Older age plays many mean tricks, and maybe it's a lot more comfortable for her to worry about your weather than for her to worry about problems that are more real. May the sun shine on all of you (but don't forget your sunblock).

DebInFrance said...

Very funny! My dad's the worrier in our family, making long-distance calls to make sure we know how to take care of ourselves if something crazy happens where HE lives! If you can get a hold of a CD called "Amelie's Answering Machine," you would love it...crazy (true!) messages left by a mother on her daughter's answering machine.

Ruth Dynamite said...

But but but...THE FLOODS!

CS said...

Best to just humor the woman. My M-I-L called one day a few years ago to see if we'd gtten any damage frmt he hurricanes. I live in a land-locked state (TN) between two mountian ranges I just said, "No, we're okay."

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This was so funny and well-written that I had to read it to my husband.

I love the way you write, and I sincerely hope that you don't have to eat your smallest and weakest family member before the Himalayan pass you live beyond opens again for the summer.

Attila The Mom said...

Hahaha! I can't stop laughing!

My mother only lives two hours away, and is in the foothills. She rarely understands that the town we live in is often above the clouds, so while those at lower elevations are getting the crappy weather, we're enjoying sunny and cloud-free skies.

Because we're farther UP in the mountains, our weather MUST be worse than hers! ;-)

May said...

You forgot to add: "I love my mom to pieces".

sexy said...