Since I’ve moved to Los Angeles–two “winters”, so called, so far–I’ve been overwhelmed by the creeping inability to withstand any actual weather that afflicts Angelenos. The “storms” this December drove in this observation. Partially via the rather breathless newscasters excitedly proclaiming the few inches of snow in some nearby mountains and slightly coolish temperature in Los Angeles and environs themselves, coming during some pleasantly mild rains. But really the observation strikes me hardest among my own friends and acquaintances.
I can understand well enough how natives to the area would be inexperienced with things like water coming from the sky, or temperatures falling to actual button-your-jacket levels. For that matter, the immigrants from similar or warmer climes, are equally excused of the corruption of this rant… What is so odd is that all my once-northern friends seem to reach this same Hollywood-set experience of temperatures after approximately a year here, the sturdiest lasting two, maybe. Is some toxin afflicting them (or, heaven forbid, ‘us’)? My friends from Moscow and Warsaw, from Montreal, from Wisconsin, from Massachusetts, quickly come to believe that 55 deg F is unpleasantly cold, and are filled with apoplectic terror at the thought of the snows they once rolled in and drove though.
This phenomenon does not seem generic to all warm geographies. Or at least it seems much slower to take in its victims. I know people who have lived in Georgia, or Texas, or even the Caribbean, who while not necessarily remaining arctic aficionados, at least retain awareness of what cold is (and is not).
Me, I’m resisting corruption, as best I can. I fancy myself one of those few survivors in those equally-LA zombie movies, beating back the infection of those easily-chilled post-life locals. I haven’t avoided the water, but perhaps I’ve missed whichever chic coffee shop serves the pro-freeze elixer. I was so delighted by my far-too-short exposure to signficantly sub-freezing temperatures on a recent trip. And I revel in my memories of snow shoveling. Maybe it’s all enough to keep me pure… as the driven snow.