Why You Should Stop Listening to Your Cousin Rave About Seattle

So… it’s raining. Again. No really. I just checked the weather report, and it looks like this for the next ten days:

You know these cute little Seattle weather memes going around the internet? Where someone notes that it’s really not rainy here all the time, that it’s all a lie we tell Californians so they’ll go away?

It’s a lie we tell ourselves.

It really does rain here All the Freakin’ Time. You know your friend who keeps telling you that it’s super nice in Seattle and about how there are lots of high-paying jobs in the tech industry and multitudinous micro brews and how you should move here so the two of you can hang out more?

It’s because he’s a lonely, out-of-work techie with no social skills in a city where everyone is a lonely techie with no social skills, and where, since it rains All the Freakin’ Time, no one ever goes out because it’s miserable being wet and yet owning an umbrella makes you “uncool” in the eyes of people who buy their entire nightclub wardrobes at REI, and those micro brews are all sold by the bottle because the only place people drink them is in their living rooms alone where they’re streaming back episodes of The Colbert Report and eating sushi they bought at Whole Foods, and where the name of the local “attitude” is The Seattle Freeze (and not because we give out otter pops at the airport, you understand).

No, I’m not bitter because in the last 3 months I’ve had exactly two Saturdays where riding my bike wouldn’t have entailed a body-size weather prophylactic. I’m just trying to save you!

The sad truth is: your Seattle friend has no other friends. He can’t, because everyone here has gone completely bonkers due to the mold spores slowly spreading throughout their brains (this explains the sushi from Whole Foods, which tastes nothing like actual sushi, and much more like the recycled cardboard tray it comes in). It’s like an old X-Files episode, except with significantly less Unresolved Sexual Tension. We don’t wait around for cute FBI agents to solve life’s furrier mysteries, we just let ourselves get consumed by our only real friend: Fungus.

Doesn’t he just look like a great guy?

Coffee shop conversations look like this:

Your friend: “Hi there, Miss. That’s a nice green fleece you’re wearing.”

Miss: “It’s not supposed to be green.”

So don’t listen to him. Stay in San Diego. Or Boston. Or Timbuktu. It’s nicer there. Next time he tells you that we have lovely summers, note that three lovely summer days a year does not make up for the above weather graphic, which you could essentially copy-paste to cover the entire year, except for one week in August.

And when it isn’t raining, we don’t even let you enjoy it. Really:

  

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go remove some more mold from my crevices.

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Love to ride my bikes!
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25 Responses to Why You Should Stop Listening to Your Cousin Rave About Seattle

  1. Gilbert says:

    Dear my most-favoritest teacher, why so down? We Seattle-ites don’t mean to tell lies! We have just stopped noticing the rain. Not to mention the perpetual gray makes us love and appeciate every beautiful sunny day we get! We really a happier people for it!

  2. rideblog says:

    Oh you know it’s only temporary. The second the sun comes out and the spores all retreat, I’ll be fine…

  3. Auchen says:

    I loved this post, RBG, and I’ll take your warning about Seattle to heart.

    Here in the D the constant crossfire and roving packs of wild dogs has filled us with such angst that many of us have longed to leave our long bleak winters and brutal mind-numbing factory jobs behind, to find work at a chillin’ tech “campus” in Seattle, that incomparable oasis of hip boutiques, organic food, and lush forests. – And there, by merit of the healthy “lifestyle” we’d be living, we would be reborn as younger, more beautiful versions of ourselves….

    What a load of CR*P!

  4. Jim Duncan says:

    Now, Rideblog, don’t be holding back! Tell me how you really feel.

  5. rideblog says:

    See, Auchen, what I’ve saved you from?

  6. rideblog says:

    It’s the spores, Jim, the spores!

  7. Coreyk says:

    Native San Franciscan who spent seven years in Seattle chimes in….

    it’s all true. Seattle late springs and summers are great, but they only really happen on some as-yet-undefined quasi-leap-year schedule. The rest of the year? Drizzly, drizzly, and drizzly.
    I relished the rare snows, because it wouldn’t be raining then.

    Did I mention that I’m from SF, and am no stranger to overcast, fog, or drizzly coastal weather?

    Also, the big tech behemoth that “never lays people off” actually does so by the thousands.
    More than Boeing.

    Also, Mushrooms Happen.

  8. rideblog says:

    Corey… Thank you! I knew it wasn’t just me!

    I lived in Mill Valley for 2 years. That month of straight rain in the winter was brutal, but the rest of the year was fabulous.

  9. adventure! says:

    Wait, the week of sun wasn’t good enough for you? Sheesh.

    Well maybe you didn’t even get sun up there. Oh Seattle! Poor Seattle.

    And you still notice the rain? I thought you’re a native!

    And that forecast doesn’t look that bad. Look at Saturday the 17. It says “few showers.” See? Not bad!

    yours, Portland. We’re drier, dontchaknow.

  10. rideblog says:

    I’m not liking you very much right now, Adventure.

    It’s 35 degrees and absolutely pouring.

  11. adventure! says:

    At least it isn’t snowing–yet.

    But I still like you, snarkypup/rideblog!

  12. rideblog says:

    Ha! We got 2 inches of snow last night. But it all melted off today. Seriously. It was insane.

  13. adventure! says:

    Yeah, the weather has been bad the past couple days. Yesterday I rode in the driving rain for six miles because I got the headset replaced on the Long Haul Trucker. It rained today in the morn, but I managed to catch the dry and somewhat sunny window in the afternoon for running errands. The wind was strong, though.

    And I hear reports of abnormally warm weather Back East. Sheesh.

  14. Coreyk says:

    Pure as the driven slush!

  15. R Currey says:

    Loved this post although I now have a sudden desire for an otter pop (any flavour will do). I would start to brag and tease by saying that today in Pensacola it is 75 with bright sun and blue skies and just the hint of wispy white clouds here and there. However, come July when it is 98 out side with a humidity also of 98 (and that’s at midnight) I won’t be so smug.

    Now, how to sneak out of work early and get in a ride with the kids . . . .

  16. LanzaMarie says:

    You just explained something I have wondered about since the summer of 1987. I spent that summer in Puget Sound, doing volunteer work for the Center for Whale Research. I was a fresh out of high school Texas girl who loved the novelty of wearing sweatshirts and leg warmers in July.

    The summer I was there was gorgeous and I fell in love with your part of the world! We had day after day of sunny, 75-80 degree weather. The regular staff and locals would get this puzzled look from time to time and glance skyward, as if they were expecting something. When I’d comment on how beautiful the day was, they’d look at me in wide-eyed amazement and say, “This is weird. It’s not supposed to be like this.”

    This blog post had me laughing and hoping you get a sunny day soon.

  17. “riding my bike wouldn’t have entailed a body-size weather prophylactic” Hahahaha! Oh, you poor folks. I like rain, but, yeah, not that much. 🙂 This might not be the most popular place, and all the locals are probably related, but since it’s usually sunny and warm I think I may just stay in the south. 🙂 (Oh god. I’m not even retirement age and I’ve already “retired” myself…)

  18. Coreyk says:

    “I lived in Mill Valley for 2 years. That month of straight rain in the winter was brutal, but the rest of the year was fabulous.”

    February, I’d guess. Kaploosh! all day, all month.
    When were you in Mill Valley? I spent most weekends in the early-to-mid-1980s there, including a lot of bike-riding time. I still love the place, though it is quite crowded and laughably expensive now.

  19. rideblog says:

    R Curry, I need to not hear about your weather. I’m serious… I’m getting so brutally bitter. But so is everyone else around here. Even my students are complaining, and they’re usually sort of impervious to weather. Of course, we had about 3 hours of sunlight today… while I was at work in meetings.

  20. rideblog says:

    LanzaMarie, summers are lovely here… sometimes. I remember many years ago, I returned from college in So. California, and spent the summer working here before moving on again. July that year had a record 29 days of rain. No really.

    This March we’ve had weather 10 degrees cooler than normal.

    Of course, as soon as the sun comes out, Seattlites instantly forget all of this and start talking about the beauty of where we live. I’m sure I’ll be right back in there…. someday.

  21. rideblog says:

    Bobbin, what part of the South? I lived for several months at a time, on and off for a couple years (when I was in grad school) with my mom in Arkansas. There were moments of real glory in all that heat, but I have to say… I couldn’t even stand outside and wait for a bus in July, much less ride a bike. So it cuts both ways, I suppose.

  22. rideblog says:

    Corey, it was quite crowded and laughably expensive when I was there, in 1996-1998. We lived in Strawberry Village, right behind the grocery store/strip mall that gives that area its name. I worked in Sausalito and Larkspur. We liked the weather there (my ex-husband and I, that is), but not the cost. Then we moved back up here and realized that Seattle had become almost as expensive! Not quite, but still horridly pricey. Still, I remember sitting at a light in my 1980 Datsun hatchback (and not the cool model, either), playing “count the luxury cars” with my ex while we waited for our turn.

    My favorite thing about that place was the glorious trail that ran along the marsh and down to Sausalito through Marin City. I used to ride my ex’s giant mountain bike the 10 miles to work and back sometimes, and was known to insist on spending a Saturday walking the trail, much to my ex’s disgust. I also loved the Marin Headlands. My favorite park EVER for sheer glorious gorgeousness on a sunny afternoon. I wanted to stay and move up to Petaluma, somehow, as I loved that area, but there were no jobs there. I would still live in Petaluma in a heartbeat. The funny thing was, in that 2 years, we rarely crossed the bridge into San Francisco, so I don’t know that area at all. Sometimes we’d go over to Berkeley or Oakland, but that bridge gave me the heebie-jeebies in a way no other bridge ever has, so I didn’t like driving it. It was too tall, somehow. We were young and broke, so we mostly just crossed over to the market and went to the amazing little Thai restaurant there. I still have fantasies about their Tom Ka.

  23. adventure says:

    (I had to use my “other email address as WordPress is being wonky.)

    Let me have a moment here, I will try to not be so snarky, Ms. Snarkypup. As a fellow Citizen of Cascadia, I know the type of weather you are talking about here, as Portland pretty much gets the same stuff as Seattle (though we can be a bit warmer, but not much warmer.) I think one of the problems we have here in Cascadia is we really don’t get a true winter. Yes, I know “out here” rainy season=winter. But compared to where I used to live (Connecticut, if anyone is really paying attention) we don’t have a true winter of temperatures hovering at or below freezing, snow, and any plant life dying over winter. When I first moved here I waited for the temperature to really drop come later November, and with it the grass dying off. But it never happened. It felt to me like “winter” was just a dragged out late fall.

    The plus side of that is temperatures stay pretty moderate throughout the year, winter especially. The minus side is that it takes so damn long for the temperature to ever feel like it’s changing. You say that it’s been 10 degrees cooler (F) than normal this month. While that may be true, since the average temp hovers around 55F for March, that would make it 45F, which is about the average high for January. Compare that to where I grew up. The average high back in New Haven would be 35F for January, 48F for March. A ten degree drop is much more noticeable. But the high temperature for April and May in Portland is 61F and 68F respectively, in New Haven for the same period is 59F and 69F. Pretty much the same as Portland, but the jump from winter to spring is much more noticeable. That’s why I felt the change to spring a lot more Back East where here it seems like a slow lingering change between seasons. And I think that’s a major reason why people in the Northwest get frustrated by spring’s slow progress.

    But in the Northwest we often forget about the good times and just dwell on the bad. I remember December, January, and the first part of February being pretty dry and mild here in Portland (we didn’t get the snow you folks up north did.) Then the rain and cold started up in mid-February and we’ve had that trend continue into mid-March. So we’ve been dwelling on that, because that’s what’s now. I admit it, this last week was an exercise in frustration with all the rain, though I’ve managed to catch some good windows of sun and dryness throughout it all. We also forget that the Northwest climate game is a big balancing act: if we have too nice of a winter, we’ll get a wet and cold spring, or vice versa. We’re not Southern California. And truth be told, we need the rain to make this place what it is. If we don’t get that thirty-odd inches, things will look a lot different.

    But summer (when we don’t have a month of rain)? Oh, so glorious. Don’t tell outsiders that.

    I have spent some time in many different corners of the U.S. I grew up and lived a good 24 years in New England (Connecticut). I spent a year in “The South” (North Carolina). And another year in Northern California (Bay Area). While there’s aspects I like about all those other places, I wouldn’t trade it in for the Pacific Northwest. Eleven years and counting. You can keep your fluctuations between too cold to too hot and sticky, or mild winters with brutal summers, or “just right” weather that never seems to vary (and if it does, people make a bigger deal about it than it deserves.) I’ll stay up here in the damp corridor, quietly growing moss on my underside, and riding around to explore it all.

    Though eighty degree March days in the Midwest seem tempting right now…

  24. I’m currently in east TN. Been here for about 5 years. Moved here from central VA and western NC before that. Yeah, between the heat and humidity, summer in the south is brutal! Bleh. 🙂

  25. rideblog says:

    Agreed for the most part, Adventure. My main issue is that, as someone who works in an office, I can’t get out to take advantage of the brief breaks when they happen. Maybe today…

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