The Polar Bear Club

SUMMERTIME BLUES

It’s that time of year, folks. Endless summer nights, visits to the beach, summer BBQ parties, and… my annual withdrawal into any dark, mentholated cavern. Because…

I. HATE. SUMMER.

No, no. Let me re-phrase that. I am not a fan of the word *hate*.

I. HATE. SUMMER.

Hmm. That didn’t work.

So let me tell you all the reasons WHY I detest this purgatory-like season THAT EVERYONE ELSE LOVES.

1. MY ANCESTORS ARE ESKIMOS

Well, this is just a theory but I am definitely built for cold weather. I have a strong aversion to the sun. I cannot function or think in high humidity. My skin is porcelain white. My hair is dark, almost black. Most people mistake me for a vegetarian. (Somehow, pale skin = vegetarian. But I am a proud carnivore. I live almost exclusively on chicken, bacon, and carbs). With the right coat and scarf, I can stand fairly cold temperatures.

I am convinced my ancestors are living it up in the arctic tundra.

And while I am more like Anna, personality wise…

… Elsa is definitely my Spirit Animal.  She gets me.

2. I SWEAT LIKE A BANSHEE

I say this all the time but I did bit a research, and it turns out, Banshees are not known for sweating a lot. Urban Dictionary has some very cool intel on Banshees and you can look them up here, in case, you too, have made stuff up about Banshees.

My point is this: I SWEAT LIKE A MOFO. I am not exaggerating. And mostly around my hairline, neck, and well – everywhere.  When I meet someone who actually ENJOYS warm weather, I ask if they sweat. They generally say Yes, of course!  But when I ask them to describe their sweating, they describe what I can only call “the Grace Kelly Art of Perspiring”.

My friend Alexis was made in this mold.  It is a testament to her awesomeness that we are still actually friends.  In this pic, she is celebrating that it was 82 degrees.  Yes, that is too warm for me.  If you have been paying attention, you would not have asked me such an offensive question.

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4. I LOVE HAIR & MAKE-UP

I like the way I look in the fall, winter, and spring – but in the high humidity of summer, my face just melts off. I have curly hair, too, so all my hard work to cultivate my classic curls is a waste of time. No matter what precautions I take, I end up looking electrocuted. I do altar my routine in the summer but it is only out of necessity.

Have I mentioned my extreme vanity and ego-centric ways? No? My morning hair and make-up routine even influences my morning prayer which you can read about here.

And for the record, this is my favorite picture of me and my husband on a *crisp* and *cool* day in Munich, Germany.  He is not only the most awesome husband, but he is also my WEATHER TWIN! (Explanation below).

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5. BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE LOVES SUMMER

Because the world rejoices with the surge in temperature, I tend to feel like the odd-man out. They wax poetic about the warm-up and I begin to scowl. I am highly extroverted so I love eating lunch with my colleagues.  The fact that everyone wants to sit outside and eat lunch in the hell of the high humidity – and I literally cannot join them – means that I am the only one sitting inside in the AC.  Which makes it harder for me to connect.

GOOD NEWS: I AM NOT ALONE!

Weather Twins

A Weather Twin is exactly what it sounds like – someone who would rather walk through Central Park during a winter snow storm than, say, sweat their balls off at a summer BBQ. We commiserate in the summer and rejoice as the temperatures plummet.

The Polar Bear Club

Not a club that you can simply join, per se. It’s more like an automatic enrollment if you have any kind of reaction to heat and humidity. I currently have two colleagues at work that are in the Polar Bear Club: Scott and Nicole. And it is glorious.

We text about it all the time – it REALLY helps to have people who understand.

Lest anyone freak out over the fact that we were freaking out over 74 degrees, the concept of “dew point” will be explained further down.

SUMMER SAD

I realize that *most* of my readers truly love the summer. And while I have a lot of friends who feel the way I do (we tend to form an instant bond), I try to accept the fact that most people will not understand this part of me. A few years ago, I came across information about Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most everyone is aware of Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder but Summer SAD is often under the radar. Dr. Norman Rosenthal, who first came up with the Winter SAD Diagnosis, eventually figured out that some people experience symptoms of depression in the summer – but it was related to humidity levels, excessive sweating, too much sunlight, and isolation. You can read up on it here and here.

Upon learning that this was a real thing and I was not alone, I began to pay more attention to my needs. I don’t actually need medication for my Summer SAD, but I definitely implement behavioral modifications to my lifestyle. It involves lots of air conditioning.

IT’S NOT THE HEAT, IT’S THE HUMIDITY.  AND THE DEW POINT.

This was a crucial turning point in my meteorological education; watching the weather report one day, I heard the meteorologist say something like: “That will be a really nice dew point for you New York City, because even though the temperature will be high, that low dew point will make it feel much more comfortable.”  I could not believe my ears!  And yes, I did some research and it was a revelation.

I always check the humidity.  But that never gives a good indication as to how ectoplasmic the day might be; one day could be 85 degrees with 60% humidity and feel okay, and the next day could be the exact same temperature and humidity but be slimy and gross.  And that’s because it’s all about the dew point.  Essentially, the dew point gives you the “stickiness” factor.  I am now a dew point girl.  Anything 60 and above is really uncomfortable. If it is above 62, I have to stay indoors.

Disgust, from Inside Out, is my other spirit animal.  Thanks Disney.  You really get me.

There is an excellent Wikipedia explanation on dew point and its relationship to human comfort.  You can read up on it here.

TAKE NOTE

If you are not my Weather Twin, it can be very difficult to understand. For you, there might be no such thing as “too much sunlight.” But take note that it is real and some people around you might be susceptible to summer depression. If you notice your friends or kids being listless in the summer, consider the fact that they might be affected by heat, humidity, and too much sunlight.  If you have a friend who declines outdoor activities during the warmer months on a regular basis, they’re probably dealing with Summer SAD.  Please send them this post!

DON’T GET ME WRONG

I LOVE the four seasons.  I moved to NYC from LA in 1999 – not only because NYC is my favorite place on earth – but because it has four seasons.  I love being able to wear a cute top, jeans, and strappy sandals, without a jacket.  It’s just that I am more comfortable, overall, in the cooler weather.

And I don’t “like being cold” – something of which my reptilian friends often accuse me.  It’s just that with the right cold-weather clothes, I am super comfortable.  But I do get cold.  It’s just easier for me to warm up than my lizard-friends.

In case my lizard friends are feeling unloved:

LEAVE A REPLY

I would love to hear your thoughts!  Please scroll back to THE TOP OF THIS PAGE and hit the “leave a reply” button.  Are there any Weather Twins out there?  Or might you be married to one?  Perhaps this post explains why your kids are listless in the summer.  Again, please scroll to the top, and click the “leave a reply” button.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

2 thoughts on “The Polar Bear Club

  1. Karen

    Skye….we are truly weather twins! Being early summer though, it is simply delicious outside today. Enjoying every moment and dreading the end of the week forecast. I’ll be mellllllting. I have Alexis envy!
    Only 3.5 months until “jacket weather”.

  2. Scott

    All of this makes PERFECT sense to me, Skye. Not huge fan of summer..:too hot, too humid. Glad to have a fellow polar bear on the 4th floor. No such thing as too much AC! ❄️❄️☃️☃️❄️❄️

    I’d also add that summer is mind-numbingly BORING. Would love to have a 12 month school year. What in the heck am I supposed to do for the next 10 weeks???

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