I have to confess, I hate talking about the weather. For the most part, I can’t stand it, unless it applies directly to my life. If it’s snowing and we are going into avalanche terrain, well that makes sense to me but continually talking about “if it’s nice out” or “how’s the weather” drives me nuts.
I occasionally snap a screenshot from the weather network to post on Instagram from time-to-time, but that’s in the broader context of storytelling, not because I want actually to engage on the topic of the weather.
Now contrast this with my parents. They love talking about the weather. Not picking on them, just bringing it up as an example that’s opposite to my view. The conversation usually goes like this.
Mom: “There’s a storm coming.”
Me: “Cool, are you going outside?”
Me: “How is this pertinent?””
It’s not like I don’t like learning about the weather, while I was attending Dalhousie University, I was enrolled in a Masters in Physics program while congruently taking courses towards a Diploma in Meteorology because I was considering a Masters in Atmospheric Sciences after I completed my undergrad.
I spent two years learning about the weather in ground school when becoming a pilot. I’ve volunteered to work for a summer interning at the Nav Canada forecasting station at CFB Comox while I was there for a summer with the military.
I enjoy learning about climate and weather. But I really dislike talking about it on a day-to-day basis. Rarely, are the conversations positive or meaningful.
Think about the last time you saw friends posting online about how the weather was excellent and how they were happy? Exclude your friends who are on vacation and humbling bragging about how nice it is on their trip…
The most consistent thing people seem to do when talking about the weather is to complain. Snow is coming, freezing rain, lousy driving conditions etc. etc. etc.
I just got back from travelling, when we were in Quebec it was cold. How cold? Cold enough to wear two pairs of long johns, extra insulating layers and all the windproof gear we had. I checked the weather for the first couple of days while we were there, but then I just realised it was cold, bring all your stuff every day.
Mom: “It looks like it is cold.”
Mom: “How cold?”
Me: “Well I froze my nose to my camera. I didn’t notice that had happened and then I preceded to rip a small junk of my nose off cold, but I’m not too sure on the actual temperature…”
Then I headed to Orlando. It was hot. Did I look at the temperature? No, it was pretty clear when I stepped outside the airport that I was acclimated for the previous two weeks of cold and that anything other than a tank top and shorts was going to be unacceptable.
Mom: “Is it hot?”
Mom: “How hot?”
Me: “Shorts and tank top hot…”
It just seems like small talk to me. Filler conversation. Really, I want to talk to people about what they have going on in life.
For example, my parents volunteer on Mondays and Tuesdays and usually another night or two a week handing out food to people who are in need. One of the organisations they work with is called Feed the Need.
I’d much rather talk about how many people they handed out meals to that night. Who did they help? What are the demographics of those people that you are supporting? Are there families that show up? Who else does that with you? What are the logistics that take place to make this happen? It seems like something so more meaningful to connect over than how cold it is.
Dad loves golf, he has a really low handicap, for a while I think it was in the single digits. My parents go to the gym almost daily, but still, we end up talking about the weather regularly.
Mom “Looks cold in Calgary.”
I just prefer to talk about other subjects. Things that are going on in the lives of others interest me a lot more.
I prefer to connect with people vs make ‘small talk’. I always ask my parents what they are up to that’s exciting?
That interests me so much more, to hear about what they have planned or what they are doing, who they are helping, how Dad’s round of golf went vs whether or not it’s raining out.