In Southern California, 78 degrees and sunny as a year-round condition has long been the equivalent of having a killer body. It made up for any number of shortcomings. It’s what we still trot out whenever outsiders take the predictable potshots at our traffic and crappy bagels.
But beauty fades, of course. And it could be that our weather dominance is on the way out too, or at least taking a hiatus until the high-pressure system known as the “ridiculously resilient ridge” finally moves on — which scientists say could take years.
That’s almost as depressing as getting older. But just as getting older forces us to appreciate our less superficial qualities, maybe loosening the grip on our weather superiority could actually be healthy for Southern California. Because the truth is we’ve always had more going for us than just being 78 degrees all the time. We have excellent bookstores and fantastic food and dynamic people and spectacular late-afternoon light that looks magical no matter what the temperature is. We have the mountains and the ocean. We have a disproportionate number of doughnut shops and marijuana dispensaries — two things that happen to complement each other quite nicely.
But the first step toward accepting reality is defeating denial, which, when it comes to weather, means complaining, without shame or apology. That’s why I say let’s give ourselves license, if only until it drops below 90, to gripe with abandon. Because this May Day feels more like mayday. Or, worse, November.