Say what you will about nature being female—Mother Earth, Earth Mother, Mother Nature, Gaia, what have you—now that this heat-wave-drought-thing is stretching on and on here in the land of dried-out cheese, I’ve realized I recognize this feeling of abandonment and desertion the lack of rain leaves me with.
It’s just like waiting for a guy who said he’d call to call.
That moment of enlightenment reminded me immediately of The Rules, and that got me wondering if we could generate some weather rules.
(Disclaimer here—I did not use the book or website as any part of the mating ritual that led me into my wonderful marriage),
My basic opinion is that rules like The RULES work best for people who play games.
But this whole “20 Percent Chance of Rain” icon that shows up on the weather forecast online AND THEN VANISHES every couple of days, or even, “50 Percent Chance of Thunderstorms” (also vanishes) have left me feeling toyed with.
So I’m looking for a weather god to blame.
For nominees, I would say possibly one of the Thunder Brothers, who were part of the Penobscot tribes (I’m thinking of Major Houlihan’s husband here, actually), or Pamola the Moosehead, or even Tlaloc, who was Aztec, but things feel desertified here lately, so maybe he’s expanded his range. But really, I’m just thinking some kind of generic, Pan-Indian, vaguely Celtic (given my own genetic heritage) pissy guy with supernatural powers related to rain. I call him Mr. Rain God.
I’ve thought seriously about this for almost an hour now, and I really think if we all follow the following rules, Mr. Rain God will stop being so damn WITHHOLDING.
Rule #1 is “be a creature unlike any other.” In this case the creature is a state (actually just the southern part of the state) or a region, not so much a creature at all, so I would say the weather rule translation would have to be “show up on Google Street View in really freaky ways.” A number of us have been trying to fry eggs on pavement—I think if those of us in Wisconsin just add cheese, we’ll be a dry region like no other.
Rule #2 involves leaving your house. I’ll admit—this has been hard for me. We have the summertime equivalent of “cabin fever,” only it’s hotter outside than inside. So—all of us, ESPECIALLY those of us who’ve been camped out in our central-air-hidey-holes, let’s get out more. (Just not tonight probably, in my case.)
Rule #3 says “it’s a fantasy relationship unless a man asks you out.” I think the weather rule equivalent would be “a weather myth is just a myth UNLESS IT RAINS.”
#4 is about office romance. If you work at a weather-related job, this applies to you.
#5 is about long-distance relationships, and says “he must visit you at least three times before you visit him.” So that’s it. I’m not looking at another forecast, or up in the sky, or anything, until it rains. Three times.
#6 is about personal ads, and to be honest, this had not even occurred to me. But THE RULES says that a woman should place the ad and “let men respond to you.” So I’m interpreting this to mean that not only should we stop looking at forecasts online, we should instead, place one of those Craigslist “missed connections” ads—“Mr. Rain God—saw some dark clouds in the sky above my house, but when I looked again, you were gone.” And just see what he does.
#7 is, I think, the most famous of the rules: “If he does not call, he is not that interested. Period.” So yeah, that’s how I’m feeling these days about Mr. Rain God. He is just not that into me.
#8 says “buyer beware,” but really—what are my options for rain? I mean—Mr. Rain God is pissy and fickle and absolutely Mr. Wrong, but I feel like Peggy Lee here: “He’s a tramp, but I love him.”
#9 says “Close the deal. Rules women do not date men for more than two years.” Not a problem. If it doesn’t rain for another two years, I’ll have much more serious things on my mind.
I know, I know—some of you are saying Yahweh is in charge of the weather, what with the whole 40-days, 40-nights story, and this: from Leviticus 26: “If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season….” But the problem there is that we had massive floods here in Southwest Wisconsin just four years ago, and I can’t imagine we’ve had a serious change in faithful observance in the last four years.
And then some of you will probably talk about climate change.
For the record, I tend to believe God could affect the weather but almost never does, and that we’ve screwed up the planet, pretty much irreparably. (I don’t know how those two thoughts are connected.)
But the hot, dry weather (dry, as in, no rain, but it’s still humid—how is that fair? Here’s my Rule #1: if you’re not going to send rain, you don’t get to make it humid) makes me crabby and when I’m crabby, I find magical thinking MUCH more satisfying than either logic or theology.
The horrible part is that for me, it’s just an inconvenience, just a matter of higher a.c. bills. It didn’t even increase my watering chores in the garden, because I didn’t quite get around to putting in a garden this year. And nath sure hasn’t had to mow. Also—I’ve been noticing the last few years that when it’s a really good year for corn, it’s a really good year for ragweed, so I’m hoping the converse is true.
But that corn is breaking my heart. “Inconvenient” isn’t even on the same planet as the adjectives that describe what a drought means to farmers. Except where the fields are irrigated, corn here in Wisconsin looks spiky, like pineapple fields, or just brown. I worry a lot about the farmers—some of them have crop insurance, but even so, a bumper crop would always be a better outcome. Farming’s hard enough, you know? A drought like this could send someone who’s close to going under financially ALL the way down (and farming is one of those businesses that is almost always a little precarious).
So—instead of simply being sad and worried for the farmers, and worried for people who don’t have air conditioning, and worried for people who have to work outside, and pissy about having a hot summer when this is usually when we get to brag on Facebook about living in Wisconsin—THIS is when we’re supposed to be saying, “Great sleeping weather!” and “Ah….this is why we put up with blizzards….” Instead of all that, I’m working THE WEATHER RULES.
Because, in a direct quote that is directly applicable, Rule #10 is “keep doing the rules even when things are slow.”