The Rain in California

It usually doesn’t rain in Southern California. Just ask Frank Ocean, just ask anyone. That’s why we have droughts so often and so terribly. That’s why we live outside and build schools outside and malls outside and drive with the windows down and run around barefoot. I’m not just perpetuating The California Myth. We do all of these things.

But sometimes it does rain. And at first, everyone experiences a strange kind of elation. Is that the color green I see? I’d forgotten what color grass is supposed to be. Once that initial wonderment passes, however, Californians start to see rain for what it really is, and they realize they are not equipped with the means of handling it.

It is a statewide catastrophe. Stage 5 national disaster. The weather reports spout apocalyptic storm warnings. Stay in your houses! Cars will be blowing off the roads! Houses built on unsuitable land slide half a mile downhill in the mud. The streets of Los Angeles flood up past your ankles, and you’ll soon find all your clothes are unsuitable for this wet climate.

I’m guilty of it, too. It doesn’t bother me so much as it does others, however, because I lived on the East Coast for a considerable amount of time and understand that the weather we experience here is barely weather at all. In fact, I actually love the rain . It’s the response to it that is truly madding.

Californians don’t deserve rain. Maybe I’m only saying this because of my current angry state of mind, but the way we lose it over weather only reaffirms my belief. People out here cannot handle a little discomfort, anything besides the sun. They don’t know how to organize or plan or keep the shuffle of life moving when it rains. This morning, hundreds of delays and cancellations at LAX screwed up people’s plans and jobs and schedules. My sister was supposed to fly out to meet me for a birthday weekend in San Diego. Now, it looks like my birthday will be a party of one.

People cancel dates, close roads, ruin plans, blame the weather. It’s all because of the rain! Or maybe this wonderful golden state of California doesn’t know how to be anything but gold. So when rain washes it blue, we stay frozen in place and just get soaked.


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