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Obsessive Kompulsion: This Weather Sucks

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Yesterday, for the first time I can recall all year, it was colder at Stanford than all the major cities on the East Coast. It was 58 degrees and partly sunny in Cambridge, Mass., 62 degrees and sunny in New York and 70 degrees and sunny in Washington, D.C. Unacceptable.

Like most MacBook owners, I have the weather widget on my dashboard. But my dashboard is set up to show me the forecast for four different cities at once: Stanford, New York City — where I’m from — Cambridge and New Haven — where my best friends go to school. When our forecast is so much better than it is on the East Coast, I take a screenshot of the reports, post it to Facebook and tag all of my friends.

I know — not a nice thing to do, but I’ve only done this twice…And I think my caption from my Jan. 14 upload says what I felt best: “Sorry — I kinda had to do this…it’s just too good.”

My freshman fall was categorized by excellent weather — a hot September and October, 70 degrees during Big Game Week and 60 in December. Nice as the fall may have been, the first half of winter quarter really outdid itself. Sure, it was cloudy the first few weeks, but no one can say that hitting 72 degrees in late January and 79 degrees in February is not phenomenal.

Beyond my rare photoblogging, my friends back on the East Coast can tell you I’ve not otherwise been humble about our gorgeous weather this year. I can’t even begin to count the number of Facebook statuses I posted along the lines of, “LAYING OUT IN 70-DEGREE WEATHER IN JANUARY. SO HAPPY” or “SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!”

So, imagine how I feel now that I can’t brag.

On Monday afternoon, something about The Axe & Palm seemed strange to my friend and me as we walked over from our dorm — we soon realized that we couldn’t remember seeing it in cloudy weather. Tuesday night, the sound of wet, squeaky shoes against the floor was foreign enough to cause me to stop briefly and wonder what noise I was hearing.

As I left the Daily building that same night, I opened the backdoor to see an unfamiliar sight: rain falling in a continuous motion. I didn’t know what to do — my instinct was to retreat back inside, thinking I could wait out the rain — but then I realized I just had to bear it.

So, I turned my scarf (the days may be nice here, but the nights are cold), into a shawl and sped back to FloMo. My Facebook status that night was: “Rain?! How do I deal with this?!”

If you’re on the East Coast and are reading this, you’re probably thinking the same thing one of my friends at Penn commented: “OH NO NOT RAIN ANYTHING BUT THE RAIN.” But really, Gerren, this weather sucks.

Imagine trying to bike in the rain — your legs, perpendicular to the falling rain, get much wetter than they would if you walked, and your jeans consequently feel like death. If you’re biking against the wind, you can’t see a thing and blindly hope you won’t crash into another cyclist, the poles that close off streets to cars or a car itself. And even during the day, your hands freeze against the cold and wet handlebars. It’s truly Stanford’s biggest first world problem.

I’ve been told by many an upperclassman that I’ve been spoiled by this winter — I am fully aware of this and wholeheartedly embrace it. I’ve successfully worn shorts each month I’ve been at Stanford, and I haven’t had to shovel any snow (and New York has had a particularly nasty winter this year).

Yesterday during lunch, my entire dorm stared through the windows of the dining hall in awe. We didn’t understand how anyone could want to go outside in such a downpour. I could easily see how, in a normal winter, after two or three days of rain, class attendance might drop.

Harvard and Yale might have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but that’s not what we signed on for, right? Seasonal depression belongs on the East Coast.

My pride was at stake in this weather — my friends never would have let me live this down if they discovered it before I pointed it out myself. But I beat them to the chase. And anyway, they can have their one nice day. They’re not the ones in a position to complain that a forecast of 50 degrees and rain in February is bad.

Hey East Coast, you’ve got some snow headed your way in the next week! If you’re mad, send some Kristian’s way at kbailey ‘at’ stanford.edu.


Kristian Davis Bailey is a junior studying Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. A full time journalist/writer and occasional student, he's served as an Opinion section editor, News writer and desk editor for The Daily, is a community liaison for Stanford STATIC, the campus' progressive blog and journal, and maintains his own website, 'With a K.' He's interested in how the press perpetuates systems of oppression and seeks to use journalism as a tool for dismantling such systems.