May 25, 2010

Rain, Rain, I Accept You

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

So it's raining today. As usual, people on Facebook are going insane, as if the terms "May Gray" and "June Gloom" don't exist for a reason. The weather in the Bay Area is often nice when it should be bad, and bad when it should be nice. It's one of universally acknowledged truths of living in this region. Though much debate has surrounded who actually said "The worst winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco," it's a true statement. (And I think it was Dylan Thomas. Mark Twain was a great writer, but not that eloquent.) Anyway, it's just a roundabout way of saying that yucky, rainy weather in this part of the country at this time of year should surprise no one.

That being said, I'm not happy about it. I got my run in this morning before the drops started falling, but just barely. I don't have a personal vendetta against the rain like some people seem to, but I've made my peace with it. That being said, I don't want to spend more time outside in the rain than I have to.

So I was not pleased to be waylaid not once, not twice, but 3 times today by from the ACLU asking if I "had to minute to support gay rights." Look, I support gay rights. I support the ACLU. But I do not want to be stopped as I'm walking from my car to the office in the rain to be asked to sign a petition and/or donate money to anything.

You there, ACLU lady, in your North Face Jacket with your umbrella and rainboots, you seem quite comfortable in the rain, but I'm in a business casual outfit designed for primarily indoor wear, suitable for the rain only in quick jaunts between the parking structure and my office when I realize I forgot my water bottle and cell phone.

Here's the thing, folks. No one likes to be stopped and asked to sign something or give money to something. When I lived in New York, I perfected a trifecta of having my headphones on, sunglasses on, and cellphone out to appear just far too busy to talk to anyone about Tibet or Greenpeace. And I'm pretty liberal. I don't know how super conservative people deal with it.

When I first moved to New York, it was 2005, right after Hurricane Katrina. I was a new grad student and totally broke. Before I learned my smooth dodging techniques, I would respond to those clipboard people with one of the following "Sorry, I'm only donating for Katrina relief" (true, if you count buying a cupcake from a Katrina Relief bakesale "donating"), "I'm late for work/class!" (sometimes true), "I am so broke I cannot afford new underwear at this time" (sadly, very true).

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