Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring It On Me

As I was hunkering down for yet another winter weather advisory during "spring," it occurred to me that we really need a term that means "fake spring."

We call those rare, beautifully warm, late autumn days "Indian Summer," so why not have some nickname for those brief stretches of warm weather in early-early spring? Those days that trick us into putting away the snow pants, boots, heavy coats, hats, mittens and flannel jammies. Those intoxicatingly sunny days that Mother Nature follows up with a smack upside the head mix of snow, rain and wind? Or as I like to call it, Crap In A Cloud.

It fools me every year. A couple of nice, warm days and I move the turtlenecks to the bottom of the drawer. The Little Princess fell for it this year, too. Every morning for a week I had to send her back to her room to change into long pants and real shoes. Finally, with my Mom of the Year stock falling faster than the S&P 500, I let her wear her flip flops to school.

It snowed that day. Not much, but still.

That was also the day I also sent the Little Prince to school without his hat or gloves. I'm sure there were a few non-Mom teachers who were eying that Child Protective Services speed-dial button on their phones. On the up-side, the children now listen to my weather predictions with awe and reverence and don't even roll their eyes when I tell them to put on long sleeves.

Global warming be darned, this is not a new weather trick. When I was a kid, those first few warm spring days would lure all the little old ladies out of their houses to putter around in their yards. They'd rake leaves off flower beds and pick up sticks, their floral house dresses and chiffon scarves ruffled by gentle breezes.

Then in a colossal April Fools joke, Mother Nature would laugh, turn the thermostat back to 35 degrees and crank up the wind machine. The ladies would venture out again, floral hems peeking out from beneath woolen overcoats, knit scarves securing the chiffon scarves, rubber overshoes flopping about their ankles as they replaced the Styrofoam igloos covering the roses and spread sheets over tender flower buds.

Today their counterparts wear shiny, bead-dazzled warm up suits and flock to the casinos. You can't blame them, the weather in there is much better.

Fool me once spring weather, shame on you. Fool me over and over again and obviously we need government intervention. A task force must be assembled, funds must be appropriated, commissions appointed. But first we need a catchy title, which I would be glad to furnish (for a small consultant's fee, of course).

"Fake Spring" is brief and to the point, but a little harsh. "Faux Spring" has a nicer ring, but is a bit snobbish and hoity-toity. It needs to be a name that captures the essence of promises made, but not made good.

Like Politician Spring. Or more accurately, Candidate Spring.

Maybe even Office of Spring-Elect.

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