Fall has always irritated me.
I know everyone else just looooves it, and can’t wait for it to get here, and — oooo! — you get to wear a sweater and so on. I say, go crunch a leaf.
When you grow up in Michigan, fall starts hinting at itself by late August. All of a sudden, the nights are cool and the days seem a little wistful. You know why the days are wistful? Because they know in a month they’ll be freezing their clouds off, that’s why. And yes, I am a meteorologist — why do you ask?
Fall in Michigan means you have six weeks of days in the 50s, and then one day you wake up and everything is cold. Everything. Your limbs, your nasal passages, your house, your feelings for everyone on the planet. And it’ll stay cold till May. Fall in Michigan is the harbinger of doom.
Have you ever had to wear your coat over your Halloween costume? I never didn’t have to. It put a serious crimp in each year’s version of a princess costume. I should have just gone with it and dressed as an ice princess.
I have always abhorred the stupid crisp weather and the sound of football games and ridiculous apples. There is little I detest more than an apple. They always look like they’re gonna be good — and I’ve even bobbed for them, if you can believe that — and then?
Once, I sent a postcard to a friend of mine who was something of a gadabout, so I just sent it to his mom’s house. “Karen sent you a postcard,” she told him. “Oh, read it to me,” he said, from wherever he’d gadded off to.
“Well, it’s a fall scene …” she began, and she couldn’t figure out why he was already laughing. He knew. Everyone who knows me would know.
Then I moved to the South. Where, news flash, it’s hot. Summer in the South is like winter in Michigan. You just hunker down in your house and wait for it to be over. Walks to the car are torture. You can’t help but mention the temperature when you’re out in it.
And then? Somewhere near the end of September, that horrid grip of heat somehow lightens up, stops tormenting you. You walk the dogs in the evening and realize you don’t look like Meat Loaf in concert when you’re done. Fewer mosquitos have descended on you and you still have some flesh intact. And hey? Is that the high school football game I hear a few blocks away? Hunh. That’s kind of … nice.
The thing is, fall here means really great weather through November, followed by marginally cold weather until February. By “cold,” I mean "akin to a spring day in April where I grew up." The people here don’t know from cold, just like they don’t know from toboggans or baloney salad. (In case you’re Southern, a toboggan is a long metal sled that you careen down icy hills with, often resulting in blood and sprains. You people and your magnolias don’t know from fun.)
So, what I’m saying to you is: fall. All of a sudden it makes my butt hurt a lot less. It’s pretty, and it doesn’t mean six months of gray skies and crunchy snow and icicles on your hair. You might say I kind of … like fall now.
I am not, however, reversing my position on apples. Apples can go screw themselves.