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Soapbox: People complaining about the weather

With the rain rattling our windows, Elaine McDonald complains about people complaining about the weather

Irish weather, you’ve got to love it. One minute there’s a tsunami in mid-March and the next you’ve got the complexion of a lobster from the freakishly sudden appearance of the sun in October. In fact, the only reliable aspect of Irish weather is that it’s unpredictable. You’d have to packing sun cream, thermals and rain gear if you wanted to stay ahead of the game.

Yet that’s half the fun of it. You decided to wear boardies or shorts to college and now you’re using your MacBook Pro to save you from being pelted with golfball sized hailstones. Still though, there’s always that one person on Facebook who will, without fail, write: “Oh my God, it’s raining! Can’t believe it *insert seven billion sad, depressed, disappointed emoticons”.

I can only speak from personal experience but if this is a regular occurrence on your news feed, suddenly you’re trying to suppress the urge to write “You don’t say?” underneath. Ireland’s a small enough country; if it’s raining in one place it’s probably not too great in another area. Intelligent input about how much you “hate rain, it’s so wet”, is not only mind-numbing, it’s frustrating. Make a joke, laugh about it, and if something bad happened like your pet worm drowned, then fair enough tell Facebook all your problems but why are you wasting your energy telling me rain is wet?

I think the problem stems back to two things: Irish people refuse to buy rain gear and the weather is always a great conversation starter, or so older generations have taught us. Sentences like “Ah, sure jaysus, rain thinks hard about staying away” was a favourite phrase used in the countryside when I was young. People like having something to complain about and when we weren’t talking about crooked politicians and Angela Merkel, the weather was ideal, affecting our daily lives, sometimes irrational and fickle, sort of like the politicians really.

Weather fills the silence for people, whether it’s a shop assistant and a customer or the friend of the guy you have to awkwardly talk to while your friend is getting the shift from his mate in Coppers. Moreover, we just don’t seem to be quite able to accept that it rains in Ireland. It appears no one owns any form of waterproof attire whatsoever, despite there being a massive selection. We all have that one friend who arrives late to dinner and exclaims “I got soaked on the way here” before wringing their wet hair all over the table.

If we own an umbrella, it’s either in the glove compartment of the car, or on the floor, or under the seat. Actually, it seems like we like storing it in the most useless places and when we do use umbrellas, it’s so as to defend against wind and dedicate our walks to stop it turning inside out.

The Irish government is a little crap with these things too. The last couple of years there has been epic snowfall and suddenly we’ve got no salt to sort the ice on the roads. The emergency services are totally unprepared and there’s chaos in the country for a couple of days. The second snow arrives, it’s a national disaster, the country comes to a standstill and people are rushing out to buy anything they can, whether it be creamed corn in a can or marmite. We love a bit of drama in Ireland.

It’s okay though, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Bad weather gives us an excuse to stay inside, skip the gym, order takeaway, buy more clothes so you can layer them up, have more tea and/or hot chocolate and watch the box set of Breaking Bad. Moreover, there is one fact you should keep in mind before freaking out about rain, you are waterproof. You will not drown in your own skin. Water-resistant mascara does exist and boardie shorts are only for the summer months.