It is fall. Which means we must have the argument we have every year about whether fall is the best or worst season. Second worst is the actual answer. Worst is winter, of course. Fall and spring are both bad, especially here in Boston where they are both cold and wet and windy and dismal. But fall is worse. At least in spring, while you’ve been beaten down for months and you’re hardly able to imagine that summer will ever come, you know it’s on its way. In fall, the weather is pretty similar except you know it’s only going to get worse.
This is why I detest fall. And this year I find myself moving into a new realm of feelings. I am full of dread.
Last winter was awful. Beyond awful. Horrible, horrendous, whatever other word Thesaurus can come up with. Pile them all up and we start to get kinda close to the actual level of hell it was.
Spring wasn’t much better, since the cold weather lasted for a looooong time and we were still having horrible weather well into June. We had a short little summer, just a couple months. I’d spent so long thinking about summer, imagining what it would be like, that I tried hard to appreciate it while it was here. But it was too short. It was gone too fast. And I didn’t get a chance to exorcise the remaining ghosts of last winter.
I do not want to be that person who tries to use mental illness to make their point. The person who says, “I’m so ADD,” when they know nothing about ADD, they’re just feeling super bored and antsy. But when I think of what I want to say the only comparison I come back to is mental illness. Sigh.
I think many of us here have something akin to PTSD. It’s not *really* PTSD. But we’re getting ready to get back into the thing that ripped us all to pieces not too long ago.
My usual fall dread where I have trouble enjoying the colorful leaves (which aren’t all that colorful this year) because once they fall off the trees everything will look so stark and sad. It will be months before we see them again. Last year there were still no signs of green even in April. I went on a trip to Salt Lake City in April and saw their trees with plenty of new leaves and wanted to weep from jealousy. It could be well over 6 months before it looks nice outside again.
I just pulled my coats out of the winter clothes bin. They small musty. Apparently I can wash my short coat at home but I need 3 tennis balls to go with it in the dryer. These specific directions are strange to me. Even worse, my long coat has no care instructions. NO CARE INSTRUCTIONS. I don’t know if I can take it to the dry cleaner, my other coat insists it cannot under any conditions be taken to the dry cleaner. What if I do it wrong? How can I get my coat ready?
I have already started wearing sweaters and can remember how often I wore each of them last winter.
Yesterday I actually wanted to eat soup to warm up. Except I have forgotten what kinds of soup I make. I’m not even kidding with this, this is not any exaggeration to be funny. I literally cannot remember what kinds of soup I make. I know there’s chili. I know last year we made a few vegetable soups with the immersion blender. But what about regular soup? The soup where there’s broth and stuff in the broth? What on earth do I make? I’ve made soup for years and yet I seem to have forgotten them all.
I’m already starting to cringe when I open the door and there’s cold air on the other side.
I am in no way ready for what’s coming. I feel like we didn’t get the summer we deserved after the winter we suffered through. And I feel absolutely and completely unprepared to face that kind of winter again. It’s unlikely that will happen. But we had such a mild summer (everyone who insists we had such a nice hot summer is just thrown off by the relativity of their thermometers, I never once slept with the a/c on, NOT ONCE) that I fear it’s another cold winter ahead and I am not ready.
I am entertaining fantasies of moving back to where it’s warm. (Fantasies because we’re stuck here for the next few years.) Fantasies of being among all those people who complain about how they have no seasons and who whine about how frigid it is when it’s 45 degrees outside. I long to be one of those people, except I will never complain because I will be haunted by my winters past and I will love every second of it.
(And while we are talking about fantasies, I am also entertaining fantasies of suddenly finding a rich new love interest who says, “Yes, of course I will buy these $800 Hamilton tickets and we will take the first class car on the train down to New York and we will stay in a nice hotel, won’t that be so much fun for our 1-month anniversary?”)
Now I’m going to finish my rant and figure out what the most appropriate clothing is to go pick apples in 50 degree rain. Because I’m trying to enjoy fall a tiny bit at least.