Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff | A Tale of Southern Humidity

savannah georgia

I’m in the south where, seriously, the humidity is a problem.  I mean, come on.  It’s like this all summer?  Wow.  How do you do it?  Yes, you.  I’m talking to you.  Reader #3.  Sitting there.  Sweating.

And maybe drinking some sweet tea.

So maybe the South isn’t all bad.  Which, actually, I’ve found it isn’t.  All sweating aside, the South is quite nice.  The people, the beauty.  The humidity.

Ok, so Southerners might be starting to get a little perturbed that I’m focusing on the dew level.  That’s the amount of moisture in the air.  People, really…If it’s going to be this high it had better be raining.  I mean, like, drops of water falling from the sky.  Not this invisible hot moisture trap that I’ve been walking around in for a week.  I don’t get this wet in a shower.

Whose idea was this?  The South…sheesh.

What really blows my mind is that a coupla hundred years ago the Colonials were wearing wool.  Wool!  There are times I can’t wear wool in the snow because I get so darn warm.  People are purposely taking it off of lambs and putting it on themselves as jackets and pants and shirts…And wigs?

Wigs?  In this heat?  For what, so we could look more British?

Or because “heat stroke” was all the rage?

Look, Southerners, I’m not trying to diss your humidity.  If you take it that personally, here, let me give it back to you.  In a cup.  Because, in all honesty, it’s not that far from impossible for me to actually take the air I’m breathing and put it in a cup.

I keep pinching myself and hoping to wake up to find someone is sitting on my chest and I can politely ask them to move.  Ok, maybe not politely.  And yes, wishing you were dreaming and hoping to wake to find someone sitting on your chest is not a good thing.  But it beats the reality of actually being awake and going outside and having it just feel like someone is sitting on your chest.

And though retreating inside is a relief from the humidity, it’s kind of a Catch 22, because the air conditioners everywhere are running full blast.  I can go from cactus to penguin in a single doorway.  No joke.  I had my sunglasses resting on top of my head when I walked inside a building and they flew off from the jet airplane thrust of artic air surging its way through a vent the size of a straw.

If I’d known it was going to be like this I would have packed for both summer and winter.   I guess this polar shift in temperatures behind every door explains why seemingly smart and reasonable people are wearing long pants while strolling outdoors.  They probably had just been indoors.  Of course, now they’re soaking wet because of the humidity, which means they’ll be popsicles once they return to the dry, Icelandic climate of “the other side”.

I mean, I get it.  The air conditioner is a required reprieve from the oppressive sticky sweat bath humidity.  Oh, the humidity.

And I’m a little upset with the south about it all, if I’m being honest.  Because frankly, it’s false advertising.  I’ve seen more than my fair share of movies set in the South.  Contemporary movies, not historical.  Let’s face it, there isn’t anything sexy about a historical movie set in the south.  Fun?  Sure, why not.  Entertaining?  Yeah, okay.  But sexy?  Uh, no.

But I digress.  I was talking movies.  The South.  False advertising.

Seriously, I’ve seen plenty of John Grisham book movies, where the young, sexy characters are all from the South, sweating, lawyering, drink whiskey or a refreshing looking Mint Julep.  They all look like they’re just enjoying the heck out of themselves in the South.  The Southern belles with their cheerful demeanor.  The smiles.  The parties.  The laughing.

It’s all a ruse.

I’ve been here a week and I haven’t seen any of that.  No parties.  No laughing. No smiles.  Just sweaty people making their way from one side of town to the next like an episode of The Walking Dead.  I’ve seen happier people in a slasher film.  No kidding.  The humidity is like an older brother sitting next to you in the car, there’s nothing you can do about it and he just keeps bugging the heck out of you.

Alright, I concede I’m being too hard on the South.  There are some wonderful people here.  I think they all come from the same school of courtesy and politeness.  The most repeated phrase in all of the South concerning the humidity is…

“Oh, you get used to it.”

Maybe I will.  Not that I want to, but maybe it will happen without my noticing.  Like hiccups that disappear before you notice, and then you’re kind of disappointed you didn’t remember the exact moment they went away?  Maybe I’ll get used to the humidity like that.

Until then, I just won’t sweat it.

4 responses to “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff | A Tale of Southern Humidity

  1. I grew up in pre-A/C Central Florida, and now — after 3 decades spent in Colorado and California — I’m living in the GunShine State again. It’s 3 years now, so I can say (with some authority), No, you don’t get used to it. The humidity. Not even the omnipresent A/C can work that wonder.
    Nice post. Hope you’ll soon be heading to happier climes.

    • Ha ha ha. Thanks!! Your comments are almost like words of encouragement..ha ha. I haven’t been to Florida yet, but I’ve heard. Right now I’m in North Carolina. I don’t think I would get used to the humidity, honestly. I’m a California boy, through and through. Spoiled rotten? Probably. 🙂 Thanks for sharing a little bit of yourself my friend. Hope you have a GREAT weekend.

  2. Just getting off work and sitting on the couch, I thought to myself, damn its hot. Its only May and we still have July and August (yes, and June…dont remind me!). I found your page looking for funny quotes about the southern weather.

    You wrote this some time ago, but you do get use too it. Not in the sense that you don’t notice it because you will always notice being soaked and wet, but you will accept it. A couple of cold beers or bourbon on ice and its all the more tolerable.

    I think this sums us up down here quite well: “Floating in it, one must be either proud or submerged.”
    Eugene Walter

    Enjoyed the read!

    • Blake – A couple of cold beers AND bourbon on ice? That’s a recipe for numb I can get on board with in dealing with the humidity. 😉

      I’m happy you enjoyed reading my work…Thanks for the quote!!

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