Thursday, August 02, 2007

Relativity. With butter!

I flew back from New Orleans yesterday. We stepped off the plane at Dulles and you could feel all 93 of those Fahrenheit degrees sweltering through the walls of the walkway.

Someone complained about how incredibly hot it was.

And I said, "Yeah, but the good thing about DC is that at least it's dry heat."

The Hell? Is the look I got. From more than one person.

If you do not live here, let me assure you that these are words you will never hear from another human being in the entire DC metropolitan area.

But honestly, in the moment, I totally meant it. And it felt great walking to work this morning! It's such a reminder that everything is relative. I swear New Orleans is twice as humid as DC. You walk outside and your glasses fog up to the point where you cannot see three inches in front of you. It was like having some giant dog following you around panting on you. Ick.

You are just perpetually soggy. Your everything sweats. You walk outside and even your face is quickly covered with a thick film, and you only realize it when the condensation of your own perspiration becomes so great that it actually drips.

That is, of course, the sweat that can squeeze through your pores. Because you know I believe that the butter sweat just will not fit through those itty bitty pore holes.

You know the day after a long night of drinking? When even though you've showered, at some point you get a waft of alcohol, and then another, and you finally realize, holy cow, it's emanating from your very own self? You realize you are a walking, talking, sweating, gin distillery.

And it occurs to you that maybe the best course of action is to fill your bathtub with tonic water and tuck half a lime behind each ear and just run with it. Or maybe that precise scenario doesn't occur to you. But it's what I'm going to do next time, anyway.

This is how I feel about all the butter that was in and on every last morsel I gorged on the last five days. I wondered aloud yesterday if you can actually consume so much that everywhere you go you leave a scent of butter in your wake. Or maybe you could leave butter footprints.

I have a date tonight. And because I am unable to let go of anything absurd, I was thinking, now, if I actually did smell faintly of butter, it could go one of two ways.

Either it could subliminally remind him of baked goods, like chocolate chip cookies, and that could make him feel all warm and fuzzy and happy. Or he could sit there thinking, "Yeah, she's cool, but there's just something, I dunno, kind of sautéed about her."


  1. Or it could remind your date of good old home cooking...

    I know what you're saying about DC humidity. It sucks. It sucks a whole lot for people like me who sweat a lot. But it could be a lot worse. My worst experience with heat and humidity was the time I spent in Bombay one summer. It was 100 degrees F at night, and more or less 100% humidity. I felt like I was dieing with every breath.

  2. i've never been to the deep south and experienced that kind of humidity (florida totally doesn't count, right?). i'm certain that i would not be cut out for it.

    my boyfriend's grandmother lives in rural georgia - i have somehow managed to date him for over 4 years w/out having to go there, but i know my days are numbered. it's gonna have to happen at some point.

    then i will be sweaty AND in rural georgia. score.

  3. Lisa - Bwaahahahahahahaha! I love you more today than ever. I'm heading to NOLA on the 15th and I'll think of you as I pack an extra bag of tonic water and limes.

    kate.d. - You must visit granny soon. We're just sittin' down here swelterin' and swattin' at flies. Come on in, the water (vapor) is fine!

  4. "...fill your bathtub with tonic water and tuck half a lime behind each ear and just run with it."

    I don't think I've read anything funnier all week! :) Talk about imagery!!

    I used to work in a fancy-schmancy hotel in Miami. I had to wear tailored suits, long-sleeved blouses, closed-toe shoes and PANTYHOSE! Just walking from the parking lot to the employee entrance was enough to make sweat pour down my back and make my silk blouse stick to my skin. I can't tell you how much money I spent on dry cleaning!!

    Thank goodness for dry heat! ;)

  5. Oh yeah and here is my favorite deep South story. I was going to post this on the accent one, but the moment has passed.

    When I was participating in Habitat for Humanity in college, we took a trip to Clarksdale, Mississippi to hang drywall for a week.

    First off, nothing started on time, everyone said y'all, and we quickly got lost on the "blah-ack sahhde uh town." (that was according to the lady sitting on her porch we had to ask for directions. As young clueless white college girls, she clearly took pity on us and told us to "skee-daddle" back to the white folks.)

    Anyways, so, one evening we're going out to dinner sponsored by a local businessman. It was BBQ. It was digustingly delicious. It was criminal how good that pork was. But the kicker....When we sat down, Bubba Jenks (his real name) came over and welcomed us to his restaurant and thanked us for our hard work on the houses, and then informed us that....(wait for it)...

    "If any of Y'all are vegetarians, we have chicken bbq too."

    BBQ - not just for meat eaters.

  6. VVK - I don't remember how Bombay was, but the only other time I've been this hot and soggy was in Varanasi. It was 96 degrees and felt like 100% humidity at 7 am. And I know DC summer sucks a lot more for big men who have to wear suits.

    Kate - Even more than sweaty, it will definitely be a massive cultural experience for you. I'll be interested to hear about it when you finally go.

    SL - Thank you! And wow, what a great story. I was shocked to arrive in Chapel Hill and see the massive racial divide on campus (which only mimics what you find in every city). And chicken for vegetarians! HAhahahaha! Awesome!

    DCup - Thank you! I heart you too. I'll be looking forward to reading your NOLA experiences.

    G&D - Thank you! :) And oh, so grim. I can't imagine having to dress like that in Miami. Panty hose in that heat is just pure torture. Your description of your entire dressy work outfit, and trying to imagine having worn that where I was the last week just made me sooo claustrophobic!

  7. Hey there Miss Lisa,
    I also just got back yesterday from a trip to NOLA and vicinity. And what you say about the humidity is SO TRUE. We were in the car a lot, with the beautiful AC, so spent a lot of time being lulled into thinking it was a typical 55-degree overcast day like at home in the NW. But then we would have to get out of the car and wade back into that hot air, and every single time my glasses would fog up.

    Wasn't the lightning on Tuesday awesome? We don't get that too often up here.

    I have to say, I have truly enjoyed reading your blog over the last few months. Thank you for all the wonderful posts!

    (omg - butter footprints! hahaha!)

  8. Have fun on the date tonight!

  9. True 'vegetarian' story:

    For at least the two years I ate there, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign dorm cafeteria would serve Chicken Cordon Blue as a Vegan dish. My guess is that someone changed it in their label printing database as a joke, and then never bothered to fix it. I know I pointed out the absurdity to them at least a few times.

  10. A.S. - Hi! Thanks for reading and for the lovely compliment! I'm so glad you've been enjoying it! You know, I was mostly stuck in a windowless room in the convention center so missed the lightening. Bummer. I'm glad you had a great trip!

    HKW - Thank you! It was fun! :)

    VVK - Wow. If you are right, someone had a good time with that! It's right up there with beef tartare as a great vegan meal.


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