Why I Hate the Season Everyone Loves


This is Part I of a four-part series in English on my pontification on the four seasons. 日本語の四季シリーズの第一弾はこちらです。

Of the four seasons, I hate spring the most. I try to live by the words, “Never hate, sometimes dislike,” so I have reserved a very special place in my heart for the season we are currently in.

There are many reasons to hate spring, but topping the list is the fact that it is a dooming reminder of the apocalyptic summer to come. Spring is when day-by-day, week-by-week, the conditions outside becomes gradually hotter and more humid, until it culminates in the arrival of the season of the unbearable. I suppose my hatred towards spring is somewhat unfair because spring is really just a collateral damage to my sheer disdain for the summer, but spring just needs to accept that life–and I–are unfair; it’s going to get blamed more for being close to something evil than being the evil itself.

Spring can’t just blame the summer for being the target of my wrath. It can also blame the winter.

As spring takes over the calendar in March, the outside generally goes from cold to warm, then to hot.  In a transitional month like the spring, though, temperatures don’t change gradually.  Instead, they fluctuate wildly between the days.  And when the general trend breaks, I find myself wearing a fleece in middle of winter conditions because I dressed lightly relying on the temperature from the day before. Autumn in that sense is a far preferable transitional month. When there’s a break from the general trend, I can enjoy the unexpectedly mild weather by taking off the jacket that I had with me.

The spring has the misfortune of having bad neighbors, but it’s not helped by the legion of fans who profess their love for it.  It is said often that misery loves company, but company also makes misery more tolerable.  What I have discovered about spring, though, is that I am apparently in a very distinct minority of people who hate it.  Alas, I am without company among the crowd of smiling faces that I see as I stroll through the streets on a breezy spring day, left alone to hate this season in isolation.

It’s somewhat mystifying why more people don’t hate the spring.  So many people seem miserable in suffering from the hellish hay fever that plagues half the population every year around this time of the year. When I lived in the suburbs of New Jersey, I could see goldenrod floating in the air, waiting to be inhaled by a body that is violently going to reject it (this observation, though, is apparently somewhat of a misconception), which was always a reminder that I needed to walk around with Kleenex.

In Japan, it’s even worse.  Thanks to an ill-advised government campaign after World War II to encourage the rebuilding of the country using the Japanese cedar, the entire country is built using lumber that’s essentially spouting allergen.  I thankfully haven’t had to experience the red noses and the teary eyes of quarter of the people in Tokyo, although I’ve been told my time will come not in the distant future. When that day arrives, spring will cement its position as the most detestable of the seasons.

Perhaps the Japanese are particularly fond of the spring because this is the famous cherry blossom season.  If you’ve never seen cherry blossoms before, you’d definitely want to make a trip down to Washington, D.C., where the cherry blossoms that the Japanese donated decades ago still add beautiful colors to the city in the spring.

The Japanese have a traditional way of enjoying this beauty, called ohanami, which involves lots of alcohol with casual good food in great company under the blooming flowers.  Since I’m all about getting drunk on sake and eating anywhere, anytime, this Japanese version of a picnic is something I always wanted to experience while I was in the States.

What I learned is that, like many things in life, ohanami is something that sounds much nicer in concept than in the execution.  The problem is essentially that the cherry blossoms  (a) have no sense of when it’s become “warm” and  (b) are too weak to weather any wind or rain.  The result is that there is a mad rush to enjoy the cherry blossoms in full bloom during a very narrow window–usually one, at most two, weekends–usually in frigid March weather.  After my freezing experience this year, I’m guessing that the ohanami experience will go down much better in Russian-style, with lots of vodka to numb the pain.

As much as I enjoyed the food and the drinks and the people, ohanami did confirm one thing that I had always merely suspected: much like ohanami, which symbolizes spring in Japan, most of the people actually only enjoy the idea of the spring, rather than the season itself.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Why I Hate the Season Everyone Loves”


  1. 1 Caitlin April 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I like spring because I prefer to drive home from work in daylight. Winter is really rough here, as you well know. Though somehow I have the feeling your commute home is in darkness even in the summer because you work too damn much.

    For the allergies, I start taking over-the-counter Claritin every day in early March, and that helps a lot.

    I hate spring for the unpredictable weather you mentioned. However, there’s another horror you thankfully don’t experience: Weather transitions cause migraines. After a couple blissful months, I’ve been having lots of severe migraines the past few weeks. (And trust me, I have ALL of the drugs and treatments I’ve ever heard of.) It’s less comforting to drive home in daylight when you go straight to bed at 6pm for two hours just so you can make it through the rest of the evening.

    Once the weather stabilizes, the migraines will get better, but by then it will be hot and sticky.

    You and I need to move to San Francisco, Joe. Low humidity and temperate conditions year-round. Sounds like heaven to me!

    • 2 joesas April 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Caitlin,

      Thanks for reading and responding with such a long response! Few people take the time to read, and no one takes the time to respond so thoughtfully!

      I take your point on the daylight thing. The days are starting to get longer here, and it’s nicer to have more of a daylight because my days (especially on a weekend) begins late. No fear, I am going home in the light recently, although for all the wrong reasons…

      Sorry to hear that you get allergies. One of the things that’s happened to me is that my body seems to have gotten acclimated to most of the allergies, which used to be really bad when I was in the States and was bad when I used to come back to Japan occasionally. I don’t get those as much anymore, but apparently, allergies in Japan is such that the body sort of gives up after a couple years, so we shall see… Thankfully, I have no migraines, but it’s a real stinker that you get them during the transitional months. I guess that means you get them during the fall, my favorite season?

      I loved Boston for the complete four seasons, but that city really does have extreme seasons. The winters are pretty bad, and the summer (although I haven’t experienced it much), isn’t all that cool. It gets really humid, which makes the summers more unbearable than the temperature, even if it is not that high.

      Oh you know that I can’t move to San Francisco! Can you imagine a greater hell for me than the city of Nancy Pelosi?


  1. 1 Sleep: Oh How I Love Thee, Oh How I Miss Thee | The World According to Joe Trackback on June 3, 2013 at 11:11 am
  2. 2 Summer is the Memories of Discontents | The World According to Joe Trackback on June 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm
  3. 3 I Hate Wednesdays | The World According to Joe Trackback on June 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Top Rated

Categories

Archives

April 2013
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

%d bloggers like this: