“Oh, the weather outside is frightful.” That’s how the 1945 Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” song begins. For those of us in Los Angeles, “frightful” has taken on a new meaning.
Ever since the 92-degree high on Thanksgiving, rarely have we had normal weather for this time of year. It seems that the average temperature for weeks now has been 82 degrees — in December.
For the past several months, we have had record highs set so often that having hotter temperatures has become the new normal. Remember the 103-degree day on Oct. 24 for game one of the World Series?
When you live in the Los Angeles area, especially the San Fernando Valley, it is expected that most of the year will be summery, which is why I look forward to late fall when we have cooler temperatures. This year, I feel cheated.
Raise your hand if you have worn a sweater lately. Or built a fire in the fireplace. Or sipped on a cup of cocoa.
For those of us who like variety in our weather, last year was a treat with all the rain and cooler than normal temperatures.
In fact, I bought new sweaters because I didn’t want to keep wearing the same ones.
About a week ago, I forced myself to take one out of my anti-moth-protected storage bins when it dipped down to a frosty 69 degrees for about an hour. I did not want December to pass by without wearing a sweater even once.
It’s depressing to check the seven-day or 21-day forecast to see 83-, 85-, 78-, 82-, and 83-degree days approaching as winter officially kicks off.
My students make me laugh when they arrive in my classroom in the morning and complain about how cold it is. Then I have to inform them that if they lived anywhere in Wisconsin, it would be 19 degrees on a warm day, at least in the past.
Oh sure, if you wake up early enough, there is a chill in the air though not low enough to generate frost warnings (keep your flora covered). But don’t fret because by 10 a.m. the temperature outside will already be at 70 degrees and rising.
I wonder if the gas company is going to raise rates since people aren’t using their heaters that much.
I also wonder what lyrics to Christmas songs would change in order to more accurately match our weather:
• From “baby, it’s cold outside” to “baby, it’s hot outside”;
• “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” becomes “chestnuts roasting where there is no fire”;
• “I’ve got my love to keep me warm” becomes “I’ve got my love to make me sweat” (though that line could give off a different connotation);
• “Walking in a winter wonderland” becomes “walking in a sweltering wonderland”;
• “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” becomes “Jack Flame burning on your neck.”
Of course, some people don’t believe in climate change. I’m no scientist, but I have lived here my entire life, and I know that the weather is getting warmer with fewer days of rain.
Meanwhile, keep wearing those T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops. Of course, so many people already wear this attire 365 days a year, whether attending a play or eating at an upscale restaurant, why should any day be different from the rest? For me, to borrow from Irving Berlin, “I’m dreaming of a below-80 Christmas.”
BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of “Smart Kids, Bad Schools” and “The $100,000 Teacher.” He can be reached at www.brian-crosby.com.