Wednesday, April 12, 2006


The Cruel Torment of Unattainable Beauty

Yesterday was an utterly glorious day, which put me in a truly foul mood.

I’m not usually a contrarian when it comes to weather. Part of the motivation for escaping Northern Town was its perpetual cloudiness. Although I like the song, “I’m Only Happy When it Rains” doesn’t usually describe me.

But when you’re stuck in the office all day, in a suit and tie, and it’s a slow day, and it’s the first obscenely beautiful day of the year outside, well, that’s just cruel.

I found myself constructing excuses to run errands across campus. It was the kind of day that provokes even the better students to ask if they can have class outside. The kind of day that makes administrators, who have to keep at least 9-5 hours (usually longer) particularly crabby at faculty. The kind of day when normally-conscientious faculty who have made appointments with you call to cancel, citing mysterious, sudden-onset colds.

To make matters worse, the tv in the student center (one of my contrived errands) was tuned to the Washington Nationals’ home opener. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon! On a slow day! That’s just adding insult to injury.

The closest parallel – some of you may know how this works – is when you’re 17, and hopelessly smitten with a pretty young thing, and you’re sharing a tender moment, and you’re screwing up your courage to make your move, and she says you’re like her brother.

Not that I would know anything about that.

By June or so, the torment isn’t as great because the beautiful days aren’t as rare. The pain of missing one is dulled by the reasonable certainty that another one will follow, and another. But the first one really hurts.

I wonder if I could move my desk outside…

At least on my campus, the weather gods and the vicious head-cold gods have conspired to propagate a genuinely nasty bug right at the onset of good weather.

That it looks suspicious as hell only makes things worse.
See here's where I'm happy I did what I did yesterday, convinced the husband to have a fine late lunch and glass of wine. We watched all the University staff returning from their lunch breaks and the coeds prancing about dressed like it was 90 degrees. Then as soon as the kids got off the bus told them we were heading to the lake beach for the afternoon while the sun was shining. I love having an erratic job that let's me do that.
*laughing at your unrequited love analogy*

The good news is, it's the beginning of the season and not the end... at least, that's what I told myself as I was trapped in a windowless room conjugated verbs on demand for six hours yesterday.
Some days you remind me to be very happy indeed that I managed to find a place on faculty for me.
We did not have a gorgeous day yesterday, and we are buried under a wet, cold one today, and likely through the holiday week-end as well, but soon enough there will be good weather, and I will do my reading and my writing -- as much as possible, outside, under the shade of a tree.
Counting my blessings and reminding self that I have no decanal aspirations.
Alls I know is that this semester I am blessed with mostly afternoon classes -- 2:00 on MWF, and 12:30 and 2:00 on TTh -- and my students have been antsy as all hell this week. Nor does it help to be right before the long weekend. I'm having a quiz tomorrow, and I bet I still have 10% absenteeism.
Send some of that nice weather my way? I'm sick of the rain and mudslides, and the stupid drivers, and mudslides, oh and then more rain, and then more stupid drivers. Please?
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