Views and Reviews by Jean McCamy
What would we do without the weather to talk about? Sure, there is local gossip, politics, religion, books, movies, sports, history, food, children, pets, grandchildren and a number of other topics, but still, most of us, when at a loss for words, fall back on the weather.
Think about it. When we meet someone new, or see someone we haven’t seen lately and don’t know very well, after the, “Hello, how are you?” we usually go directly to the weather.
It’s probably something along the lines of, “Hasn’t it been a wonderfully cool summer?” or, “It’s been so hot. I’m ready for fall.” or, “How has your garden done with this rain/dry weather/late frost/heat?” or “Wonder if we will get snow this winter?”
Some people even skip the “How are you?” and go directly to “Hot enough for you?” or some equally vacuous greeting.
It beats, “I’ve forgotten your name” or “I’m really in a hurry to get somewhere else and don’t want to get involved in a long conversation.”
We have a lot of international visitors and the weather is always a good starting point in finding common ground.
In the Friendship Force, we are cautioned not to talk about politics or religion. Of course, we always do, but a couple of good conversations comparing weather, followed by the family tree with a special emphasis on grandchildren, can pave the way for not stepping on toes if we are of different persuasions.
In those situations, I always try to have a Fahrenheit/Celsius conversation table handy. It helps move the conversation along.
—Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.