Opinion

Am I climatized or crazy?

People here in the Pacific Northwest are a touch batty when it comes to the weather and appropriate dress. By people, I am including myself in there, too.

Last week, for example, I was in my favorite Little Bit of Everything Store in Bremerton on a nice, warm day — it was about 55 or 60 degrees. I saw a couple by the car aisle bundled up to the hilt. They were wearing bulky winter jackets (it was easy to tell their liners were still in the jackets), knit caps and mittens.

I had to stifle a giggle because I was reminded that, only a year ago, that was me: Bundled, blue and shivering in 60-degree weather.

Last year was my first Puget Sound winter, and I remember every single second of it. I wore three layers of clothes for about five months. OK, until about mid-June, really.

When we arrived in November 2002, it was about 55 degrees and I was astonished — incredulous, even — to see children running around with mere sweatshirts on.

I would gawk and point, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” style, at their barely clothed arms.

When my husband was with me, he’d hear “Where in the world are those kid’s parents? Those kids are gonna get pneumonia!”

“Honey,” my even-keeled partner in crime would say, “They’re used to the weather.”

“Ha,” I’d scoff. “How can they be used to this? I’m freeee-z-z-zing.”

When we’d be out and about and it would be raining, I’d wonder aloud — very aloud — if anyone in the state of Washington had ever heard of an umbrella. I didn’t realize it then, but now I’d put money on the fact I sounded exactly like my mother. In the two weeks out of the year it would drop below 60 degrees and rain in California’s Central Valley, she’d fuss at me and my siblings (six in all, including me) and yell we’d catch our death if we didn’t have jackets and an umbrella.

Fast forward one year.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was about 50 degrees in downtown Bremerton and the wind was whipping my hair all over my head. I was walking out side with a lined, wool blazer.

And I was comfortable.

No jacket, just a blazer. No mittens, I haven’t worn those since the first week of February. No hat, my head wasn’t even cold.

What in the world is the matter with me?

I’m not sure if I’ve gone crazy or if I’ve just climatized. I have become the sweathshirt-wearing, no-umbrella-having, lost-the-liner-in-my-jacket Pacific Northwesterner who used to freak me out and make me question the collective sanity of humanity.

I just know that couple in the store was looking at me and wondering where my jacket was and were fighting the urge to tell me I was going to catch my death.

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