Weathered by the weather

23 May

For the last 7 days I have conducted a social experiment. It was not easy. It led to many ‘awkward silences’. It took great self-control and I nearly crumbled…many times.

My experiment: I refused to talk about the weather for 7 days. ‘That’s easy…’ you might be thinking. Well, I dare you to do the same. Admittedly, being the first bitterly cold week of the year it was not the most optimal time to do my experiment.

Nevertheless, not having ‘the weather’ to turn too, I was forced to ask ‘the stranger in the lift’ and ‘the man in lunch queue’ alternate questions.

Entering the lift in the morning was the hardest. You want to break the silence, but you don’t want to ask anything personal (risk being a creep). Come to think about it, people at work must think I’m quite nice- as I commonly turned to giving compliments about strangers clothes.

Honestly though, by avoiding the weather, I gained insight on things I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. At the photocopier, I learnt how my colleagues 14yr old daughter had announced she was a ‘lesbian’ at family BBQ, I learnt how the guy in the lift’s went on a blind date that was a disaster and I learnt from my coffee-man how he think’s his three year old has a stutter because he is learning Hebrew, English and Spanish all at once.

The weather is something we all have in common. Yes, we might experience it differently – dependent on layers of flub, height (apparently its colder up higher)….also socio-economic status, if you can afford a jumper, the cold lasts for 2 minutes, if you are homeless and live on the street’s you can’t escape it.

Come on, take the challenge – I dare you…


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