Way back when (high school), I sang in the choir. I have fond memories of our practice room, from pop-tarts in the piano to waging a tribal choir war. We loved that space, except when it played tricks on us with the temperature. When it was cold, I sounded like a lifelong smoker. At 16. When it was hot—no one is happy in a hot space crammed with 50 singers.
Independent of the outside weather, that room would be sweltering one day and icy the next. Some of us creative types christened it the “Menopause Room,” and it stuck. Yes, the name was strange; we’d just barely survived puberty, and already we were looking ahead to our early 50s. But there’s no denying it fit.
Just as my choir class was the menopausal monster of CB West High School, so too is Boston the Menopausal City of the Northeast. Or at least Massachusetts.
Let me prove it to you. The big difference between menopause and puberty is that menopause entails not just mood swings, but also temperature fluctuations. According to these terms, Boston definitely qualifies.
Temperature: It’s technically fall now, so why did I just walk home shivering in a windbreaker jacket and jeans, wishing for mittens? And worse yet, why was the day before so hot I had to turn my window fan up to full blast? Mere climate change fails to explain such phenomena; it can only be the result of Boston’s mid-life… changes.
Mood swings: I’m not a Boston native so I only have the past three years to go on, but from what I can tell Boston has always been a temperamental mistress. The random super-warm week last semester followed by the Nemo blizzard proves just how volatile she can be. On too many occasions, the sky will be clear when I head to class and pouring rain an hour later.
I guess “hell hath no fury as a woman scorn’d,” and poor Boston is repeatedly passed up for her plumper, more organized Northeast cousins (New York, Philadelphia, etc.). So yeah, Boston is the butt of many jokes (examples: A, B, and C), and Boston has a right to be acting out, but she’s just making matters worse for herself.
On the other hand, maybe Boston is just trying to keep her residents on their toes—keep things interesting; after all, the most complex characters in books and movies are often the menopausal ones. For proof, look to Miss Havisham or Skyler White. Boston’s weather volatility gives Bostonians some eccentricity in their lives.
Honestly though, I’m surprised tourism hasn’t halted altogether, what with the not knowing when the next downpour will strike… rain boots are only a fashion statement at BU because we don’t have a choice.
Much like my mother—and middle-aged women everywhere—Boston is by turns rainy, cold, warm, windy, and stormy. But it makes those rare sunny days that much better.