I walk to work. It is 16 long avenue blocks in the city and at a brisk clip it takes me twenty minutes. I like the walk, I like the view, and it is the only part of my day that I am not listening to someone, or figuring out what to make for dinner while I'm supposed to be listening.
As I was walking toward work the other day, I realized that it was October already. Having grown up in the big city, October means a lot of things to me: Halloween, pumpkins and apples, the time you finally get to wear all those cool back-to-school sweaters you stocked up on, and it is the month when the landlords start sending up heat to their apartments. This stopped me in my tracks. I had to do some mental calisthenics to make sure I was in my right mind. Yes, it actually is October; yes, it is the time of year when the landlords start sending up heat; and yes, last night I ran my air conditioner. Something is not right about this.
Not only was I not wearing a new sweater, I was guiltily wearing an obviously "spring" outfit that I should have packed away in the spare closet by now. I had actually had the thought, when getting ready for my day, that I hoped no one "in the know" would see me in my floral skirt and linen-like camp shirt so far past Labor Day. But with temperatures still in the eighties, I just could not bring myself to wear something more seasonably appropriate.
Many will say, and they are certainly right, that we should rewrite the fashion laws, among others, to more accurately reflect modern times. But I am a creature of habit. I grew up with certain heuristics, rules of thumb, and I have steadfastly held on to them. And that is why, knowing that I ran my air conditioner in October has been gnawing at me lately.
My friends say that warmer weather all year round will be delightful. No more bitter winds and slush to slog through. It feels wrong. When my older cousins abandoned calling the parents by "Aunt" and "Uncle," I could not. It felt wrong. When my doctor said I could call him "Peter," I could not. It just felt wrong. And I don't care how hot it is or how much I needed to run my air conditioner in October, it just feels wrong.