Spring is generally greeted with welcome relief and happiness no matter where one lives. Who isn’t cheered by the sudden appearance of tulips and daffodils and the wash of tender green over branches that looked dead just yesterday? But in New England, especially after a particularly harsh winter, spring is met with something more like manic desperation. Think: how you’d feel at the arrival of a boat on the deserted island where you’ve been stranded, starving and alone, for months. Now multiply that by nine and add a splash of just-found-out-it’s-not-cancer, a dash of won-the-lottery, and a sprinkling of returning-soldier-surprises-kid-at-school. THAT’S how New Englanders receive spring.
This isn’t mere enthusiasm, but scientific fact. Humans of New England have adapted survival mechanisms that allow them to inhabit this area with its shitty climate extremes. It’s a known fact that there are 16-23 nice days in New England per calendar year. These days occur exclusively in May and September. On these occasions one can observe all New Englanders experiencing day-long euphoric, rapturous climigasms. Every other day of the year is too cold, too hot, too humid, or literally too dangerous to venture outside. (For real. People here die when it’s cold and when it’s hot. They don’t die on 16-23 days in May and September.)
As soon and the mercury hits 50° (44° for Northern New England) and/or the calendar is turned to April, the following can be observed from Connecticut to Maine:
- New Englanders pack away their boots and coats and pull out their shorts and flip-flops (male) or skirts/capris and many pairs of foot-baring shoes (female).
- It’s important to note that the New England male is unable to don long pants for approximately five months after his first time wearing shorts annually.
- The New England female is unable to cover her ankles again until the first leaves begin to fall, at which time she excitedly buys new boots.
- New England females can be found attempting to look like they’re not freezing in their inadequate denim jackets on the sidelines of children’s sporting events and while commuting to work, running errands, and, most of all, going out to dinner.
- Dining establishments across New England set out tables and chairs on the sidewalks, which are quickly filled with short-sleeved clad patrons who didn’t realize that the moment the sun sets the temperature dips to 35, (like it did yesterday and will again tomorrow, once again catching everyone off guard).
Once the mercury hits 60° on three consecutive days:
- New England homeowners buy mulch in a frenzy similar to how they’d buy bottled water at the onset of a zombie apocalypse.
- Beer sales increase by 77% across the region.
- Daily class attendance at the many New England colleges and universities drops by 48%.
- People seen walking around with store-bought coffee are 100% replaced by people seen walking around with store-bought iced coffee.
- New England females look at themselves in the mirror while naked and count the days until they will likely wear a bathing suit, thus:
- Supermarkets report a sudden 90% increase in sales of leafy greens, carrots, and hummus.
- Sales of running shoes, workout videos, and fashionable stay-put athletic headbands increase by 82%.
- Starbucks experiences a sharp decline in customers who opt for whipped cream atop their skinny iced mocha lattes.
- “How to remove a tick” becomes the top search item on Google for the month of May.
When temperatures finally reach upper-70’s perfection:
- New England homeowners can no longer get the soil out from under their nails.
- A visit to The Home Depot on a Saturday or Sunday takes no less than two hours and costs over $200.
- Children are slathered with sunscreen before school. (They do NOT like this.)
- Every New Englander must post the at least 3 of the following photos on social media:
- a photo of a tulip or daffodil
- a photo of their ankles/legs/feet
- a photo of their kid’s first sporting event of the season
- a photo of the view from their run, hike, or bike ride
- a selfie of their new “ready for summer!” haircut
- Liquor stores report a 55% decrease in the sale of red wine and a 74% increase in the sale of white wine. Nobody buys Bailey’s or port again until November.
As of the writing of this post, much of New England is experiencing temperatures climbing well over 80°. While mornings and evenings are still pleasant, sadly several of the year’s 16-23 nice days are already behind New England’s inhabitants. Ahead lies heat and humidity, gnats and mosquitos, and visits to the beach where the ocean is perpetually frigid. New Englanders busy themselves readying for summer – a time when they complain of the heat exactly as fervently as they complained of the cold all winter, get tans the shape of their sandals, and pretend to like gazpacho.