Monday, December 3, 2012

It's raining, let's party!

A month or so back a Person I Know(tm) posted a picture of a delicious pastry with the slogan:  I'm Fat.  Let's Party. 

I loved it immediately.  I loved it so much I told everyone about it, including many people who were working and clearly wished I would devote my time and mouth to something else.  I couldn't entirely figure out why this was the best slogan ever but I knew that it was and so I was over the moon when the same Person I Know(tm) came in wearing a tee-shirt saying the same thing:  I'm Fat.  Let's Party.  Mildly important to understanding why this is cool - the guy is not fat.  Also important:  even if he were fat it would still be an excellent slogan.  Why do I love it?  Because it is totally and crazily subversive. 

Let me explain.

Turn on any daytime channel and wait a minute and you will see some weak excuse for a plastic façade of a person going on about the horrors of fat people.  Flip through a magazine and there is more of the same, if you're fat then obviously you are sitting at home eating Doritos and hoping uselessly that one day you could look ok and join the rest of the slender frolicking people.  

Summary fat people do not party.  They eat pathetic lonely meals and demonstrate every day that they have no self-control....and none of this happens to be true.  If there is a candidate for not being a partier it would be a skinny person because they are probably not drinking (calories) eating birthday cake (more calories) or experimenting with making their own creme brulee (fattening.)  

I'm not going to argue the merits of partying or not partying or thin versus fat other than to say if there is a fat person and a thin person despite what the tv wants you to think it's going to be the fat person who is partying down and having a good time.  If the skinny person is partying hard they're probably smoking crystal on the side and should be avoided.

Pop quiz:

Q:  What do kids do when it rains? 
A:  Go outside and stomple puddles, run in small circles until they fall down and rescue drowning earthworms. 

Q:  What do (American) grown-ups do when it rains?
A:  Behave as if battery acid is falling from the sky.  Open umbrellas and rush to their cars.  Curse the other people in cars and ridicule their driving ability as inferior to their own.

Historically, Rapunzel has been transported to school via bike wagon on rainy days but this year she said (not unreasonably) that she was too grown-up for that and that she was ready to bicycle in the rain.  This launched a push for rain-proofing the Rapunzel.  Getting soaked is not a big deal and may even have some charm but spending an entire school day in cold wet clothes is not all that pleasant.  We bought her some warm weather-prooof boots.  We fished out some rain pants.  We took a big breath and bought her an expensive top of the line Pearl Izumi flourescent rain shell.  

How has Rapunzel responded?  She bicycles in the rain.  She's biked every non-sick school day this year without exception.  When the weather looks bad I offer alternatives.  In what I hope is a non judgmental way, I say "heya darling, it looks wet out.  Do you feel up for the bicycle trip or is it a good day for the car."  In varying ways she responds with "Are you kidding?  Bicycle!" and so, we bicycle.

Last week was the Rubicon of rainy bicycling.  We look outside and it is coming down in sheets of water.  Water is good, this is a dry state and we need water but I wonder if Rapunzel bicycling to school amounts to abuse on my part.  I wonder if she feels like she has to do this to earn my respect.  She has my respect.  I ask if she wants a ride and she looks amazed, as if I had said "chocoalte or kale tonight?"  Her reply to me amounts to:  "Duh.  Yes I want to bicycle."  

And so we bicycle, in giant sheets of rain.  We bicycle past the heavy traffic caused by everyone who does not bicycle.  We bicycle through deep puddles and water spraying up to the sides.  Contraption Captain is in front and I am in the back and in the middle, Rapunzel is so happy that she's laughing.  She laughs and smiles and is puffed up with the fun of being outside when everyone else is inside and with the satisfaction that comes of going out into the elements and coming out on top.  She laughs because she is pure awesome.

So I guess I'm saying, don't buy into the stories that water hurts and rain is to be avoided.  Rain can be a party.  Rain can be out in the world experiencing it first hand instead of seeing life go by through a window.  Rain is battling through something a little more complicated with wet brakes and heavy clouds and getting there anyway.  Rain is on your skin and droplets catching in your eyelashes and being the only bicycle in the lot and knowing that everyone may think you are crazier but possibly the real answer is you know something that they have forgotten. 



  1. Beautiful post! It never ceases to amaze me how many adults think they will melt in the rain!

  2. Yay! That's what I think as well. I was worried at first about biking in the rain with our daughter on the trailer bike (she's in kindergarten) but she loves it. She has purple boots, purple rain pants, and a nice pink rain coat. The people in cars all smike when they see her out there.

    I have always found it refreshing, and my wife didn't realize how invigorating it was to be riding a bike in the rain rather than SF Muni until she tried it. Now she loves it too!

  3. Awesome post! Depending on the temperature, when I cycle in the rain sometimes I have the BIGGEST smile - tho when it gets really cold and wet, I'm not as keen.
    Thanks for sharing :-)