Monday, May 2, 2011

Smug in the sun.

I’ve recently been introduced to a little habit called the ‘humble brag’. The humble brag is a not so subtle way of big upping yourself, whilst being seemingly self deprecating or modest. For instance: “Oh, my pants keep falling down, I really need a smaller size…” or “It was SO awkward being hit on in the line for the chemist. I mean, I was buying tampons, come on guy! Enough!” The humble brag is like the backhanded compliment; its real intentions have a little more sting than the actual pointy end.

The weather “humble brag” happens when we’re on holiday. In order to have the best holiday ever we need weather so good it mocks everyone still at work. If we’re offered what we believe is our Mother Nature given right we need to ensure we don’t LOOK like we’re bragging, so soften the brag blow with a complaint/whine. Facebook is the perfect vehicle for this: “Trying to relax in the pool at resort in Fiji, but the couple next to us keep arguing about what they’re ordering from the bar. UGH”. Or “Wow, jogging in the Caribbean in 29 degree heat is SO much harder than at home. I’m in pain. SADFACE”. This will often be accompanied by a photo of said gorgeous beach, with an ice cold beer placed strategically in foreground.

The Guardian newspaper wasn’t quite this humble about their weather bragging last week. They probably could have added a pinch of that to the smugness they dished up when delivering these headlines…

Yep, England has been sunny. Like, unseasonably sunny. So sunny that you suckers who chose to chase the probable Easter sun in Spain, SPAIN!, are un-English, have no faith in your country’s ability to produce golden rays and are probably a little bit simple (that’s what I read in the subtext. You?) Reporters and punters alike have been unable to contain their smug, English pride in the glowing weather and have been grabbing the back of necks left, right and centre for a good old fashioned nose rubbing. I’ve deduced that the English become SUPER smug about nice weather because their normal expectation is something altogether different. It’s like when you take a long haul flight and find yourself uncomfortably seated next to a sick, cranky baby, but then the baby ends up being drugged and sleeping the whole time and it has a hot single Dad who doesn’t want his desert so gives it to you and it’s the first class dessert because they ran out of economy sludge and you look like you deserve the best and they’re playing four movies you haven’t seen but really wanted to and you also sleep for 14 hours. That kind of surprise event.

This past Friday, when a certain WEDDING event took place, weather watchers were so focused on predicting the exact second, weight and dimensions of the rain which would most definitely fall and how it’s watery presence would RUIN EVERYTHING that when a sliver of sun oozed out during the unveiling of the newly married couple, warming their faces for the ENTIRE duration of the open coach ride, disaster (people were using this word in all seriousness) was averted. The commentary (and I’m paraphrasing here, mostly because I cannot be bothered sifting through photos of Beatrice and Eugenie’s head creations to find the actual quote) went a little something like this: “Here are the royal couple, stepping out of Westminster Abbey, and now, as expected, out comes the sun. It’s chosen to shine on this incredible celebration, as if Mother Nature herself is showering the royal union with her very own gifts. What a truly amazing British day”*. A little smug in the sun, England?

Whether you approach it with humility or not, I like giving the weather credit for making a nice day. It’s also quite fun to have something that other people don’t. So did England deserve the bragging rights for turning it on over the past few weeks? Damn straight. Now can you believe I have to leave all this and get on a really long flight to Australia next week? Ugh, my life sucks.

London tomorrow, seriously the idea that London is grey and rainy is a misnomer. Cold? Yes. Raining? Um, nearly never…

* This is a gross misquote and is actually much more poetic than the original commentary. I just can't help but use effusive language when talking about the weather, I thought you knew that about me.

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