I walked through the rain to volunteering today. Now, for you Brits reading my blog, this is not a big deal. For many Americans it is. You see, I was the only one who walked, wearing a raincoat, through the weather. I was the precipitation exposed exception. There was even a somewhat verbatim repetition of the famous Rocky Horror Picture Show dialog: “You’re wet.” “Yes, it’s raining.”
So, how did all the other manage to stay so dry? They came over by car, of course. They parked as close as possible to the entrance and sprinted inside.
I did not see anyone else in a raincoat. It is actually not easy to even find a raincoat in stores around here. Granted, it does not rain often where I live, but we do have rainy days. Good, sturdy shoes that can get wet on occasion are also hard to come by. But guess what? Most people do not even own these things anymore. There is no more need for raincoats, or winter coats, or rain boots. Our cars are our coats. Our wheels are the ones getting wet.
I am guessing one reason why we don’t expose ourself to the weather anymore is that we want to look our best, to look professional. And apparently getting a little wet destroys the structural integrity of looking great.
I think another reason is, that we are just so used to driving everywhere that we simply don’t think about it anymore. We shun the outside world, without even realizing it. For example if you get in your car while it is still in your garage, drive to your destination, park in another garage and take the elevator up to your floor; you weren’t outside for one second.
You might argue that you drove outside to get from point A to point B. And that is very true. However, you were always inside a climate controlled structure. You didn’t feel the wind whoosh by. You didn’t feel the actual outside temperature and you certainly didn’t feel the sprinkle of rain on your face. You experienced the outside world second hand. It was a climate controlled simulation through a window pane.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs to walk everywhere from now on. I just think that me walking through the rain should not be such an exception. And it might also be worth thinking about how much we really experience our actual outside.