Let’s talk about the weather.

14 Aug

When I was in Ireland for my summer study abroad program earlier this summer, I took an Irish language class that met twice a week. I was hoping to learn some Irish phrases so that I could come back to the States and impress my friends and family with some Irish, or maybe an accent. Unfortunately, I came back with neither. However, I did learn one interesting thing: The Irish love to talk about the weather. One of my language professors said that in Ireland it’s typical to spend about 15 or 20 minutes every day just talking about the weather, as if it is as important as something that happened at work or an interesting conversation you overhead while standing in line at the grocery store. I found the importance of the weather as a conversation piece very interesting mainly because that’s not how the topic of weather is viewed in the States.

Here if someone brings up the weather as a conversation topic, they’ve done it for 2 reasons: 1. The conversation is so boring or awkward that they’ve settled for discussing the weather or 2. Something big is happening in terms of the weather (i.e there’s a severe storm coming their way or it’s been unseasonably hot). Normally, I think that if the weather is brought up as something to genuinely discuss, the conversation has already been shot to hell. However, imagine how things would change if we put the same emphasis on the topic of the weather as the Irish do. Though we normally view the topic of the weather as a mundane discussion, taking the time to actually sit down and comment on the weather could help us slow down a little bit. It could give us a break, even a small one, to discuss something that seems as simple as brushing our teeth in the morning. When I was in Ireland, I noticed the slow and overall relaxed nature of the Irish. They don’t rush. If the bus is 15 minutes late, it’s not a big deal. The earliest classes begin at 9am rather than 8am. However, forbid them to go into their favorite pub as soon as they get off work at 5pm, and you’ve got trouble.

I know that if I took a few minutes every day to talk about (or at least observe) the weather, it would be a daily reminder to slow down. Though I know that it is a common saying to “Stop and smell the roses,” how many of us really stop and take the time to notice the little things? Maybe today each one of us could try to connect to our Irish roots (that we may or may not have) so that we can be reminded to take things just a little bit slower.

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7 Responses to “Let’s talk about the weather.”

  1. Anita S August 14, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Thank you for pointing this out — most of us in the U.S. do need to slow down. I’m thankful that I am not working at a job that has strict hours, a long commute, deadlines, etc. Even so, I sometimes get agitated about time.
    I’m not sure how Texas compares with N.C., but I think we may talk about the weather a bit more than you’ve described. It’s not really a ‘last resort’ topic here.

    • ameliaclaire92 August 14, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      I guess I just meant that in the states we don’t talk about the weather as much as they do in Ireland. In Ireland, the weather is a daily conversation that can last from 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. yogikarenk August 14, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Good point. Slow down and breathe the weather!

  3. tread August 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Wow I thought people did that everywhere, but you have proven that, as with many other activities, nobody does it like the Irish.

  4. belasbrightideas August 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    Sounds like Maine where I lived for 32 years – always talkin’ ’bout the WEATHAH!

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