It is May 20 in Bend, Oregon. The temperature is in the low 40s, with intermittent light snow flurries. (For comparison, it currently is 77 degrees in Minneapolis.)
And everywhere I go in town, people are talking about the "weird" weather.
"Did you see that snow this morning?" says one.
"I know!" replies another. "Isn't this the craziest weather you've ever seen?"
Of course, there is nothing weird or crazy or unusual or even noteworthy about this weather. It is perfectly normal weather for Bend at this time of year, or almost any time of year -- i.e., it sucks.
Having suffered through 26 miserable, depressing, gray, cold, rainy, snowy "springs" in Bend, I am no longer surprised when the weather sucks. I am not surprised by anything the weather does here. (Well, except for those rare intervals when it doesn't suck.) I would not be surprised to see ice floes in the Deschutes and flocks of penguins waddling along Wall Street on the Fourth of July.
But other people in Bend -- many of whom I personally know have lived here for quite a few years, some even longer than I have -- still profess astonishment when the weather sucks in May.
What's the reason? These people are not imbeciles; at least, they give no other outward indication of being imbeciles.
The only plausible explanation I can think of is that longtime Bend residents are masters of denial (they have to be or they wouldn't live here) and pretending that horrible weather in May is "weird" and "crazy" is one of their well-developed denial mechanisms.
I'm cool with that. Hey man, whatever floats your boat, y'know?
But if you're thinking about moving to Bend -- maybe you're here looking for a house to buy -- and you ask about the suckerrific weather and the locals tell you that "this is really unusual" ... DON'T BUY IT. It's as big a lie as the "300 days of sunshine" claim.