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Rainy Days and Mondays

Posted on 10-22-2010 by Elise Joan

5 Things I’m grateful for today: 1) pumpkin lattes with extra whip 2) Steaming hot showers 3) grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup 4) my Mom 5) my extra fluffy, super comfy white bathrobe.

Today was not the typical Los Angeles Day.  Today I did not grab my Rainbow Brite beach towel & bottle of Hawaiian tropic to head to the Shangri-La pool.  I did not grab my wetsuit & surf board to hit the waves at Venice beach.  I didn’t even throw on my cut-offs & Havianas to walk leisurely around Montana Avenue.  Because today was a meteorological anomaly for Southern California.  Today…… it was cold & raining.

Now, to the rest of the country this may seem a very trivial detail, but here in LA, we approach these days much like North Easterners approach snowstorms.  We don coats & scarves and slickers.  We drive cautiously at well under the speed limit to avoid hydroplaning.  We hit the local grocery stores to load up on amenities like canned goods, bottled water & toilet paper.  We skip our usual errands and trips to the gym, and we start eating soup & snuggling under comforters.

So today, I decided to enjoy an unusual ‘blissful activity’, and take a long walk in the rain.  I went into my storage bin & pulled out my ‘marc jacobs’ rain boots (which I found at nearly 75% off at Fred Segal, due to the fact that it NEVER rains here, so naturally…. there is a very limited demand for rain boots).  I then whipped out the only rain-slicker I own, which is branded with the logo from a show I performed in long ago.  Now this would be PERFECT if that show was ‘singing in the rain!’ but sadly, it was “The Best Little Whorehouse in TX”.  So, to be honest….. I have gotten some confused & judgmental looks from the locals the 2 times I have worn it in my 5 years here in LA.

In a few moments, I was all decked out like ‘Paddington Bear” & ready to take on what any self-respecting Los Angelean would consider two completely unthinkable tasks:  braving a rainstorm, and…………… walking!  Nevertheless, I threw caution to the wind, and off I went!  At first I felt cold and a little bit miserable as the cuffs of my ‘extra long’ lululemon sweats got more & more drenched with each step.  But after a bit, I was able to appreciate the crisp clean air, and the captivating music created by the rhythm of raindrops splashing on Prius windshields.  I could almost feel the stillness, as the normally hectic pace of Wilshire Blvd was now quieted to a slow crawl.  Before long, I made two very important discoveries: 1) my rain boots provide excellent traction, and 2) Santa Monica is not built for rainfall, so HUGE pools of water had formed in nearly every parking lot, and almost all crosswalks.  Within minutes, I found myself giggling hysterically and splashing like a 5 year old through every puddle I could find!  I would slosh through the shallow ones, and take flying JUMPS into the biggest ones (which, in my experience, were largely found in  bank parking lots).  I created astounding splashes that Poseidon himself would envy.  I’d stomp and slosh and plunge into any and every standing pool of water, until I’d absolutely exhausted myself with delight!!

On the way home…. Drenched and dripping, I stopped into a Starbucks for their seasonal pumpkin latte (whipped cream and all).  The aroma of the spices instantly transported me back to those crisp fall days of my childhood back East, when I’d roller-skate in the driveway and rake leaves with my family… (well, to be perfectly honest before my Mom calls me out, I did more jumping and cart-wheeling into piles of leaves than actually RAKING them).  Either way… with unabashed joy, and nostalgic thoughts of crushing crunchy colored leaves beneath my feet whirling around in my brain, I walked home gleefully.

Sometimes….. it’s the cloudiest days, and the simplest things, that create our brightest moments.

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