Fourteen years ago, my tall brother left New England for California, and in doing so, gave up on ever experiencing seasons again, for his entire life. I say this fully aware of the weird, sad way that people out there think they have seasons. California people: you don’t have seasons. You have droughts, and earthquakes, and wildfires, and those things are terrible. They are not the same as seasons, which are amazing.
For anyone raised in a part of the world where the climate undergoes cyclical changes, seasonality isn’t just a way of marking time. It’s an emotional rhythm that’s ingrained in our souls, and it’s the only way in which our holiday celebrations make any kind of spiritual sense. Here in the north/east US, this means we get summers that are hot and madly humid. We observe the year’s bright afternoon by finding every possible excuse to get mostly naked and set off fireworks. Kids lose themselves in the beautiful anarchy of endless vacation, and adults can’t help feel the residual tug of all those glory days on our psyches, making us look for opportunities to play hooky and lay sprawled out on rough stretches of sand, wishing we could all just plunge into every ocean forever. It’s a three month orgiastic fever dream, crowned by our biggest secular celebration, the fourth of July. By the end of it, every article of clothing we own is permanently drenched with sweat and every time anyone says anything to you, the only natural responses are, “what?” and “was there ever such a thing as snow? and “I think I’m stuck to your arm.”
Our autumns come as a blessed relief, as the shutting-down of air conditioning leaves our ears blissfully ringing at night. Everything starts to taste like pumpkin, everything is made of butter, and we are, every year, reminded that there exists such a thing as “pumpkin butter.” And then there are the trees. Dear God, the trees. For a little while every year, the bitter, miserable north gets to be the catwalk-strutting pageant winner of America, and every day we see the trees, and every day we can’t stop looking at the trees. Halloween, as a holiday, only makes sense after you’ve experienced it with dead leaves skittering around your feet, the formerly lush trees now just vengeful skeletal husks clattering overhead. Now we want to touch each other again, to cuddle and to snuggle and to spoon. The idea of wearing warm jackets and drinking hot coffee are no longer baffling, nonsensical memories. They are actually, wonderfully, stunningly desirable. It gets really cold, and we hear the first strains of holiday music, and parts of our souls wake up, and other parts finally shut up, and we get our appetites back, and we wear sweaters on Thanksgiving and the cold makes us WANT THE TURKEY. I’m sorry, California, but you’ll never, ever understand the way in which cold makes you WANT THAT $&#@-ING TURKEY.
I could go on, and at some point I’m sure I will, but spoiler alert: Christmas and New Year’s and Valentine’s Day are supposed to be cold-as-ass and covered in snow. March is supposed to be gray and sound like Celtic music, and be totally regular and quiet, and then Easter is supposed to be when you can stumble outside and wear a t-shirt again. The real reason I got onto this topic is because every year, around this exact weekend, something strange happens: we have a massive national holiday of relatively recent invention, a communal event that has nothing to do with seasonality – and in fact feels directly opposed to it. In the middle of the coldest week of the year, everyone gathers to watch an outdoor sporting spectacle punctuated by festive musical performances and trailers for Hollywood blockbusters that won’t be release for another four months.
In short, Puppy Bowl is just weird.
“The Mythic America”
This year, in an attempt to make sense of it, I live tweeted from my tweet-person account, @OneillChristian. I would like to share this with you now, Internet. One caution, I come dangerously close to referencing cats in my blog, which I swore I would never do, but fortunately, it doesn’t really count if it’s just copied from my Twitter account. Let me reiterate this very important point: I will never, ever blog about cats.
Time for the real American heroes to stand and fight. Puppy Bowl VI, here…we…go!
Long time fans still remember the atrocities of Puppy Bowl 7. We’ve come a long way since then, as a people.
Dan Schachner has the best job in the world. Works ONE day a year and spends the rest of it marching in parades and doing Reddit AMAs.
Leah has come out in support of Team Ruff #irreconcilabledifferences
They should let just one single bull onto the field. That would level the playing field a little. #PuppyBowlSubaru #survivalofthefittest
Second quarter already…and I’m starting to suspect these dogs are not fully inflated.
I really wasn’t expecting the referee to drop so many F bombs. It’s just a game, guy.
Sometimes I really regret that I never played puppy football growing up.
Wait Spongebob is there now? The sellout bowl they should call it.
Why is everyone talking about Lenny Kravitz? Is something else going on tonight?
Leah is actively booing every puppy on Team Fluff. They’re just innocent puppies who need a home.
One day everyone will be able to remember where they were during #PuppyBowl2015
My God…there’s blood everywhere. Someone needs to put a stop to this, they’re JUST PUPPIES
Three quarters in. Most of the puppies have fallen for the glory of the Capitol.
Kiss Cam? Jeez, #PuppyBowl, as if you weren’t sexy enough already! Is it getting hot in here OR WHAT
Ruff is juicing like a mutha @PuppyBowl2015
Time for more Kiss Cam! Second base here we come #PuppyBowlSubaru
Third Kiss Cam of the night? Don’t come a knocking if the Stadium full of puppies is a-rocking.
Oh, if the Ruffs win, I’ll kill myself.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: democracy just doesn’t work. #PuppyBowlSubaru
Well-played, Ruffs. I guess we’ve all learned something valuable tonight: puppies are the worst, and no one should ever adopt them.