What "are you ready for Spring?!" REALLY means

March 16 | Guest post by Hannah Wernet
We LOVE this "Rainy Day Bunny" print by Etsy seller HeatherRenaux

"Spring is coming, are you ready?" asked the pretty lady on a moped, who happened to pop up on my Facebook feed. Well, yes, thanks for asking, I am ready. This winter has been cold and grey and devoid of snow. And I am so ready for spring.

Strangely, walking down the street, the same question was asked of me by a billboard, and then a shop window. All three companies wanted to know if I was ready to shed my woolly layers and emerge, butterfly-like into the sun. Hell YES I am!

But then I realized, what they mean…

Woe betide any adult woman who just wanders nonchalantly into "the new season"

My body, for example (which has been reliably converting food and oxygen into movement and thoughts all winter), is no longer fit for purpose. It must now be upgraded, like a crap phone that got dropped in the loo. Waxing, trimming, toning, and buffing are all in order before this knitted chrysalis can be shed.

Last year's clothes, of course, simply will not do. I don't know, but people must have vastly more exciting holidays than me. My swimsuit is almost totally unscathed from the couple of weeks lounging by the pool last year. What are people doing with their bikinis that they have to be replaced every year? Swimming with sharks? White-water rafting? Lounging in vats of acid? Anyway, like any serious endeavor, Spring requires a whole new kit.

As for my house, well, that won't do AT ALL. I still have my winter curtains up. For Christ's sake, woman, what kind of a housewife are you?! To herald the lengthening days, what I really need are some pastel florals, preferably against a backdrop of freshly-painted "Greenery" walls. Until I've Hoovered behind the bookshelves and switched up my bedding, Spring will just have to wait.

…Pinterest said so.

How on earth did it all get so damn stressful?

How did something as delightful as the steady progress of the season, the first gusts of warmer air, the emergence of the primroses in the lawn, get all messed up with commercialism and to-do lists?!

Well, in my other life, when I'm not ranting about stuff on the internet, I teach English for Sales and Marketing. The books I use to teach have some insights… One book, for example, says that "emergencies, real or imagined," will increase sales.

Now, real emergencies I have no problem with. Storm coming? Check the candle supplies. Winter on its way? Wheel chains needed. These are all perfectly valid reasons to flog us stuff.

…But what about the imagined emergencies? If I started screaming at you to GET READY, like some kind of hopped-up prepper, you might decide not to talk to me anymore. If I persisted, friends and family would worry; people would start to avoid me in the street.

Spring is supposed to be a reward!

Into all lives some shit must fall. Tax returns, exam season, and class reunions are all example of events which warrant preparation (and a certain amount of trepidation). But Spring, Christmas, the summer holidays, Halloween, and New Year's Eve are supposed to be our rewards for putting up with all the other crap. They are the light side of life, the dessert you were promised if you ate all of your broccoli. But how many times in the run-up to Christmas have you heard a woman bemoan, "Oh, I am so not ready for Christmas, I haven't even…"? This pressure to "get ready!" is turning life into a chore.

I think Christmas is too long-gone to be saved. We've pretty much absorbed the message that it isn't really Christmas if you haven't worked yourself into a nervous breakdown in the run-up — baking, cooking, shopping, and cleaning.

But, please: can we not do the same for Spring?

Can we please just enjoy it without feeling pressured to overhaul our homes and our bodies, to prepare, to spruce, to worry and to spend? We allow the sales people and the advertisers to bring this noise into our lives. We even act on it, normalize it. Fuck that noise — it drowns out the birdsong.

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  1. I thought this post was going to be about the joys of pollen when I first clicked on it, but this is hilarious too. I particularly like the comparison with a crap phone that has been dropped in the loo, lmao.

    4 agree
    • At first I thought this was a buy stuff from the sponsors post. But then it took a turn for the awesome, and called out all that business behind so many posts (not here so much). Thank you!

  2. It's especially amusing to me reading this today – when I'm sitting in my office wearing jeans I got from a charity shop a few years back and a top I've had for at least 10 years, probably closer to 15. (Amazingly for something I own it's still in good condition, a bit worn on the elbows but otherwise fine – and I still get complemented on how nice it looks.) My trainers are relatively new, but I bought them in the autumn so I guess they're "last season" now and not appropriate for Spring.

    Honestly it would never occur to me to swap out all my clothes as the weather changes, let alone go and buy new ones. I'm aware some women have entirely separate summer and winter wardrobes but I've simply never owned that much stuff. I have a few long sleeved tops that don't get much use in the summer, but mostly my winter wear is my summer wear with a jumper on top. New stuff gets bought when I realise I need something (like the aforesaid jumper) and don't have it, or when I'm at a concert/convention/weird-ass novelty store and see something I absolutely must have.

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    • yeah, I read that book "The Amazing Magic of Chucking Crap Out" (might not be actual title) and particuarly like the bit where she suggested that if you have to put half of your clothes in storeage evey year, then you probably have too many clothes. I mean, I agree, but I loved the way she put it as if it was going to be some amazing revelation to most people.

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      • …unless you live in a place with such seasonal weather change that you can't help having two separate wardrobes. How am I supposed to survive the Canadian winter with simply chucking a sweater over a cotton dress? 😉
        I get it that in Florida or California or some weird places where temperature is even year-round, having two separate wardrobes doesn't make sense, but for those of us up North, there are items whose fate is to be seasonal (you can still have a capsule wardrobe though).

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        • Agree. My "seasonal changing of wardrobe" is really just me putting away a bunch of wool sweaters and pulling out dresses. It's also a great time to evaluate if I really need to keep all that clothing or if I can donate some.

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  3. My only thought when it comes to "getting ready for spring" is making sure I have a hoarder's supply of tissues, Zyrtec, and raw local honey. Call me when the trees stop fucking.

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    • When you say you are hoarding raw local honey, are you referring to the study that shows allergy suffers who eat local honey less the effects of their allergies? If so, do you find it makes a difference?

      • I have found having raw local honey very helpful. I know there are a lot of studies or people arguing that the local honey thing is crap and depending on the severity of your allergies, I can't say how each individual will react, but it has been super for me. I use it as my honey year round, adding a little more to my diet before (and throughout) allergy season.

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      • I use raw local honey and mix it with cinnamon. I keep it on hand all the time for allergies and colds. I've seen really REALLY great results from it. I take a spoonful when I'm sneezy, and within an hour, the sneeze fits are completely gone. My husband started taking it too and saw the same results. So yes, I definitely recommend raw local honey.

      • Could be pure coincidence but the first year I tried raw local honey I had fewer allergies and the year after that I had ALMOST no allergies… except dust, but I think that's a different ball game. But my lifestyle is always changing, it's so difficult to pinpoint what could have helped.

  4. When I saw the word prepper was hot, I got all excited thinking there was an Offbeat article on prepping.

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  5. I live in Tahoe, and while the spring equinox is just around the corner…there's still 15ft. high snowpack all over the place. My 'spring cleaning' won't start til May , and I'll definitely be scouring the heck out of my floors…I give up during the winter as they just perpetually get snow/mud tracked everywhere, despite my best efforts. Also, will be excited to have ALL my windows open to air things out and not freeze to death while doing so.

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  6. I always interpreted "Are you ready for spring?" to mean "Are you excited for spring?" As a Canadian, I am more than ready/excited for spring, especially after the most recent snowstorm. Depending on where you live, Spring can take a looooong time to arrive, so I see getting ready or prepared as part of the celebration that a new season is here and I can finally put my parka away.

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  7. Good point about the commercialization of spring. I never really thought about it. I'm relatively resistant to social pressure (we still have our Christmas tree up, as I posted on Facebook), but it's good to be aware of it and say, Nope.

    Gotta agree with all the Canadians that here, spring is an event! I'm already in a better mood because the chickadees are coming back, and I no longer have to wear snow pants!

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  8. Haha, great post!
    One other thing that's bugging me about the AREYOUREADYFORSPRING thing is that all my fluffy fashion reading is suddenly dominated by sundresses and sandals. I live in the PNW and it will not be sunny and warm until June. Like, please stop mocking me?? It's so much easier when I'm not reminded that sunshine actually exists for everyone else.

    (…although isn't spring typically rainy for everyone? The whole "April showers" thing? Does springtime marketing exist only for torture?)

    3 agree
    • I know. I live in Austria, and there is massive snow on the mountains, and all kind of freakish winds and stuff in the valleys , and yet the shops are full of floaty spring fashions, and have been since February. I always wonder about the people who work in the shops, dressing the mannequins. I know they get their instructions from HQ, but how must it feel to dress a mannequin in such a way that if they were alive, they would last 5 minutes tops, before succumbing to hypothermia?

  9. Personally I already ignore all of those are you ready for blah messages for numerous reasons:

    1. I see more from northern hemisphere areas, and those are incorrect for me in the southern.
    2. My climate is pretty mild so all those things like coloured leaves or snow don't exist even if I flip it by 6 months.
    3. It just feels like it's enforcing whatever mood someone says has to be for that season onto me, and fuck that.
    4. I hate commercialism consumerism capitalism body policing gender roles and general you should be x statements, so fuck that. See "is your body beach ready" adverts and such filth.

    I know I am lucky to have a mild climate and enough money and a family that doesn't care that I don't care about birthdays or Easter or Xmas. But that is partly because I have been that way since always and they have learned it is pointless to try and engage me in any of it cos I will just refuse. So we just meet in the middle.

    Remember your power to unfollow those people on fb who promote those consumerist msgs. Remember your power to not wrap your gifts in 3 layers of Amazonian paper. Remember your power to wear the same clothes repeatedly. I acknowledge it has consequences but I also think they are worth the internal boiling sludge you will feel if you try to make yourself do those things that you don't want to.

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  10. THANK YOU!!

    I was mocked by a very good friend for still wearing my "comfortable" shoes and not some cute strappy sandals. I told her I wear them because they are comfortable and I don't want to spend money on new strappy sandals just because it's spring (plus I have big feet and they don't look as cute as her tiny size 7s in those shoes).

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one that feels like they have to "get ready" for spring.

    1 agrees

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