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pavlov's dog

Despite what Mike (my hubby) thinks, I'm not a complicated person. In fact, I've been conditioned throughtout my life to feel certain things, do certain things and think certain things when placed in certain situations. So I'm really more predictable then one might think.

For example, I get a knot in my stomach on the first day of school, even if I'm not even GOING to school... I fall asleep every single time I've tried to watch Napoleon Dynamite, and have yet to see the darn movie in its entirety... there's something about watching Tom and Jerry that takes me back to 1985 in Grandma Fiscus' basement... I'm hypnotized by a slight head rub, and will do or say almost anything... the sight of blood makes my legs ache... the sound of styrofoam rubbing together makes me cringe... and I rarely make it through a Sunday afternoon without passing out for a nap! All of these things happen without even thinking... it's completely out of my control... it's like I can't help myself!

So far, Pavlovian tricks like these have not been a problem, and they haven't hindered my way of life. But there is one little bit of stimuli that I completely rely upon every year. It's taken me several years to realize it, but I am completely reliant upon it, and when it doesn't happen, I feel... empty!

It's actually a long process... a series of events that occur usually in a particular order. It's happened since before I can remember... part of life in Alaska. So, come with me as I take you on a journey of an Alaskan Fall.

Once late August hits, a very distinct crispness sneaks into the morning air. Next the State Fair comes to town, and with it, the sweet aroma of cotton candy and Husky Burgers float on the breeze... and the distant cries from the Ferris Wheel and Tilt A Whirl echo into the night. Then comes September and the start of school. That flashing strobe on top of the school bus still instills me with a sense of urgency as a result of many hurried walks to the bus stop. Then one morning, you look up and see a hint of white on the mountain tops... the first dusting of snow. (Mom told me this happened yesterday in AK) Once that hits, the snow is almost as predictable as the sun rising. Then it happens... usually in October... THE FIRST SNOWFALL! Cue the Alabama Christmas CD... ironic, since we're in Alaska... but effective, none the less! Now we're on our way into the holiday season! It's like there is literally something in the air...

But here in Virginia, I am not so cheerful about the holidays. I have to MAKE myself put up the Christmas decorations... and I have to force myself to start baking! For years I have wondered what is WRONG with me!

Until today, when I realized that I can finally blame my "bah-hum-bugness" on something else... VIRGINIA WEATHER! Right now, as I type, it is a balmy 80 degrees outside with a little more then a hint of humidity. I am still more comfortable wearing shorts, but I'm so tired of shaving my legs that I have to wear pants and just sweat it out!

So, if I'm going to be any fun this holiday season, I better figure out some new "stimuli" for getting myself into the Christmas Spirit! Maybe I'll have to start playing my Christmas music after the first LEAF FALL... or something, because I'm tired of feeling like Mr. Scrooge on the inside! I'm going to beat it... and despite what they say, I think I'm going to teach this old Pavlovian Dog a new trick afterall!

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1 Response to "pavlov's dog"

Bezzie said... October 5, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I know exactly what you mean. We lived in Texas for 7 months...and it was awful. YOu know how people get SAD? I had Reverse SAD. In the winter is was so sunny and warm, I just wanted to lock myself in a dark closet. I never realized what a climate-influenced person I was until we moved there. Thank god we went back north. Not that New Jersey is anywhere CLOSE to Alaska, but hey, at least it snows!

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