Humor us, won’t you, and finish the following sentence: It’s not the heat; it’s the ____.
You’ve probably heard the saying so many times you don’t even remember learning it. But now that you think about it . . . it seems a little fishy, no? Why do we regurgitate a saying that contains zero universal wisdom? This isn’t some old chestnut like “Practice makes perfect.” It’s an oddly specific idiom that claims 95 degrees in a dry climate is comfortable but 95 degrees in a wet climate is lethal.
Humidity isn’t the problem; it’s the answer. To all of our problems—from dry skin to a dry spell. It makes everything more gorgeous, even you! It’s why spas have steam rooms and why beautiful people always seem to be in them. Without humidity, a sauna is just a wooden box, no better than a casket. But throw some water on that pile of hot rocks in the corner and what do you get? Rejuvenation.
Humidity is an aphrodisiac. Miami, Havana, São Paulo—it’s no coincidence that the sexiest places on earth are also the most humid. You know where isn’t sexy? Reno, Phoenix, Provo. “But what about California?” you want to know. “California is sexy!” Maybe, but California is currently on fire, possibly as punishment for trying to pull off a lush, seaside look despite its desert origins. “New York City is humid, and it isn’t sexy!” you insist. Touché. New York City is disgusting, but let’s not blame humidity for the municipal waste department’s doing. New York City isn’t disgusting because it’s humid; it’s disgusting because it’s disgusting.
This article appeared in the SUMMER 2022 issue of Esquire
If you have a problem with humidity, you aren’t embracing it. Yes, it can make you feel sleepy, sweaty, and crazy, but there are solutions. Handled properly, humidity is an entirely legitimate excuse to be drunk and/or asleep all day. Feeling sluggish? Take a nap! Getting sweaty inside a stiff suit? Throw on a breezy Tommy Bahama. (“Hot” and “humid” are the only conditions in which you can stroll down the street in a half-buttoned shirt with parrots on it and not immediately be arrested.) Feeling looser than Matthew McConaughey on a Florida vacation? May we suggest day drinking? Piña coladas pair perfectly with high dew points.
Come August, when temperatures are soaring past 100 degrees, you won’t care if the air is moist or not. All you will feel is the sun roasting you like a rotisserie chicken. At least humidity holds the promise of a nearby body of water. If you were stranded naked in the desert, an arid wind whipping an ant farm’s worth of sand into your butt crack, you know what might feel nice? A little humidity! There’s a reason nobody has nightmares about getting lost in a rain forest.
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