The March Pisser: Jennifer Nettles on spring fever... and that annual spring tease

Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM

"Beware the March Pisser." While I know old William Shakespeare didn't say this specifically -- "Beware the Ides of March" -- I am certain this is probably what he meant.

The March Pisser is a phenomenon of the Southern United States. We have beautiful Springs in Atlanta. Beautiful. Every year in March, Spring dances in with her windy, flowing, green chiffon and tips the trees with new pink flowering buds. We all scurry to our storage boxes, excitedly bringing out our tank tops and sundresses. For a week or two, we blindly frolic in the bliss of spring fever. "Would you like to go to brunch on Saturday, dahlin'?" "Oh yes, honey pie, let's walk there and then sit outside on the patio."

Then something happens. Spring, being the fecund tease that she is, tiptoes back around the corner of Winter, and giggles.

This year, for example, we had two weeks of beautiful weather. Perfect. High 60s. Sunny. Then, without warning, without any of us expecting it, it started raining. The next day was overcast and in the 40s. And the next day, it snowed. Snowed!!!! Are you hearing this?!?!

Now for those of you who live in the Great White North, you don't see anything odd about this. But let me kindly offer you some perspective: In my entire life of living in the fair state of Georgia, it has snowed maybe six times that I can recall. Three of those times have been in this year's unseasonably cold winter. One of those three was last week. During The March Pisser. 

I call it The March Pisser because it is just that: a pisser. During The March Pisser, we all tuck our tails in frosty defeat and pull our coats back out for one more week. Pissed to have to endure one more moment in layered clothing and utterly annoyed at being duped again. (Though it happens every year, without fail, we are still caught by surprise. Kind of like Christmas.) But being the Positive Polly that I am, I have decided to turn these lemons into an Arnold Palmer.  

If I were at a different time in my life (college), or if I were living my fantasy life (wild rock n' roll hedonist), I would use The March Pisser as an excuse for getting rip-roaring piss drunk, in honor of this day. (In much the same way that we Americans use Saint Patrick's Day.) This would also be a clever Anglophile use of the word "pisser." (Imagine me saying it in a heavy British accent, "Oh yea, we went out and got pissed last night. It was the March Pisser.") 

But as that is not my current life, I will sit back, have a responsible glass of Bordeaux, and look at my tank tops poised and awaiting their official seasonal debut. Spring is coming. I hear giggling. 

- Jennifer

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  1. Caiti22 avatar

    On Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 6:46 AM, Caiti22 said:

    I was bored and started looking at old posts and came across this one. I literally was cracking up reading this. Being from Arkansas and going to college at the University of Alabama, I am well aware of the exact feeling that comes over when it has been warm and then all of the sudden winter comes back. I remember during my freshman year Tuscaloosa practically shut down in March after we had a dusting of snow. I will have to use the term March Pisser next time that happens. Thanks for the giggle!

  2. the golux avatar

    On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 3:13 AM, the golux said:

    Dal segno,(later that same day...)
    We have made it to March in our retrospective, where I find myself sitting at the computer with my dictionary opened across my lap. (It is so cold right now, this little sojourn into fickle spring sounds downright appealing.) Sticking with the theme of this newfound dalliance, I find myself all but hypnotized by the footing: No one has commented yet. I hope you don't find it terribly boorish that I am shamelessly pirating this space. (What is your pirate name, if you don't mind me asking?) Anyway, in a thinly veiled attempt to relate this spiel back to your blog, my own fantasy life would find me starring as a super-hero librarian. My special power would be the ability to speak and understand any language upon contact with it. Can you even imagine the thrill? But it wouldn't be like it was all just translated to English...oh no. I would actually appreciate all the subtle nuances of the culture and the people, as if I had been adopted into it and raised as one of them, even though I would still be me. Jesus,Mary and Joseph, what the hell am I talking about? Oh yeah, "thinly veiled attempt..." Hello. I feel very pirate-like about this whole adventure. Sneaking back through time to leave you these kerchief-tied-to-flagpole messages, on a trail no one would think to circle back on...So, what I am taking from this story is an image of you in a navy pea-coat, traipsing the streets of London in swirling mists of evening fog, pissed off as you are, but getting warmer by the hour. I know your story takes place in Georgia, but by the end of it you have a charming and churlish cockney accent and you're making your way from pub to pub through the city's seedy streets...I think you are down by the docks, and I can't take my eyes off the way you carry yourself in that coat. Wait . Now you're wearing a blue bandanna on your head and you have a dark wool scarf draped roguishly about your neck. Geeze Louise, how'd I get here? Oh, who am I kidding.

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