It just doesn’t add up.

I seem to have caught the boys’ cold, it is no one’s favourite time of the month, and the sky is dark grey and it’s chilly and rainy.  It’s like a trifecta of mildly depressing things.  Also mildly depressing is that I am repeating behaviours that I repeat every single June: I listen to the weather report which states that it will be chilly and rainy and also that the average temperature for this time of year is twenty degrees Celcius.  This throws me into a Hulk-like rage because that cannot be true.  The math does not work.  If the temperature is almost always in the low teens, then in order for the average to be twenty degrees, then there must be several days in which the temperature is much greater than twenty degrees.  This is how averages work.  This is how math works.  I want to see the data that goes into the calculation of this so-called average temperature and then I want to make my own calculations.  SHOW YOUR WORK, weather stations.

I have, on occasion, gone so far as to search for historical weather data, but then I have to take a deep breath and tell myself to dial down the crazy a little.  I mean, what am I trying to accomplish here?  If I did find out that the average temperature was fourteen, and not twenty degrees, would I phone all the local stations and scream “IN YOUR FACE” and then show them my calculations?  Would I burst onto the set where the meteorologist would be saying that we are living in the currently coldest major city in Canada, with the exception of Iqaluit, which isn’t exactly a cheering thought, and push said meteorologist out of the way shrieking that it is all a lie, we will never obtain an average temperature of twenty degrees?  And would the discovery of this information actually change anything, whereas I would suddenly be living in a warm and sunny city?

No, it would not.

Speaking of mathematical discourse, I was endlessly amused by this post by Swistle, in which she a) references the Monty Hall problem, and b) discusses the ridiculous, yet nuclear hot button topics that married people fight about.  We all have those, don’t we?  The fights that ramp up to eleven out of ten immediately, but when we actually analyze those fights, they are actually incredibly stupid.

Now, my husband and I really don’t fight much.  Part of this is compatibility, but part of it is also the realization on both our sides that sometimes we can be difficult to live with.  Sometimes.  Especially, I should say, me.  I mean, my almost pathologically-insane method of rinsing dishes prior to loading them in the dishwasher alone probably puts me pretty high on the crazy scale.  My mother was over the other day and she actually backed away from the dishwasher, silently, as I agitated about the treatment of a knife recently used to spread peanut butter.  She is unlikely to ever try to load the dishwasher as a helpful favour ever again. 

Anyway, the biggest fight we ever had, and it was one that was the cause of much crying and door-slamming, by me, and much calm-but-annoyed-you-are-crazy commentary by my husband, was in 1999 and it was spurred by a – are you ready – Sex and the City episode.  The episode was the one where Mr. Big marries Natasha, Carrie uses the line “Your girl’s lovely, Hubble”, and at the end Carrie says how happy she is to be a wild horse running free, or something like that.  My husband’s reaction to this was, essentially, that Carrie was in some kind of denial and that she was unhappy being alone and just wanted to get married, which turned into a statement that all women wanted to get married.  My reaction was a very – VERY – strong disagreement to this attitude, which spiralled into door slamming and tears.  And we weren’t even married then!  Sex and the City, a fictional television show, was the cause of our biggest fight ever.  As I read Swistle’s post, I reminded my husband of that fight and we got into it all over again!  Carrie Bradshaw put a strain on our marriage.  As a social experiment, I should bring this up in twenty years and see if it elicits all the same reactions.

We have never fought about the Monty Hall problem, however, but I do remember getting into a very involved and impassioned discussion about it with some colleagues many years ago, although perhaps not so many as when the Sex and the City fight occurred.  The end result saw my colleagues and I using a random number generator and creating thousands of simulations to prove the result of the Monty Hall problem.  What can I say, we were a bunch of nerdy quantitative analysts and mathematical simulations were what we did every day.  In the end, we all agreed that sometimes the math doesn’t seem logical, but there it is.

Which is to say, I am NOT going to try to dig up historical weather data and calculate a mean.  I am not.


  1. I agree w/ Mr Nicole. I think all women — especially self-medicating w/ shopping, Carrie Bradshaw — want to be married. But I also think that all men — yes, even George Clooney since he is ALWAYS in some form of monogamous relationship — want to get married.

    If it comes down to a fist fight between you and Claire Martin, my money’s on Martin. Sorry.

  2. Wait, wait—you guys used MATH to prove MATH? That’s like using the Bible to prove the existence of God.

    I totally think that you guys would continue the Carrie Bradshaw fight even in a nursing home: certain topics are just UNDISCUSSABLE.

  3. That post killed me too. Once Matt and I almost came to blows because we were having a nice dinner out and he wanted to order us water – not fizzy water, just flat mineral water – and I thought it was stupid because we already had water, why would we pay for more water that was the same kind of water? In my defence, I was seven months pregnant at the time. And the Monty Hall problem did my head in. I just don’t work that way. Oh, and yes you SHOULD mathetmatically calculate whether the radio station is wrong and if they are (and you know they must be) you should SCHOOL THEM.

  4. Try the weather underground website, they do all the math for you and have the numbers available for you to double check the work.

  5. I’m cracking up at the Carrie thing.

    Hubs and I had our biggest fight b/c I once shushed him. Yes, he was talking and I said “shhhhh.” It turned ugly.

  6. I can totally picture you and David Spence in a smack down.
    You could take him.

  7. I’m sorry to laugh about the fight you and your husband had but it is funny that it was over Sex and The City.

    This weather has been crazy. Seriously.

  8. I know that you’re going to gasp…I’ve never seen an episode of Sex and The City. Why? Because SJP looks like a horse. I can’t stand her.

  9. I saw that post by Swistle and it was SO TRUE. I was almost afraid to comment about my husband’s and mine biggest fight ever – over sorting the laundry. The fear stems from the fact that when we bring it up now – FIFTEEN YEARS LATER – we still get all emotional and soon someone is crying and someone else is red-faced yelling and it seems divorce is just around the corner.

    I mean, red underwear cannot be washed with the regular underwear load, am I right?

    Don’t answer that.

  10. It would be kind of interesting to read about the crazy woman who burst into the meteorological centre armed with historical weather data and shouting about incorrect averages. I encourage you to do so.

  11. OK, part of me also wants to see you on the news with your calculations. On a happy note, it’s hot here. Was that mean?


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