On my way back to Florida, I picked up Hailey, my granddaughter, so she could keep me company during the trip. I told her once we arrived in Florida, I would take her to Universal Studios to the Harry Potter section (she is a HUGE fan of Harry Potter — I never realized how big until I saw her get teary-eyed over the robes and wands. Really!!!). She was all in for that trip and really could not wait as we travelled the road between Illinois and Florida.
As people may well know, the summer season in Florida is the rain season. You can bet that it will rain every day, sometimes for a little bit, sometimes a lot, but it will rain. Count on it. For the most part, we Floridians have a saying, “Wait five minutes” meaning it will rain for a bit and then the weather changes. It is what it is. It is rain. So, you can guess it rained while we visited Universal, which is fine because we were prepared with throw away rain ponchos for those rains that were more than five minutes.
During one of those rains it went from a nice sprinkle to a downpour. We ran for cover under a pavilion and we stayed there watching some people walk in the rain, dance in the rain, and play in the rain. And then it stopped raining and I stayed under the pavilion while Hailey rode a ride. While there, I struck up a conversation with the lady who stood beside me. I knew she was not from America because of her accent, and I found out she was from France, and she loved America because she said the people were so friendly. As we spoke about the two countries it began to rain again.
Once again, people scrambled for cover.
I looked at the lady and said, “it’s just rain, we won’t melt”.
She gave me the funniest of looks, and then said, I don’t understand you. I knew then that I had uttered an idiom. Of course she wouldn’t understand, and then I told her it was an idiom.
Now, she did not know what an idiom was, so to the best of my knowledge I explained that it was an expression that we used, and that it meant that nothing would happen to us if we went out into the rain, it was just water.
She did understand what an expression was (learning curve for me — people do not understand that these expressions we have are called idioms — I need to rethink the tags for this blog).
I went on to tell her the expression probably came from the Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. She did not know anything about the Wizard of Oz. Once I got back home, I started researching where this expression originated. I found nothing except that it is what mother’s have told their children through time, “So, it’s raining? You’re not sugar — you won’t melt.”
Well, come to find out, sugar does melt. Put a little water with that sugar at it dissolves. Cook it on the stove and the sugar becomes a rich brown syrup. In the 1910 silent film of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz Dorothy throws a bucket of water over the Wicked Witch of the West and she melts, and finally, Isaac Asimov wrote a short fantasy story entitled Rain, Rain Go Away where the characters melted in the rain. Everything I found pointed to sugar melting, people melting in the rain, and yet, we as humans, know that we do not melt in the rain.
I found nothing, folks, about the history of this idiom/expression. In fact, I found the opposite — even Herman’s Hermits sang it in 1967 when they recorded Don’t Go Out into the Rain (You’re Going to Melt). So, the only conclusion I can come to is my momma told me so. She told me that I won’t melt in the rain. And I’m going to stick to that!
Until next time…have a good one…