Now that Memorial Day is starting to fade in our rearview mirror, the first stirrings of summer excitement begins…. unless you’re like me. Summer always brings out the worst in me – my bitchiness, insecurities, and total intolerance for anything not made of ice cream. While everyone else revels in the sun, I retreat to a dark corner like a mole and complain about the heat and humidity.
I’m not saying that summer doesn’t have some redeeming qualities; there just aren’t enough of them to keep me happy from June through August. But there are plenty of things to make me UNhappy for those three months….
Tis the season of sweating for no reason: When the temperature starts to climb above 85 degrees, my internal cooling system kicks into high gear and I begin to sweat profusely. I don’t need to be running a marathon or shaking my ass like Ricky Martin for my sweat glands to shift into hyper-drive – blinking seems to be enough. And I’m not talking about girlie perspiration (or “glowing”); I mean the kind of sweating usually reserved for farm animals. If I dare venture outside my air conditioned home for more than 15 minutes, the climate inside my clothes begins to feel like a terrarium, and small rivers of warm perspiration trickle down my torso and pool in my underwear. Sexy, right?
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity: The saying “out of the frying pan and into the fire” is used when a problem goes from bad to worse. Well, when you add humidity to scorching heat, it’s more like out of the frying pan and into a giant sweaty armpit. In that oppressively moist environment, my good hair days vanish right along with my will to live.
Cruel-tea: The first thing I do in the morning (after cursing at my alarm clock) is fill the kettle with water so I can start making my tea. Any human interaction before I’ve had that first sip is a recipe for disaster. It seems that the amount of tea I drink is directly proportionate to how well I play with others – it’s like liquid Prozac. But in summertime, when the heat and humidity are cranked up to ten, a hot beverage is the last thing I want anywhere near me…. which doesn’t bode well for the people I live with.
Will someone please get me a margarita and a blindfold?: Sounds like ingredients for a hot date on a Friday night, but those things are also necessary if I want to go bathing suit shopping without crying. Everyone has body parts they don’t like…. as I get older, that list seems to get longer and longer. I normally don’t have to deal with more than one of those problem areas at a time. When I go shopping for jeans, I can concentrate all my self-loathing on my thighs; shirt shopping, it’s usually my upper arms and boobs. But bathing suits shine a big, fat spotlight on all of it at once. So, why the hell would I want to spend three months in a garment that makes me want to put my head in the oven?
When I complain about having to wear a bathing suit, my sister argues, “Have you seen some of the women who go to the beach? There are ones twice your size wearing bikinis.” No I haven’t seen them because I’m too busy giving the death stare to this girl sitting two towels over…
Lawnmowers, they’re not just for grass anymore: From September through May the time I spend on hair removal is minimal – I shave just enough so I’m not mistaken for Bigfoot. But when bathing suit season arrives there is nowhere for my unwanted body hair to hide, so I’m forced to spend an extra half hour in the shower making sure I’m well landscaped. At this point, I think the only body parts I don’t either wax or shave are my eyelids and tongue. If I ever get rich, the first thing I’m going to spend my money on is laser hair removal – a college fund for the kids can wait.
Put your best foot forward: Once the weather starts to heat up, I retire my Ugg boots and pretty much live in my flip-flops. I love the convenience of being able to slip them on and go, but like everything else about summer, there is a downside. My once hidden appendages are now on display for all to see. I’m not self-conscious about my feet – they’re actually on a very short list of body parts I happen to like. But I wasn’t born with naturally pretty feet; they require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking nice. It’s a necessary evil though because if I left them to their own devices, they would look like something out of the stone age – fine if Fred Flintstone needs help peddling his car to work, but otherwise kind of nasty.
If you think I’m kidding, check out these BEFORE and AFTER pictures….
Sand crotch: This is one of the most unpleasant experiences you can have at the beach – second only to seeing a fat guy wearing a speedo. Delicate girlie parts should NEVER come in contact with something as abrasive as sand. Why the hell hasn’t anyone invented a bathing suit that doesn’t collect ten pounds of sand in the crotch? Here’s a tip for all you clothing manufacturers out there – forget the Snuggies, make a bathing suit that doesn’t sag down to my knees when I get out of the ocean. Millon dollar idea right there, people!
The brownest thumb on the block: I am the Jack Kevorkian of the plant world…. actually, I’m more of the Ted Bundy because none of my plants begged me to kill them. In winter, my brown thumb is camouflaged because everybody’s garden looks like something out of a horror movie. But in summer, when my neighbor’s yard looks like the Garden of Eden, mine still looks like a Tim Burton creation. I used to buy new flowers for my garden every year; each time thinking that THIS was the year I would manage to keep them alive. After a decade of unintentional herbicide, I finally gave up hope and bought non-flowering plants that even the apocalypse couldn’t kill.
Buzzzzz off!: Insects are everywhere in the summer. I can’t even escape them inside my house because the sneaky little buggers always manage to find a way in. My son, Aidan, is a bug magnet. The first time he comes in covered in bug bites, I know mosquito season is upon us. It’s not enough that the blood-sucking parasites eat him alive, they also leave behind an itch that makes him want to claw his skin off. Luckily, bugs don’t seem to find me too tasty, but they still annoy the hell out of me. They buzz in my ear, feast on my children, and cause my son to shriek every time they fly anywhere near him.
Remember how I asked people to invent a bathing suit that didn’t collect sand in the crotch? I’d forgo that if someone could come up with a way to eradicate mosquitoes from the planet. According to this really smart science lady we wouldn’t miss them. I’m inclined to agree.
No more classes, no more books, time for Mommy’s dirty looks: I can remember being giddy with excitement about the last day of school when I was a kid. As the school bus pulled away from the building, unwanted notebooks, papers, and textbooks were shredded and thrown from the windows like confetti in a ticker tape parade. The summer and all its possibilities stretched out in front of us, and once the bus turned the first street corner, school was already a distant memory.
As a parent of two school-aged children, I’m finding it hard to muster the same enthusiasm for the last day of school that I once had. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy summer vacation… for the first three weeks. Once mid-late July comes around, the excitement over alarm clock-free mornings and freedom from schedules wears off…. then I realize there’s still another month to go. It’s no offense to my children – I don’t like anybody enough to want to spend 24/7 with them. I need my daily dose of solitude, and if it’s not given to me freely, I have to get creative….
How do you guys feel about summer? Do you give it a happy thumbs up or a sweaty thumbs down?