Things That Suck About Summer
I find myself treating most seasons the same – I love on any impending season (i.e. eff WINTER, spring is so fabulous, can’t wait for spring!), and I hate on the season when it actually arrives (i.e. I hate allergies, I hate rain, spring is overrated). After getting a small taste of summer last week, I’m reminded of all of the terrible things that hide behind that bullshit ‘sun & fun!’ shtick. Here’s what sucks about summer.
Bugs being assholes – I’m allergic to mosquito bites and I’ve never been stung by a bee, so my wildlife stress level is at an all time high during the summer. I hate the smell of those shitty OFF! candles. I hate when people have disgusting fly-tape strips hung from their ceiling that will indiscriminately get caught in your hair if you’re over 5’3”. I hate when people awkwardly freak out when they hear a buzzing sound in their ear (myself being one of them; god, I hate being genuinely awkward and not the kind of awkward that can be confused with ‘cute’ or ‘whimsical’).
Sitting on anything leather - Let’s talk about when you go for a ride in your boss’s 90-degree car with leather seats, and you’re sitting in the back, of course, because who the hell are you? You’re back there and you JUST KNOW that when you get out of the car, you’re going to have to probably quit your job because of “what happened” during that 20 minute car ride. Sure, you can wipe up your leg sweat using your swamped out jorts or whatever, there’s really no limit to how low your moral agency can plummet at this point, but try looking at yourself in the mirror after that.
Leather in the summertime is enough to make me join PETA; it makes me want to pour red paint on every leather surface I encounter. I want to look the leather-owner straight in the eye afterward. My stare would say, “You ridiculous cow murderer. A fie on you (but should you offer, I would love to go on a car ride with you come winter. Your car is really sweet.)”
Tan lines – Not all tan lines are created equal. There’s the spaghetti-strap tan line that peeks out when you’re wearing a cut-off tee shirt on a breezy summer night (hot), and then there’s the Princess Bride underwear collection tan line, which is when your entire nude body is sun-kissed with the exception of your breasts and bikini area. Looks like you’re getting ready to lose your virginity on your wedding night. And your wedding night is every night, until your tan fades. Honestly? I think my Princess Bride tan is permanent now, to some degree. Pale men have a similar tan line predicament – their thighs are criminally white. They have never, ever been exposed to sunlight. It would be admirable if it weren’t so visually jarring.
Also problematic: when a girl wears several different bikinis throughout the summer and has multiple tan lines competing for dominance as a result. The halter tan line. The tube tan line. The bra strap tan line. There’s no way of knowing which tan line will win until the day you fall asleep on a beach for six hours and wake up unable to bend your knees, but more on that later. The only way to avoid the tan line fête is to stay indoors all summer, or defer to a tanning salon – which I don’t recommend. While they lack tan lines altogether, fake bakers come with their own set of issues – no one is spared, really. Tanning brings out the worst in all of us.
Sleepovers – My roommates and I have an expression. “It smells like people in here.” It’s generally used when someone has had sex and needs to change their sheets, or several people have slept in our living room, or any number of people-smell inducing activities has taken place. But when two people share a bed in the summer, “It smells like people in here” is no longer adequate. It’s more like, “It smells like burning plastic in here… wait, is that a condom? It’s melted to the floor. Dear christ.” Sex in the summer can get sticky without a proper AC unit or ceiling fan. Casually sleeping with someone in 80-degree weather can possibly culminate in a real relationship, though. If you’ve woken up glued to someone else’s body and had the balls to call them after, there’s probably something there.
Swamp ass – Swamp ass is like, the one thing that will prevent you from wanting to move from point A to point B during the summer. “What? No, I don’t want to get up from this bench quite yet. I’m just… enjoying it over here. Why don’t you guys run ahead of me, and I’ll be right behind you! I swear!” Okay… honestly, I just did a little swamp ass Google research, and it seems like guys experience it in an ungodly way that is not relatable to me, perhaps because they have balls? I don’t know. Sounds like it sucks. Probably the male equivalent to sitting on leather.
Sunburn – Sunburns are unfortunate for all the same reasons as tan lines, but exponentially worse. You have to walk around begging people to smother aloe vera on your back, which has gone from being a perfectly respectable, possibly sexy part of your body to a hotbed for nuclear activity. Your burn is straight radioactive. You’re just emitting heat, like a basketball that’s been sitting outside in the sun all day. As if that’s not unattractive enough, you start peeling after a few days. The mere presence of you is painful for everyone you encounter. Just stay home until that shit blows over.
There are plenty of great things about summer, and I think about those things year-round. I just don’t want to be surprised this year when June arrives and I’m rudely awakened by the reality of the season. It’s like the first time I go swimming in the ocean each year. I gaze longingly out into the ocean and I feel euphoric and invincible. Then I jump in, and it’s freezing, there’s jellyfish and shit floating around, my top falls off, there’s sand in my crotch, and I’m struggling not to drown as I claw my way out of the water. Sounds kind of like a relationship, doesn’t it?
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”