Summer is my favorite season of the year! Just the thought of Summer conjures images of pool parties, backyard barbecues, warm summer evenings with fireflies majestically glowing- it’s just the best! Until it’s not. Every year I romanticize the idea of summertime, especially as I’m miserably holed up in my home on a dreary, cold February day. I think of all the amazing things I would be doing outside if only it was Summer, instead of stupid, sucky wintertime. And I can’t stress enough how much I hate Winter; it’s cold AF, and maybe you have amazing winters where you live, but I live in Kansas. Kansas winters mean one thing: wind chill. If you are lucky it’s just a cold icy blast of a day that makes you want to sell your soul for a day of warmth. At worst, it’s a damned blizzard. So between the two of them, I’ll take summer any day of the week. You might be wondering why I didn’t mention Spring or Fall in this scenario, to which I say ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, aren’t you precious? Kansas, remember? We don’t have a Spring or a Fall season to speak of- we tend to go from Siberia to straight hell fire around here. But you’re so cute for thinking that we might.
So, while I do categorize Summer as my favorite season, once we really get into the thick of it, I realize I manage to forget all the reasons so many people do not like summertime. For all of its charms, shit can get really un-charming once the true dog days of Summer arrive. Things like:
1. The Heat
Why I love it: Oh man, it’s finally warm outside! I ditch the coats and sweaters, slap on some shorts and flip-flops and bask in the warm sunshine. I survived another Winter and now it’s sun’s out, guns out time! Whoo hoo!
Yeah, that’s a June scenario. Enter July. Holy shit on a cracker, it is ungodly hot outside! It becomes difficult to remember why I love the sun when the 105 degree days roll in. How do I forget every year just how miserable under the boobs sweat is? The misery of feeling your clothing, right down to your undies, wet and sticking to you like glue. The red-faced, feeling like you are going to pass out, waiting to burst into flames kind of days really take the joy out of the whole basking in the sunshine scenario. It was so hot one day a friend of mine said, “Go outside if you want to know what it’s like to be tea-bagged by Satan.” Not cool. Literally.
2. Swimming Pools
Why I love it: What’s better than diving into a nice cold swimming pool on a hot Summer day, am I right? I love the water, I love swimming, and my kids and I can’t wait for the first pool day of summer break. We spend a lot of time at the pool in the summertime because it’s too hot to do anything else, and what is a better way to spend a hot day than chillin’ poolside? (Especially with a cocktail, wink, wink)
Wow, swimming pools are really pretty freakin’ gross. Not when they first open for the season and have minimal pee, sweat, and various other human fluids (don’t act like you don’t know what I mean by “other human fluids”; you know) floating in them. But about half way through the summer, shit gets real in swimming pools. Every year I forget that, about mid-July, the pool starts to get a bit rank. What started off as a clear, fresh bleach smelling Mecca of refreshing fun becomes a cloudy, bathtub warm, urine smelling cesspool. I know there are people who claim they don’t pee in swimming pools; I call bullshit. When hard pressed everyone I asked finally did admit, with sheepish grins on their faces, that they do, or at least have at some point, peed in a swimming pool. It’s a thing. And we all go splash around in it. Yummy.
3. Warm Summer Evenings
Why I love it: I live for a calm, warm Summer night! Sitting outside in the perfect weather (it’s not hot and it’s not cold), smelling freshly cut grass, watching the fireflies light up the backyard- come on, it’s pure magic! I spent many nights this summer out on the back deck, watching Royals games, just hanging out with friends, and enjoying being alive. These are the nights my Summer dreams are made of….
Until, the mosquitoes crash the party. How on Earth do I always manage to forget about my unfortunate “I’m a human mosquito buffet” situation? They say there are certain people’s body chemistry that tend to draw more mosquitoes, and yours truly is among the winners of that particularly horrific genetic lottery. Those little beasts love the shit out of me, and it jacks up my entire summer universe. Don’t believe me? Then explain how, out of a group of 10 people (who were not wearing insect repellant), I’m the only person who got any mosquito bites the other night? (FOURTEEN bites, to be exact!) Uh huh! I feel like I’m in a Twilight novel; the mosquitoes are Edward Cullen, I’m that damned Bella chick, and my blood is just so irresistible they just can’t lay off me, even though they know they are possibly doing me lots of harm. (You’re welcome for the Cliff’s Notes version of that story). All of the Deep Woods Off in the world haven’t been able to spare me; they just bite me where I don’t have any on, and it’s places you never want to have a mosquito ever go, I assure you.
4. War of the Wasps
Why I love it: Are you fucking kidding me? There is no love for wasps anywhere up in here- I want them dead, I want their families dead, I want a total wasp apocalypse! You can tell me they are all “good for the environment” and “pollenate flowers” and crap like that, but I will still murder the feck outta some wasps! This. Is. War.
Let me explain. I’m allergic to wasp stings. I got stung in middle school, and my arm swelled up to 3x its normal size, turned red and hot, and stayed that way for over a week. It was advised by members of the medical community that I should, like, try not to get one of those again. So every Summer there is a war between me and the asshole wasps that insist on setting up shop on various surfaces of my home and property. They set up their disgusting little mud hut like nests under both of our decks, inside our damned garage, right by the front door, and just any place that they can seriously inconvenience the fuck out of our whole family. They fly around like they own the damned place, and to say I’m phobic is an understatement- what is a cross between a phobia and pure, unadulterated hate and fury called? That’s where I’m at. The war only grew after both my kids received stings to face for having the nerve to play in their own backyard, and now I spend more time than I’d like to admit hunting and killing these little bastards. I should own stock in Raid Wasp and Hornet Spray because the sheer amount of money I spend on that crap each Summer could probably feed a small village for a year. I am never without a can of it nearby and my trigger finger is fast and loose; I kill them gleefully while screaming and swearing at the top of my lungs. I need therapy.
5. No School
Why I love it: (singing) “Schooooooool’s Ouuuuuuuut for SUMMER!” Party time! No more pencils, no more books, no more pick up/drop off, no more helping with homework, no more school fundraisers, it’s a break for everyone! Lazier days, slower schedule, fun and adventure, happy happy, Summer Break rules!
“Mom, I’m bored!” Rinse. Repeat.
Boy, the luster wears off this one quickly, can I get an amen, parents? The first days of summer break are great; just simply not having to get up for school and getting to chill out is all my kids need to be happy. But the novelty of the lack of school wears off eventually, and they decide they actually need something to do. And that’s when they look to me, like I’m some Activities Director on a cruise ship or something. You can only get away with “Go ride your bike!” so many times until you get accused of being the most boring mom ever. They are totally willing to sit like zombies in front of YouTube and the Wii U for hours, but people are quick to judge when it’s been two weeks of that. (Uh, not like I’d actually know that, um, from personal experience or anything….). So, it’s up to me to find things for them to do. Which is fun at first but then, once we’ve done all the shit I could come up with several times, the boredom sets back in. The second half of summer starts to drag and it’s so hot that the only thing I can think to do becomes going down the street to float around in Urine Lagoon, aka. the pool, again for the 5th day that week.
Why I love it: Every Spring (or what passes for Spring around here, anyway) I get visions of growing lots of lovely flowers and vegetables; a true Earth Mother- that’s me! Digging in the dirt, plotting out a lush garden; man, my yard is going to be a total Garden of Eden when I get done with it! How delicious all of these healthy garden vegetables are going to be when it’s time to reap the benefits of all this hard work. Gardening is so much fun!
Ha, ha, Kansas, remember? Tornado and Thunderstorm Alley, that’s where I live! Every year, like a dumbass, I plant a garden (tons of time, tons of money, tons of sweat, the whole she-bang) only to watch the psychotic weather patterns that come with living on the Great Plains sweep through and destroy it all. This year, quite literally 2 hours to the minute after I put the last plant into the ground, the mother of all hail storms rushed through and beat half of my plants all to hell. Golf ball to baseball sized hail tends to be a nasty beating to take, especially for a poor, defenseless tomato plant. (And I can’t even talk about the petunias…RIP, little flowers). THEN, adding insult to injury, a (very) late snowstorm occurred two days later. What few plants had managed to survive the earlier icy ass kicking from the hailstorm got snowed on, because Kansas. You would really have loved to see me, running around in the frigid 60+ mile per hour wind and snow flurries (still wearing shorts and flip-flops because, ya know, it had been 80 degrees that day), desperately throwing sheets and towels over each of the gardens, in a vain attempt to save them from the storm. It was all for naught, as the wind blew off all of the coverings within minutes, and everybody froze under 3 inches of snow.
So, any plants hardy enough to survive storm season then get to enter the 2nd Realm of Plant Hell when the summer enters Desert Mode, and the dry heat takes its turn at bat. By September I’m usually lucky to have anyone left standing in my garden (usually one tomato plant, a pepper plant, and maybe one cucumber plant might make it if I’m really lucky). This summer, all that is left to show for my dedicated gardening are a few potted flowering plants and one measly green pepper plant, and to say that plant is a underachiever is the best compliment I can give it. I think it’s safe to say that between the weather and my obvious lack of green thumb, I should call it day on the whole gardening thing. But every Summer I’m determined to have plants, damn it, and so the show must go on!
Bonus Gardening Tale/Proof of My “Black Thumb“: In an effort to save some weird herb I planted this year (pineapple sage…I thought it smelled good, don’t ask) after my garden had basically become a vegetable cemetery, I tried putting it into a pot so it could live in safety on the deck. Have you ever seen a plant commit suicide? It’s a swift process! My husband, a couple of our pals, and me, sat and watched this plant actually attempt to die right in front of our eyes. My husband maintains the plant did NOT commit suicide; as he so maliciously told me that afternoon, “That plant isn’t killing itself…you killed it. It was perfectly happy where it was.” So I named the plant “Brian” after my husband, who also acts like he is going to die if you make him change anything. Brian the Plant lasted a week and a half on its death bed before finally fully succumbing to the Herbal Grim Reaper. Yay for Summer gardening!
Despite the obvious drawbacks to Summer, I must say I had a pretty good one. I threw some fairly epic backyard parties, spent some great quality time with my kids, and enjoyed as much time outside as the mosquitoes and wasps allowed me to. Now that school is back in session, it feels like Summer is over- but it really isn’t (Fun fact: it doesn’t end until September 20th). So here is to the last bit of my beloved summertime, and I’ll raise a glass to the coming Fall, too; I am looking forward to football, falling leaves, and, of course, pumpkin spice flavored everything. (Basic bitches gotta have their pumpkin spice, remember that!)
Thanks for the memories, Summer 2017; I’ll miss you when you’re gone! (Because I will forget all the reasons you sucked.)
Your Summer Sister,