Summer Swampitude

I get along very well with three of the four seasons. Fall and I have beautifully changing landscapes, long walks in the woods, and FOOTBALL. Winter brings the hope of the occasional snow day – since I work at a college I still do the school-kid “squee” when there’s a chance we might close. Spring is gardening, and more long walks.

We’re buds, me, fall, winter and spring. I try to get along with everybody. Well, almost everybody. Summer and I have issues I just haven’t been able to work through.

There I said it. I’m not a fan of summer. If you say you hate winter and being cold, you get nods of sympathy, hot tea and a blankie. Say summer brings you down, and all the sudden you’re a Joffrey Lannisteresque douche who probably kicks puppies when no one is looking.

I’ve always felt like an oddball for not liking summertime. I mean, everyone loves the dog days, right? Actually, no. We hear about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) quite a bit in reference to the lack of light in winter. But there is actually a variation of SAD (reverse seasonal affective disorder) that impacts a much smaller percentage of the population in the summer.

I used to wonder if I had reverse SAD myself, and who knows, maybe I do. But I think it is more likely that I’m now on year 20-something of a lifelong battle with I-don’t-wanna-grow-up disorder. More than any other season, summer reminds you of the differences between grown-upitude and childhood.

Here is my short list of summer piss-offs:

1. Rodney. You probably don’t know Rodney unless you live in Maryland. He is a make-believe lifeguard in a commercial promoting Ocean City MD. In the commercials, Rodney sees that you are stuck in traffic or mired in work at your office. He swoops out of nowhere, whisks you into his arms, and magically transports you to the beach so that you can have fun. The problem with Rodney is that the jerk never comes for me. He has probably been told to only do his swoop-rescue to people who can afford hotels and dinners out every night once he plops them down in the middle of the resort town. He can tell my truck doesn’t have AC by my wilted stuck-in-traffic face, and figures I’m not one of those people.

2.  Shaving. No, I do not test my Sasquatch imitator skills when the weather is cold. I shave year-round. But when summer rolls around and your choice becomes to have more skin hanging out or roast like a weiner on the grill, you have to be more meticulous about it. I don’t do meticulous well. I’ve always been a big-picture girl.

3. Heat. Yes, it is that simple. The only time I like being hot is when I’m poolside with a cold drink in my hand or sitting on a beach. I get to do those things occasionally, even without Rodney’s help. But more often than not I’m doing something more along the lines of going to work, traipsing to meetings, grocery shopping or paying bills. I did “hot” much better when summer meant sleeping late, going swimming, staying up all night with friends and chasing the snowball truck.

4. Mugginess. In Maryland, summer isn’t just hot. A thick fog of humidity plops its fat ass over our general region. I imagine that summer in Baltimore feels much like being a Lilliputian who gets sat on by Gulliver and is stuck beneath his sweaty buttcheeks.

5. Working. Yes, I work year-round. But because I work in higher education, a lot of people assume summers in my office are “light.” In reality, June-August is one of our busiest times of year. When people say “you have it easy in the summer at that job, don’t you?” I give them my own you’re-a-Joffreyesque-douche stare. In reality, my coworkers and I are busting our butts in an old building with such crappy air conditioning that it often feels nicer out in the Gulliver’s Butt Swampass outdoors. We use fans to blow around the stale hot air, and we bitch and moan a lot. All those cute summer tank tops and short-shorts and flip-flops designed to help you beat the heat don’t do shit for you when you have a dress code.

6. Thunderstorms. Yeah, I know. I am a writer who likes to make up stories of the weird and creepy. I’m supposed to thrill to a good flash of lightening and boom of thunder. In reality, I’m more like a big dog that wants to crawl under the bed or hide under a table as soon as I can smell the storm in the air. Besides, thunderstorms are contrary pricks. They rarely show up when you could sit and watch them from the safety of a porch or window. They prefer to drop by in in the middle of rush hour, or sneak around about midnight and knock out your power so you have to sleep without air conditioning.

My Momma always loved summertime. She waited all year for the few months that she could lounge at her pool and soak up the heat. It was her thing. When I was off and could join her, I was okay with summer too. It is when I have to function as an out-in-the-world worker-bee that my summer ughs take over and the Swampass and I become mortal enemies.

We should all get to be kids again in the summertime, don’t you think? Since I can’t make that happen, I’ll leave off by admitting that one thing I do like about summer is Swampass Gulliver’s Buttcheek Day Sunsets. sunsetThey’re beautiful. Especially if I’m observing them from my deck with my air conditioner just a few short steps away.






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