Word of warning: this is not your typical column about summer. You know, that column where people write about how blissful summer is, how it’s a time of wonderful goodness, how it brings back memories about childhood. This piece is quite the opposite, actually, as I’m sure you have already gathered from reading the title.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the memories I have of childhood summers long ago, but summer is definitely NOT my favorite season and I DO NOT wait in eager anticipation for it to arrive on the 21st. I feel the need to bring a little cynicism to counter-balance the glee from so many lucky people who have the summer off.
So here we go. Here are the top 10 things I hate about summer:
1. The heat. This one’s pretty obvious. I think most of us would agree that temperatures in the upper 80s and 90s are not comfortable or desirable unless you’ve just escaped after being locked in a walk-in cooler for hours. There is nothing fun about sweat running down my back as I stand outside and interview people about their prize-winning garden then returning to the office without an extra set of clothes to change into. At least in the winter you can bundle up, but there’s only so much you can take off in the summer to cool down. This leads me to point number two.
2. The bodies. Some people walk around all summer as if they are on a deserted island by themselves where it is totally okay to walk around in a bikini top and short shorts. I know some people like to see all of the exposed skin others bare in the summer, but I just want to hand you a blanket and say, “Cover up!” If you are not at the beach or the pool, then you really should not be dressed in the equivalent of underwear.
3. The critters. As warmer weather shows itself, so do a lot of critters. I have already seen more snakes this month than I care to see in an entire lifetime. I don’t want to see a snake or lizard in my yard, let alone in the house. You can go on and on about how good they are for the environment or the circle of life and all that jazz, but the whole time I will be silently plotting how many different ways I can kill any slithering animal I encounter.
4. The tans. Let’s face it — some of us tan well, and some of us don’t. So the summer is a time when some people get to show off their tans and others get to bemoan the fact that they only turn a nice shade of red before fading back to white. And then some of them try to hide behind a fake tan, but let’s face it, you’re not fooling anybody. We’re pressured into feeling uncomfortable in our own skin, when we should revel in our natural skin tone. Even those of us who tan well have to face some criticism. I regularly have people come up to me to lecture me about skin cancer and how I probably have it, not realizing that I just tan really quickly even while wearing suntan lotion. You just can’t win.
5. The superhero flicks. I love going to see movies at the theater. In fact, I probably go more than most people. But for some reason I tend to judge superhero movies pretty harshly. In summer, I feel like I’m bombarded by an over-abundance of cheesy movies focused on explosions rather than depth. And while I have to admit that “Thor” was pretty good, I’m not really looking forward to “Captain America” or “The Green Flashlight” or whatever that movie is called.
6. The crowded places. For all of the kids who get to get out of school for a few months, summer is wonderful. For the rest of us, it just means all of our favorite places will be more crowded. The movies, the parks, the vacation spots, the restaurants, the stores — they are all going to be more crowded. There are no school nights and kids don’t have to feel guilty for playing hooky anymore.
7. The swims. I realize how dreadfully un-American this is, but I hate to swim. I have never seen the appeal of going to a pool and floating around in it. Sure, it’s a great way to cool off, but I’m bored after 5 minutes. Then I have to get out and dry off, drip water all over the place, wash the chlorine out of my hair, etc. And I don’t even want to talk about how self-conscious I feel in a bathing suit. I do love playing in the ocean, but one can only take so many vacations in a summer.
8. The foods. You would think there are no downsides to the great fruits that are in abundance in the summer or the wonderful summer milkshake flavors you can find at places like Cook-Out, but there are. Here’s a downside: it’s December, and you’re really craving a watermelon milkshake. So you drive to Cook-Out to order one, when you realize, wait, it’s not summer. I can’t order that. It’s kind of like driving to Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday. Not a good feeling.
9. The prices. It’s almost summer, and you know what that usually means: higher prices. Something about the word “summer” seems to give people the right to jack up rental prices and gas prices. Supply and demand, I get it. I just wish prices for a beach house weren’t so high at the time of year when it’s actually warm enough to go.
10. The reminders. The word “summer” constantly reminds me that I am no longer a child, that I no longer have the summer off to hang out with friends and chill all day and read as many books as I want to. It reminds me that I am an adult, that I have responsibilities. Bills have to get paid, the work week goes on. Not cool, summer. Not cool.
Go ahead and call me a grouch. That’s okay. I’m sure a sappy happy column from me will be headed your way real soon.
Meghann Evans is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at 719-1952 or email@example.com.