It’s no secret that I don’t like summer. Before you call me names and accuse me of heresy, let me point out that, in all fairness, summer stopped liking me long before I gave up on it. I tried to make the relationship work, I really did. The sad truth is that once I finished school and summer vacation was no longer a thing in my life, the problems in our relationship were revealed. The only thing holding us together was that vacation time. Without it, we no longer had anything to say to one another.
Whenever I mention my dislike of summer, most people get all flabbergasted. “How can you not love it?” they ask. Easy. Let’s make a list, shall we?
- I hate the heat and humidity. Id’ rather be cold than hot, and humidity just makes everything worse.
- The sun is a traitor. Now that I’m older, my misspent youth is catching up with me in the form of skin cancer. Bear in mind that I grew up in the time before sunscreen use was a thing. We just didn’t know back then that burning and peeling weren’t just things you dealt with in the summer. Example: I went to a summer camp whose packing/preparation instructions included this gem: “Get a base tan before arrival to prevent sunburn.” You’d be sued to the moon and back if you wrote that now. Since I don’t enjoy the feeling of gobs of sunscreen, I stay inside. But even if I didn’t mind that, there’s this…
- Bugs both hate and love me, and neither is good. Mosquitoes love me. If I step outside, they’re on me in a minute. Yes, even with repellant. Yet the stinging insects hate me and, being allergic, I hate them right back. Going outside just isn’t fun.
- Travel is nothing but pain and misery. I don’t even do summer trips anymore because everything is just too crowded and expensive. Give me the off season, please.
- Severe weather sucks. I live in an area that gets it all: Tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, and hail. Since all of this just kicks my anxiety into high gear, most of summer is spent just waiting for it to be over and return to the quiet days of winter.
- Fireworks. Lovely to watch, but damn annoying when the drunk neighbors are blasting them off (fireworks are illegal here except for pro shows) at 3AM in the middle of the woods during a severe drought. Because nothing says independence like lighting your neighbor’s property on fire. Or blowing your arm off.
- TV blows. I don’t watch a ton of TV to begin with, but what is on over the summer is generally terrible. There’s certainly no incentive to watch.
There’s more to hate, but those are the biggies. The only thing I like about summer is the longer days, but that’s not enough to offset the rest of the misery.
Nope, my happy place is inside. Inside, with the AC blowing in the background. Inside, where the bugs are not. Under the desk with my laptop during the hurricanes, hoping to distract myself from the mayhem outside. Home and relaxed while everyone else is beating themselves senseless on the highways and in the airports. Inside with earphones on during the fireworks, hoping to distract myself from the potential firework fireball.
So what is summer good for? Writing. While many of my author friends are complaining about their lack of productivity during the summer, I’m writing volumes. Between seeking distractions and having nothing else fun to do, writing is the one thing I can enjoy doing. While everyone else is out playing and acting goofy, I’m inside being Serious Writer Chick. It’s glorious; like my own personal four month writing retreat.
Now, when we get to winter it will be a different story. I’ll go out for walks and deal with the exterior home maintenance. We’ll go on some trips. There will be plenty to keep me from writing, then. While all of you are writing like mad because you hate the dark and the cold, I’ll be embracing it and frolicking outside. For now, you’ll find me hugging my AC unit and sitting in a dark bug-free room. Perhaps we’ll pass in the fall, like ships in the night, as you head in to hibernate and I head out to play. So enjoy your summer, just don’t expect me to join in.
(Photo by Matthew Henry)