Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Best and Worst Things about Summer

As a kid summer is a wonderful time of year. No longer are you shackled to a desk for more hours of the day than you can count...well if you are really young or really bad at counting. You are free to enjoy day after day of adventures and throw caution to the wind. If you were like me you might even have just swung a stick around for a few hours, and been perfectly content. As an adult summer can still be quite magical, but it doesn't have quite the same appeal as it did when you were a child. This post is going to show all of you wonderful folks the best and worst things that are directly connected to summer.

I like colors. (Generic caption for generic picture)


No Summer Break as an Adult

The first time you get a decent paying full time job there are two things that really hit hard. First is that taxes are the devil. After you have cried your tears over the staggering theft, you rise from the fetal position and look to a calendar. "Oh good" you think "summer break is coming up soon. That is just what I need." At that moment it dawns on you that not only do you hate the Man, but your last summer break is behind you.

I can tell you from experience that this is not a feeling that I would wish on anyone, well maybe a few people... You know who you are. As a kid you always have something to look forward to. "Just 130 days until summer break" is something I know I caught myself saying. You always had perpetual hope in the knowledge that this thing they call a school year had an end.  Now I can only hope that I might get a Monday off due to a Holiday. It crushes my soul a bit more each year when June rolls around and I am still working.

They wouldn't be so happy if they could see what is lurking in their near future.

Hot and Buggy

Like many of you I have an intense love for air conditioning and temperature control. As I modify the temperature I feel a surge of incredible power coursing through my veins. I have control over a veritable force of nature. I realize that I belong in someone's theology! I am a God! ...Then I step outside in July and feel the blistering heat. It makes me realize once again that I am a puny nothing and I might and well curl up in a sweaty ball and give up.

After a while you become fairly accustomed to the heat, but that isn't the only thing out to get you. Having been affronted by your attempts at self-deification, Mother Nature decides that you need to be taught a lesson. Not only does she come at you with heat, but she also sends out wave after wave of creepy critters to bite and harass you. If at times it feels like the world is trying to eat you just remember this. It is.

Stupid Mother Nature and her goon squad sons.

No football or any important sports

Having escaped the outdoor mauling you crawl inside. You figure that since outside hates your face you might as well relax and watch someone else doing something outside. You switch over to ESPN to catch up on the latest news, and you realize that summer is a sports black hole. You go through the list of sports. Football is months away from starting. Basketball has just ended, same with Hockey. What does that leave you with? Baseball. Ugh. With a season of 162 games it is hard to care about baseball until September. So the one sport we have in summer isn't even close to its compelling stage. I will admit that during the summer there are some tennis tournaments, but not enough to offset the lack of anything else.

Even the players don't want to be there, although to be fair it is the Mets.
Now I don't want you to think that summer is just a wasteland of sadness and pain. There are quite a few things about summer that we should enjoy.


Outdoor Activities

One advantage to doing things in the summer is the fact the going for a walk won't end with frostbite. There are quite a few things that can really only be fully enjoyed in the summer. I don't know how many of you have tried, but swimming in a lake in February is not what I would call a good time. To be fair it was less swimming and more sitting. Also it was a competition, but that is beside the point. It is not fun and it accounts for a full third of the times I have ever felt cold in my life. Now summer swimming on the other hand is amazing. The warm sun on your face as you splash around with friends is hard to beat.

Yes I am actually that pale.
Do you want to know what else is awesome? Trees, trees are awesome. By that I mean it is quite grand taking a stroll through some on a hike or set up a tent in the midst of them for some camping adventures. Can you do that in the winter? Technically speaking you can, but most of the trees are bare and barren and the trails have been buried in mounds of snow. It will leave you empty and sad as you start to contemplate your own mortality and how you are hurtling towards an unknown end. That is why you leave hiking and camping for the warmer months. It reduces the number of depressing existential thoughts for sure.

People Are Happier/ Beautiful Around

This next section actually is going to have some science behind it. Now that you have all finished your fainting spells we can get on with it. In the summertime it has been proven that people generally are happier. For some it has to do with the Vitamin D that the sun provides, for others it is the melatonin that is suppressed (the melatonin helps regulate our body clocks and the lack of sun in the winter can mess with some people's clocks and it leaves them depressed). For yet others it is the increase in serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that most scientists believe is behind depression. So the increase in that again helps reduce depression. Man, that sun of ours is not a one trick pony.

Some ponies only need one.

Do you want to know what else the sun has been helping with during this season? Making things beautiful. In the summer the sky is blue and all the leaves are green and the sun is warm like a baked potato. (At most three people will understand that reference) All Cannibal! The Musical references aside, it is true that the sky is bluer and the leaves greener during this time of year. Also since people are going to be spending more time outside they take better care of their yards and gardens, and they can be wonderful to behold.  

Bonus Round

Since you were such good little readers I am once again giving you a bonus round. This category has the distinction of being the only one that properly belongs in both the best and worst categories. With no further ado I give you..

People Wear Less Clothing

As the temperature rises the amount of clothing worn decreases. Some of you might be thinking "but this is an awesome thing. It means that my hunk of a neighbor is going to start jogging shirtless." or "I have been waiting many months to see who wears short shorts. I hope it is [blank] that wears short shorts." To you I say beware what you wish for. Maybe you will get what you want and there will be a lot of shirtless jogging and short shorts, but remember this. You can't decide who will be shedding clothing. Maybe instead of the hunk jogging shirtless is will be your other neighbor, One Ton Bill that has decided to forgo fully dressing. So there he is sitting across the street lounging in a wading pool with nothing more than a speedo and a corn dog. Maybe instead of [blank] wearing short shorts it will be her mother, the lady with the varicose veins and the cellulite and the smoking problem.

Now if you are like me you will never be able to get these images out of your head. So maybe instead of hoping for certain people to cut down on fabric usage you should hope that everyone makes it a modest season so you can sleep at night without being haunted by the images burned into your memory.