After spring’s wet embrace, every year I get seduced by summer’s sweet promises: Longer days! Warm beaches! Instagram-ready sunsets! Pool days! Popsicles for dinner!
And then I remember the reasons summertime super sucks.
Your Bare Feet
The second warm weather arrives, something primal is triggered in our brains: Socks BAD. Bare feet GOOD. As all those unfettered toes reach towards the sun, I inevitably reach towards a barf bag. Every year I dream about starting a grassroots movement that declares if your toes are jacked, it would be illegal to bare your busted piggies. Yes; a proper legal declaration that if the words “gnarled”, “crusty”, “yellow”, “split”, “black” or “missing” can be applied to your feet or nails, SOCK UP.
Hey, you say, why don’t you just avert your eyes from these fungal offenders? I have tried. But, friends, that’s not how life works. I can’t stop looking. I see the scrunched-up-in-the-sandal pooping feet in the stall next to me. I see the cracked, black decaying flesh under the table beside me. My brain plays double dare with my eyes. I see it all.
And then there’s the indoor conundrum. I arrive at your home. I’m wearing sandals. Do I have to take them off? Do I have to pad around your home barefoot? Every crumb and animal hair that sticks to my bare feet will trigger my gag reflex. I’m sorry. I brought some really good hummus, so can I please for-the-love-of-God, borrow some socks?
When I wear pants in spring, fall and winter, through some law of physics, I am able to walk and bend and twist while the fabric stays respectful and in place. As soon as I dare switch to summer shorts, that very same fabric is suddenly very curious about my vagina. It needs to crawl up into my crotch every second of the day. It’s like my vagina holds all the secrets to the universe. My vagina is the holy land. My vagina is a glacier cool springs in the middle of a desert wasteland. My shorts cannot get enough!
I try to affect a “cool cowgirl” wider-stanced walk to keep the nosy fabric down.
I stop every five steps and gracefully pick out and yard the fabric down.
Nothing dissuades the creeping, probing and incessant riding up.
After just one day of this you can see why the #1 cause of forest fires is women squirting lighter fluid over every pair of shorts in their closet and tossing a match over their shoulders.
If I attempt a skirt or maxi dress, leaving my thighs unattended and unclothed, they are as forgiving as a wronged toddler. If you’ve never experienced it, bare meaty thighs rubbing together all day leaves you raw and red and all the sangria in the world can’t even dull the buzzing between your legs.
My Picnic Disdain
The media would have us believe eating outdoors is bliss. Food tastes 47 times better when eaten surrounded by bugs and air! If we’re doing math here, let’s be real: picnics are dinner but 17 times harder.
With apartment living and no backyard, here’s how my picnics are executed. After work I spend one hour frantically collecting “outdoor friendly” food items, i.e. chips and carrot sticks along with 17 cups, plastic utensils, napkins, drinks and cold packs to keep the drinks cold. We schlep all the things to the car with a kid who just wants to watch her iPad. We drive to the park and I restrain myself from opening the chip bags with my teeth because I’m light-headed with hunger.
WAIT. Wait for the magic! We arrive and unload all the supplies. Seconds after I vigorously shake out and lay down the picnic blanket ever so carefully, like it’s a red carpet for our butts, the kid casually hops onto it with her shoes on and deposits every grain of sand and every blade of loose grass onto it. At this point we’re all just grunting zombies due to starvation, so all the bags of chips get wrestled open and shoved deep into our throats. The carrot sticks get warm and forgotten. The drinks are nowhere near cold yet but they get slugged down in great fizzy mouthfuls before we lick our fingers and jam them into the crinkly recesses of each chip bag. Fuck yeah picnics!
I may have the summertime blues, but of course I also have a husband who worships the sun, and a kid who doesn’t know the ocean is 34% human waste.
So, if you need me, I’ll be at the beach, under a carefully rigged pup tent yet still somehow acquiring third degree burns, and counting down the long hot seconds until fall.