dog days are over

I need to tell you something. I hate summer.

Here is where you jerk your head backwards in disbelief so powerfully that your monocle falls into your soup. Either that or your monocle goes flying across the room as you spray your soup all over your computer screen. Or maybe you sling your monocle out the window like a frisbee as you pour soup over your head and your computer screen explodes in slow-motion. Well, I never! Well, I say! I daresay, sir! you splutter haughtily.

Dude, man. I’m not a sir.

How can I hate summer!? Summer is full of graduations and birthdays and weddings and baby showers and lazy lake days and ice cream and bare feet and unabashed love for all mankind! All the food you eat in summer is calorie-free! Also, money falls from trees! In summer! Summer summer summer!

Seriously. Simmer down.

I hate summer, yes, but not for any of the usual reasons. I hate summer because I don’t have one.

These palm trees are depressed.

Here is where your eye might start to twitch. You might have to furiously pace the room with hands on hips. You might have to physically restrain yourself from booking the next flight to California in order to diligently hunt me down and punch me in the face. You might even have to sit cross-legged right in the middle of the bathtub with all your clothes on and brush your hair while rocking gently back and forth and humming softly.

::: She’s complaining she didn’t have a summer? SHE is COMPLAINING she DIDN’T HAVE A SWELTERING, HORRIFYING, ASS-SWAMPY SUMMER?!? :::

Shh. Put the hairbrush down. Come here. It’s going to be okay.

It’s true. Many of you in the northern hemisphere had a right proper bitch of a summer. Day after day, you sweated through all your clothes. You longed for the shower head to issue forth a steady stream of tiny ice cubes instead of tepid water. On more than one occasion, you caught yourself fantasizing about unbolting the air conditioning unit from its moorings on the wall and hauling it into bed with you to cuddle all night. And we haven’t even begun to talk about the heat yet. My god, the heat.

You, my friends, have more than earned a reprieve.

And now? You get one. Kids and teachers have just gone back to school. American football is back on television in the form of preseason games. People are turning their attention toward acquiring new coats and boots. It seems that sometime towards the end of August we collectively agreed that summer was dead and buried, and it was now time to put on our chunky sweaters and stand outside expectantly awaiting the annual turning of the leaves into bright crimsons and golds. Here in the United States, it is officially AutumnTM.

And here I am, still thinking: what about poor little me? Huh?

Intense smog? Tornado weather? What is up with this filter? It's like I'm using that Instamatic iPhone app hipster shit for all these photos. Oh... right.

Yes, everybody already knows that coastal California doesn’t really “do” seasons. Yawn yawn, you spoiled asshole, just try to complain when I’m digging out of a snowstorm and you’re not even wearing a coat. But some people still aren’t aware that “summer” on the coast of California is the absolute worst time of year. I base this assessment on the crowds of tourists that stream into my particular city from June through August, stubbornly decked out in beachwear and noticeably shivering while gazing up in confusion at the slate grey sky. I watch them from my office window, these tourists, and snort in derision. Then the snorting slowly turns to a coughing fit, and then I realize I kind of accidentally drooled on my shirt, and after I’m done dabbing at it with a used tissue I crank the space heater up a notch and open a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli for lunch.

Mm-hmm.

Summer is our foggiest, ugliest time of year, because the cold air over the ocean gets mad and picks a fight over something the hot inland air said, and then the cold ocean air yanks the marine layer blankets all the way over onto its side of the bed, and the result is that everyone who lives along the water loses big-time. We have special names for these summer months for a reason: May Grey, June Gloom, No Sky July, Fogust. Also, we are drunk, but that’s neither here nor there.

But you know what? Do you know what? We’re just about getting to the time of year when the ocean and the inland usually manage to talk things through, apologize, hug each other, and then have crazy make-up sex. September and October are our absolute best months of the year — it’s warm, crystal-clear, and insanely sunny. You can often go outside without wearing a cardigan and closed-toe shoes. Sometimes — gasp! — you even sweat. I KNOW, RIGHT??? It sounds just like summer for normal people!

But no. Oh, no, it’s supposed to be autumn, now. That was the agreement. Once September rolls around, BAM. You put the pumpkins on the front stoop, set out a bowl of candy corn, and pour some mint Schnapps into that thermos of hot chocolate. WE ALL SIGNED THE SEASONAL CONSENT FORMS AND THEY CANNOT BE UNSIGNED.

But you know what? I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna agree to autumn just yet.

While the rest of the nation swills apple cider and dons flannel caps and bathes in maple syrup,1 I will be running around in flip-flops and a sundress. I will close my ears to your autumn talk, la la la I can’t hear you, because my fleeting summer is finally, finally here.

And hot damn, do I ever love it.

Hot damn, this window is dirty.

1 The rest of the nation are lumberjacks, apparently.

14 Responses to “dog days are over”

  1. It’s a cardinal sin for an Australian to despise summer but I hate it. And in Sydney it’s a sizzling exercise to leave the house for at least 6 months of the year. In our case summer is really more like 2 and a half seasons.

    Enjoy September and October!

  2. You are hilarious and I adore you.

    Happy summer!!

  3. I’ve seen some of this June Gloom. I went to visit a friend of mine one “summer” in San Diego and was shocked by how grey and cloudy and COLD it was. We got a few nice days where we were at least able to ride bikes, but nothing near what I was expecting (frolicking on the beach like we were in a gidget movie, etc.). I had to borrow sweatshirts all week.

    I’ve decided my ideal city (also known as Shangri-La) will have 2 weeks of snowy winter (on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, of course), 3 months of fall and spring each, and the rest will be 80-85 degree-no-humidity summer. And I’d probably eventually gripe about that, too. 😉

  4. Now you’ve made me want to hear that song. Damn you.

  5. It’s 30 degrees here in the great white north. (Google tells me that’s 86 in American.) I can assure you that my fair city is treating this like part of summer, and why not? Winter is long and cold and summer is short and why the hell would you rush it to be over? (Also, we don’t get humidity in this city, so I love the heat without reservations.)

    Then again, in February when a warm wind blows in and raises the temp from -20 to +6 (er, -4 to 42), people don’t wear their coats outside. So maybe we’re just crazy.

  6. I have so not signed a consent form for autumn. Shit no, can’t it just stay warm forever?

  7. I feel you so hard. Scotland is the same same same, only it’s still fucking cold in Autumn too!

  8. Ever hear the old adage “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”? It’s so true. I was traumatized by summer in San Francisco for the majority of my life. Now, having moved to Santa Monica (where it is actually sunny and warm in the summer), I’m still suffering from San Franciscan paranoia where I think that every sunny summer day may be the last, and two sunny days in a row are surely a sign of an impending earthquake or other disaster (you can’t get that kind of weather for free, people!).

  9. you are fucking hilarious, lyn. i hate summer too. least favorite season by far. i miss the snow of chicago all year long and i hate texas for more reasons than 100+ degree summers. but mostly because of 100+ degree summers.

  10. This is horrifying. I always dreamed I could someday move to SoCal and have summer all year long. DO I HAVE TO MOVE TO HAWAII? DO I? I’LL DO IT, I SWEAR! [Moving to Hawaii just became jumping off a building in my head.]

  11. Oh my God, I KNOW. I’ve started telling friends not to bother visiting us in the “summer” months. They always think I’m lying when I say come August, we go up to Napa to visit warm weather. Fall was always my favorite season on the East Coast, though, so it’s like one half of me is all, “September! Pumpkin spice latte!” and the other is like, “But now it’s finally warm in the Bay Area…” Does not compute, I tell you. Does not compute.

  12. Oh, yes. Yes, this. Every summer for 10 years, I attempted to wear summer-like clothing and wanted to go to the beach. It was too. damn. cold. By the time the summer finally rolled in, it brought the freaking Santa Ana winds. Do you know what the Santa Ana winds bring with them? Every last molecule of every allergen that will fuck up my sinuses. Also, hot dry air that makes my straight hair electric.

    So, I moved back to Tucson, and guess when the best time of year is? September and October. Warm enough to feel like summer, cool enough that you can actually stand outside without risking spontaneous combustion as if you’re an ant under a magnifying glass. The last time I saw fall was that brief moment when I lived in Colorado in 1995. It was very pretty. Too bad about that winter part, though.

  13. What are these seasons that you speak of?
    – your friend in Hawaii 😉

    Seriously, though, it gets kinda dull not having any recognizable seasons. It’s 80 something year round (not complaining! but you know). I spent a summer in Texas once and almost died. The heat! So awful. But fall in the Pacific NW is so beautiful (my sister is in Portland). I’ve seen snow 3 times. My point being nothing, and that I’m rambling and you all should come and visit one day.

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