July 27, 2009

Summer: Too Hot or Way Too Hot?

Boston is hotter than Hell. Okay...maybe you say "Hey...it's only mid 80's I live in the deep south and it's much hotter"...then I might ask you "Why would you ever voluntarily stay in the deep south in the summer?"

I really don't quite understand why seemingly everybody but me is in love with summer. Maybe it was growing up in Quebec and outside Chicago and having real winters...but I don't see what the appeal of sunburn, insects, sweating, temperatures that make it hard to want to move or think. Amazingly I'm not alone so I'm going to share this article by someone who understands.

Reflections: Why I hate summer

by Mary Weir

I hate summer. I make no apologies for that, but over the years it has become clear that not only am I in the minority, but folks who embrace scorching temperatures accompanied by breathtaking humidity actually view me as some sort of enemy. It's as if they believe my adversity to heat will rob them of the summer season sooner than it would otherwise normally disappear.
Let me take this time to reassure you sun worshippers that for me, summer is an unwelcome guest that has no intention of leaving until it is darn good and ready, despite my complaints and visible discomfort in its presence. In fact, the more I object, the more it seems to intensify my discomfort by inspiring the mercury to climb to heights that would make a trapeze artist dizzy.
It is simply a matter of preference, really. I have friends I visit in the south who shudder when they ask how I can tolerate winters in Michigan. Absentmindedly, because I am more focused on detaching my sweat-soaked clothing from parts of my body screaming for air, I answer their question with a question of my own. I want to know how they can tolerate the mind numbing heat and humidity of their region. Their answer is the same as mine, that it's something to which they've become accustomed, so they don't really think about it. It's not that I embrace winter and dance around every snowflake that falls. However, I find that layering clothing to keep out the cold is easier than stripping down to what is barely publicly acceptable and still being hot enough to want to inhale Freon.
I don't begrudge anyone their love of summer. I have wonderful memories of it myself from when I was a child, and I confess to enjoying a little less structure when my kids are out of school. There are many resources available for my relief, not the least of which is the pool at my neighbor's house across the street. I have been known, however, to forego the refreshing swim in favor of being planted right inside my air conditioned abode, thereby avoiding that uncomfortable few moments in the sun to get to the pool in the first place.
As silly as this all seems, there are methods to my madness. First of all, I'm a pale Irish girl who burns easily, and I have given birth to at least one child who has that same talent. Sunscreen is expensive. Mosquito repellant, the kind that actually works, is also expensive. So not only am I avoiding the risk of skin cancer and West Nile Virus, I am relieving myself of the extra expense of products that cannot guarantee preventing either disease.
Then there are the bugs that emerge from their long hibernation in the crevices of my home to terrorize my children and me indoors. Trying to fall asleep to the hum of a yellow jacket in your room is quite the experience. Now whether or not yellow jackets actually hibernate or just become reborn in the warm temperatures to wriggle through the cracks of my safe haven is still not something I know for sure. I just know that summer brings them and all their little bee friends buzzing right into my comfort zone, and I don't like that. The carpenter ants definitely resent sharing their space, that's for sure. Those guys love to hang out in my bathroom, watching me do my hair and hoping I don't go after them with the hairspray again.
It would be easy to wonder at this point if there is anything at all I appreciate about the warm weather seasons. Of course there is. The trees and flowers in bloom are beautiful, even through the haze of my allergy medication I take to combat the pollen count. On days when it isn't too hot to breathe, I like to eat outdoors on the deck with my family. Then we all go inside and pick the ants out of our teeth. Seasonal traditions are wonderful.
For the most part, however, summer is something to be endured, tolerated to the best of my ability and accepted as something I cannot change. I simply do what I can to get through each scorching day as I embrace visions of autumn leaves dancing in my head. Fear not, however. Now that I've shared this little commentary, I have no doubt I'll be wearing a tank top to Thanksgiving dinner.
I was trying for quite a while to find a song about summer but not surprisingly almost everything I found was "oh isn't summer so great and amazing" or "oh no summer's about to end" but I did find two songs that I find are fittingly less than cheerful about things that may accompany consistently uncomfortable temperatures.

Cruel Summer was originally performed by Bananarama but I'm not going to torture you with British pop.
Here's the updated, Ace of Base cover:

and See You In September by the 1960s one hit wonder group The Happenings:


  1. awesome...cruel summer!

  2. I have just installed iStripper, so I can watch the best virtual strippers on my desktop.