Might as Well Be Walking on the Sun

Fun fact: My last name is Summar, which is Scottish for “People whose surname is pronounced just like the season between spring and fall but is spelled so creatively that they are doomed to hear it mispronounced or see it misspelled for all of eternity.” Thank heavens they shortened all of that to two syllables.

Every one of my middle school and high school yearbooks is full of witticisms like, “Have a great summer, Summar!” and “Whoa… it’s your favorite season.” Generations of Summars have put up with this nonsense since the invention of the yearbook, and I accept that it is our cross to bear.

Our yearbooks are bad, but our jawlines are great. It evens out.

Our yearbooks are bad, but our jawlines are great. You win some, you lose some.

It’s not the bad attempts at puns that get my goat. (Although come on, people. You can do better. “To Summar-ize the year, it’s been great!” or “I hope your vacation is good, because Summar and some ain’t” or even just, “Have a great Summar!” And those are just off the top of my head.)

No, it’s not the poor wordplay. It’s the factual inaccuracies. I will not have a great summer because it is not my favorite season. In fact, it barely ranks in my top four. I much prefer autumn, with its boot-friendly weather and its holidays dedicated to candy and eating a lot of food. I don’t mind spring because it smells nice. I can even get behind winter because I hate going outside and it’s the one season where that’s acceptable. But my favorite thing about all of those seasons is that they aren’t summer.

Things about Summer that Suck

1. The sun. I understand that the Earth’s axis tilts and that we need the sun because it helps food grow and provides warm patches of light for cats to sleep in. Intellectually I get all that. That doesn’t prevent me from shaking my fists at the sun every single day in the summer. Why is it so hot? And so bright? And why does it stick around until 9pm?

Go away, sun. Go visit Australia or something.

Go away, sun. Go visit Australia or something.

2. The clothes. You’re not supposed to wear black in the summer, eliminating two-thirds of my wardrobe. You have to wear something light enough that you won’t melt into a puddle of human goo the second you walk out the door, but also something that will prevent air conditioning from freezing said human goo puddle when you ooze into a building. Does this versatile garment exist? I have serious doubts.

3. The bodily upkeep. Wearing lighter clothes often means showing more skin, which may mean pressure to shave your legs or armpits. And the sun being all up in Earth’s business means that you spend a lot of the summer sweating, which means you spend the rest of the summer applying deodorant, showering, or praying no one can smell you.

4. The difficulties of being pale in this weather. As soon as I break out the summer dresses, someone inevitably comments on how pale my legs are. I don’t really know why anyone would expect my legs to be tan when the rest of me is uniformly translucent, but for some reason it’s always a big shock. The phrase “corpse-like” has been used. And remember the sun? Remember how close it is to the Earth, sizzling everything to a light golden-brown? I just turn a painful bright red, and then I freckle, and then I wait for melanoma to set in. So my go-to summer look is eight layers of sunscreen, a gardening hat and a long-sleeved shirt that I can wear while swimming. It’s hot, but not in a sexy way.

5. The ways in which homeownership gets 1,000 times more annoying. I miss winter, when my house cooled itself, and I didn’t have to water the lawn, and I wasn’t constantly worried about violating my city’s six-inch weed policy.

6. The bugs.

7. The snakes.

8. The lifeguards.

9. The sandals.

10. The pressure to do stuff outside because the weather is nice. Elderly people die in weather like this all the time, and I may look 25 but deep inside I’m a crotchety 70. Things do not look good for me out there. Plus, swimming in lakes freaks me out and I hate hiking and camping. There are bears outside.

11. The bears.

12. The way I’m pretty sure no one understands how I feel about the Fourth of July except maybe Bruce Springsteen.

I only JUST realized that he's not standing in front of a flag. To be honest, I'm usually looking at his butt.

I only JUST realized that he’s not standing in front of a flag. To be honest, I’m usually looking at his butt.

Look, I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy. Summer isn’t all bad.

Summer: It’s Ok Sometimes

1. The conviction I have that Bruce Springsteen completely understands how I feel about the Fourth of July.

2. The way lawns smell after they’ve been cut.

3. The times when my boss is like, “Man, it’s a nice day. Everyone get out of here!”

4. The time I save every morning because I don’t have to put on 15 layers of clothing.

5. The prevalence of root beer floats and blueberries.

Those qualities don’t make up for the terrible ones, but they do sort of help. So I’m going to put up with summer once again this year. Partly because I have not figured out hibernation yet, but mostly because there will be root beer floats. And blueberries.

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16 comments

  1. Rahul

    hahaha! Finally, someone who dislikes summers. I have been a big fan of Shakespeare but not without difficulties. I always read his lines as “summers of discontent” and “Shall I compare thee to a Spring’s Day”. I find my reasons for not liking summer quite as same as mine.

  2. chrysaliswithaview

    I too like summer fruits, but long for winter on hot days. Then, when winter arrives, I get grumpy that it’s so cold and wet. Thin thin cardigans are my answer to the dilemma of air-con versus outside.

  3. Bea dM

    Summer’s also my least preferred (except it’s vacation time in Europe) & I feel just like you about the other three. But relax and let summer guide you: black wardrobe is for funerals (2) aircon is a problem in itself: unbalances your body and then you can’t take the heat (also 2) pale is oh so chic and avant-garde (4). You don’t live in California do you? you’re not supposed to water your lawn (5). Wear light trainers, sandals are not hygienic (9). Anyway I envy you the root beer, we don’t get it here

  4. Branimir

    I am still laughing at the opening joke. I went back to read it at least 10 times while reading this post. Solid gold! :D

  5. rixlibris

    My least favorite season is right now. It’s raining in Waller County, Texas, and has been for several months. We live on sandy loam soil, which is to say a beach located inconveniently 100 miles from the Gulf. The weeds grow nicely on this five acre patch but the ground is too spongy to even walk across, let alone mow. Did I mention that the weeds grow? I stepped out onto the front porch and noticed that only the top of the picnic table is visible. By the time the ground is solid enough to drive across mowing will be out of the question, it will be time to hay. Mold and mildew also prefer this time of year. Yea.

    I’ll take all the hot, evaporative power of that sun you disdain and put it to good use. Box it up and call Fed-Ex, ASAP.

  6. kejorabintang

    I like your blog, Miss Summer :)
    Although I never feel how a summer season is (because I come tropic country), but i just like what have you wrote here. :)

  7. Kat

    I love your posts. I really do. I’m so glad that I get them sent to my wordpress account whenever they arrive. This is fantastic.
    Everything you said about summer (the season) is everything I say about summer to myself all the time. In my head. Because for some reason people don’t like to hear me complain more than once about any of those things.
    And my first name is Kathrin. I go by Kat, introduce myself as Kat, and write it down whenever I can. I also get the hilariously unoriginal pun jokes on my name. There have been many, but the crowned winners are “Kat? Meow!” and “Katniss Everdeen!” So I feel your Summar pain (sorry, too soon?).

  8. arwynundomiel

    I despise summer and think of it as the season one must suffer through in order to get to fall. I heartily applaud all your reasons to dislike summer and will allow that you’re right in that it’s not all bad. Personally, I like strawberry, melon and peach seasons, all of which I eat in excessive quantities (while huddled inside with the air conditioner, of course). There are also some good TV shows that only air in summer. But other than that, I can only shake my fist at the sky and quote Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies (the Peter Sellers ones, not the new abominations), “Swine sun!”. When my husband served a year in Iraq, his army buddies called the sun ‘Bob’, as in ‘I see Bob’s trying to kill us again today’. I know we need it to survive and all, but I share your Scottish heritage and go to great lengths to keep my lily white complexion safe from *shudder* a tan!

  9. JC

    I love wearing black, boots, sweaters, oversized cardigans and all those winter fashions. Summer time in Florida is so unbearably hot! I was working yesterday morning, bartending, and I literally started sweating from the moment I got there until I left! I felt like a living, breathing, swamp! There is no point on wearing makeup anymore, even though I always do, because I sweat it all off by the end of the shift. I can’t wait for it to cool down here even though I know that won’t happen soon!
    Cheers Summar!

  10. themeredithmouth

    At some point, I should take a picture of myself when I’m dressed to go “tubing” on the river. With my floppy hat, layers of sunblock, and sarong wrapped around my pale body, I feel that you might understand it more than others.

  11. caliann92

    Absolutely agree. I’m a fall/winter girl all the way. East Texas has this humidity you would not believe. It’s sticky and there’s bugs and snakes and spiders and no, just no.

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