Here is a handy compendium of the reasons I am glad, glad, glad that summer in the city is finally coming to an end:
1. I am very pale-skinned. As such, I get sunburned walking two blocks to the drugstore to buy Drano. I refuse to glop on greasy, slimy sunscreen to walk two blocks to buy Drano. As a result, the day after my epic two-block walk, some stranger or casual acquaintance feels compelled to come running up, point at my décolletage and chirp, “Someone got some sun!” As if I routinely spend my days in a bikini on a pool lounger, slathered in Hawaiian Tropic with a foil reflector by my side. I assure you, there is no scenario in which I would ever deliberately leave the house on a mission to “get some sun.” Sun gets on me, and because I have no melanin, I instantly turn rare-beef pink in all exposed areas. It’s just science. And it’s a little bit embarrassing, and I wish people would stop pointing it out. I know, okay? I have access to mirrors.
2. On a related note, Seattle is afflicted with a summer-induced collective obsession with “Getting Out.” Look, I understand--summers are short-lived here, and the winters are long, monotonous and wet. But it gets tiresome to be constantly asked “Are you going to Get Out this weekend and enjoy the sun????” “Did you Get Out this weekend?” “I Got Out this weekend with some friends!!!” It creates a sort of mania of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that spreads like a contagion. Fortunately, I am totally immune to it.
3. Since over 70% of Seattle domiciles do not have air conditioning, everyone flings open their windows with abandon all summer, and we’re treated to an intimate chorus of inane phone chatter, couple-fighting, dog-barking, nose-blowing, hawking, showering, pot-banging and food-cooking odors. I long for the dark gray silence of the rainy winter, when everyone goes back to closed windows and SAD-related isolation. Ah, peace and quiet!
4. I am deprived of my beloved lavender Epsom salt baths for the entire summer because the above-mentioned lack of air conditioning makes it too hot to stew in a steamy tub of healing goodness (or my own filth, depending on your attitude towards baths.)
5. The endless “festivals” in the park next to my apartment. Oh, the festivals, with their loud, terrible bands, the screeching children, and burnt meat smells invading my sensory space every weekend. Why? And why so many? How many themes can you possibly create a festival around before it starts to feel like a bogus excuse for food trucks to line up and block my path to the dark, air-conditioned library?
6. The dreaded Clipboard People. You know, the ones who stand on the corner in their bright logo T-shirts, trying to rope you into signing a petition for some asinine legislation or requesting a donation to a Good Cause, which the company that hires the Clipboard People take a huge cut of. The Clipboard People get more bold and aggressive every year, and I have to plan my walking routes around them now. The Clipboard People are formidable, but rain is their kryptonite.
Bah-by, summer! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.