Sunday, August 23, 2015

Today's Top Ten List: Summer Is Overrated (With A Guest Poster)

Today's Top Ten List will be a Double-Teamed effort. Jared will be assisting me, just like he has in past List Posts here at the Dept. and just like he did back in the Olde Days of our co-authored blog Stuff On Our List. That's another wonderful part of my Ten Years Of Blogging.

Jared's entries will be items 1 through 5, and I'll round out the remainder of The List.  He can have the intro, too.

Summer is fine. It is not great, AMAZING, or perfect. It is just…fine. There are great things about it, sure. The Lake, no snow, and the sun is out longer. So that’s good. But there are plenty of things people love about summer that I just don’t get. Let’s take a look at

10 Things About Summer That Are Overrated

1. Patios
2. Heat
3. Camping
4. Baseball
5. Fireworks
6. Cookouts
7. The Beach
8. Sandals
9. Hamburgers & Hotdogs
10. Pasta Salad

1. I like to sit outdoors from time to time with a glass of wine and a Lady Friend and chat and be impressed with ourselves and our conversation. But where I live, just west of Cleveland, there is an enormous patio culture. I do NOT want to eat out there, I do NOT want to sit there and get sweaty during a slightly (read: incredibly) hungover brunch. Sounds miserable. Dinner on a patio? Pass. Why am I going to eat a meal outdoors during the time of day with the least breeze? Absurd. Last summer, a friend called me and said “Let’s find somewhere we can eat, have some beers, and watch the game on a patio.” This is a thing he really thought I would do. I am not friends with this person any longer. MY favorite patio for a beer is the bar that I go to called Patio. There is literally NO PATIO. No patio is the perfect patio for me.

2. “Yeah. But it’s a dry heat.” This is a thing that people will say. It usually follows something like, “It's going to be 95 degrees out there today”, and is supposed to make me feel better about it being so goddam hot. Know where else is a dry heat? My oven. I’m not hanging out in there, either. Hot is hot. I don’t care how dry it is. Too. Damn. Hot. If it was 58 degrees with a light breeze every day for the rest of my life, I would be jacked.

3. It is literally all of the worst things about the last two items combined. Only, as a special treat, you get to sleep in a giant Sweat Bag. On the ground. Preposterous. Also, there’s a fire. It is sweltering out, and one of the actual solutions to make things better is a fire.

4. I went to a baseball game with one of my very best friends. I remember 0 of it. None. I do remember at one point, I stood in line for 18 minutes for a hot dog. I remember that. It sucked. I also know that when I came back with our franks, I had literally missed NO ACTUAL BASEBALL! None. They threw to first twice, intentionally walked a guy, then changed pitchers. Actual times in 18 minutes a ball was thrown in an area where it could be hit: NONE TIMES. NOT ONE.

5. For starters, this is an outdoor activity, at night, in the hottest part of the year. No breeze, buggy, traffic nightmare, crowded. Oh, but hey, you guys! You DO get to sit on the ground on a hot blanket. Seems like the solution for most summer stuff is to simply add the hottest, most uncomfortable thing you can find to the equation. Camping? Fire! Dinner? An open grill flame! Fireworks? Blanket! Even the homeless think it's absurd to use a blanket outdoors for any reason during the summer.

6. Longtime Readers, you all know my aversion to eating outdoors where hot food cannot stay hot, cold food cannot stay cold, and I am locked in a battle with bugs for my food and with the wind for my napkin, my tableware, and my hair to stay out of my mouth and eyes. Why? Why set Civilization back so decidedly? And the Picnic Table is the worst device ever. So ungraceful. Everything about a Cookout/Barbecue is catastrophically terrible.

7. The beach always sounds so relaxing and toasty warm, what with the waves and the sand and the sun. Which is, ironically, also precisely why the beach sucks. Sand gets everywhere and you will take it home with you and it will proceed to follow you wherever you go for the rest of your life. Inside and out. The waves, if they are in the ocean, will blast the sand at you and give you raw spots on your skin that will irritate you for days. Lakes are better, unless it is Erie, and let me tell you--there are bacteria warnings posted on the beaches more often than not. And at the beach, there is not a lot of shade to escape to, which means sunblock, and that means the sand will stick to you and do we really need to review that?

8. Feet--adult feet--are disgusting. Yes, that means yours, too. Most people's feet should not be on display. Yet Summer gives everyone the Go Ahead with eleventy billion styles of sandals, and many of them sadly awful, some of them made with seatbelt material, and most of them merely flipflops. Ugh. I feel sick.

9./10. If it were not Summertime, how many of you would settle for grey, dry, overgrilled hamburgers and sweaty hotdogs as your entree? And, in some cases, wait for them? In a line? And do you truly enjoy yet another pile of cold rotini soaking in Italian dressing? I'm over it. All of it.

Aside from these things, Summer is still terrific, as every single Teacher knows. But that's the Easy List, isn't it? How has Summer disappointed you? What would you add or take away from our List?



  1. Why does summer suck? Let me count the ways. Heat - Can I go for a walk? No, too hot. Can I turn on the oven? No, too hot. Blech.. Fires smoking up the joint (Forest fires, that is). Dry dry brown grass everywhere. This isn't even drought talk, it's every summer in California.

    1. J.@jj--I know that in the Bay Area, your weather is usually more temperate, but thanks to Climate Change, (which is Real, republicans; that's Science--look into it) the mercury is really climbing out there. I feel so sad that California has suffered so much. Everyone thought that it would break off and fall into the ocean from seismic activity, not burn up from fires and drought and climate change.

  2. I love baseball, but otherwise I agree. I certainly like having the time off of work, but I am just not excited about summer. Whenever some is flitting about on Facebook, encouraging us all to "get out and enjoy this beautiful day", it just makes me want to burrow deeper into my air conditioned home.

  3. TeacherPatti--Nice to see you again! I am not on The Facebook, but I do agree that those who trumpet about Getting Outside should generally Knock It Off. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and even if I didn't, who are they to tell me What To Do? Sometimes I don't want to be outdoors. Sometimes I like being Indoors, enjoying my home, which I worked hard to make comfortable and pleasant. Generally, I ruffle at Being Bossed, period. Most teachers do.

  4. I love baseball too (usually - my Braves are dismal this year), but I prefer to watch it in the comfort of my own air conditioned home. If we go to a game, it's to get the deep fried cookie dough & watch people, not the game.

    I also don't like eating outside - it's awkward, uncomfortable, & I generally end up with food on my shirt. I do like to sit on our swing in the cool of the evening - but that doesn't happen that often during high summer, especially since I'm usually crocheting. It's just now getting comfortable out there.

    We camped a lot early in our marriage - and to the evils of the Sweat Bag I'll add one more - trekking through the dark to whatever passes for a bathroom. I always have to go at least once in the middle of the night. Added to that, back then I wore contacts & took them out at night, so let's make that BLIND trekking through the dark (because who can find their glasses in a tent in the dark?).

  5. Bug--I hear you about walking to a "bathroom." Early on in our marriage, we did a bit of camping. NEVER AGAIN. Outhouses. Ugh. No running water. Ugh. Now, anytime I stay in a place that does not have MY kitchen, I consider it camping.

    If you love deep-fried Things, go to any county fair. That's the place for you. My favourite is deep-fried chunks of swiss cheese. Oh. My. But then I can't eat for days and days. Not just guilt, but the wad in my stomach.

  6. What I hate most about summer is that it is too short. I have, Jared, a screened and shaded porch to hang out on and, Nance, a husband who does not overlook burgers. The only sandal wearer in our family is twelve and paints her toenails purple. Got to love it.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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