Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer Sissies

It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do. - Walter Winchell

Ah, summer. Within the next calendar week we'll be heralding summer's blazing return.

Or... well... you might be. Not me. I'll have my faced smushed up against the air conditioning vents in my Jeep, staring in shocked wonderment at the precious elderly gentlemen who still mow their lawns in long sleeves and slacks. Tell me, how did society function before all these "modern" barber shops had air conditioning?

A guy I'm seeing mentioned that it would be awfully fun to romp around Eureka Springs this Saturday. I immediately agreed. It will be fun. Fun, but hot. Surely he'll be understanding when the makeup runs and people start smelling, right?

Gosh. Listen to me. When did summer become the enemy?

You know, the older you get, the less fun summer seems to be. Case in point: our infamous summer family reunion is now held indoors because... well, everyone's getting old. Suddenly the elderly pass out. The kids get sunburned and develop carcinoma. The mayonnaise in the macaroni salad poisons everyone. Gosh... I remember the good old days when family members weren't ancient and a sunburn peeled and went away and Great-Aunt Bidge's mayonnaise macaroni salad didn't kill any of the cousins.

You know what's happened? We're all turning into summer sissies.

Remember when you were a kid? Hot weather meant summer vacation, and I'll bet you spent quite a bit of it outside, right? I did. My mom wouldn't let me stay indoors and watch TV much. Of course, we didn't have 1,500 channels and all these video games and MP3 players. Heck no. We made mud pies and stirred them with sticks.

And remember our other archaic ways of playing? Sure, we rode bikes and girl-talked, but we didn't have GPS bike helmets or camera cell phones. And if our parents needed to find us when we were riding bikes or girl-talking, they went outside and yelled. Or they called Janie's mom and Bobby's mom and Sandy's mom (on rotary phones) until they found us.

Oh, yeah, we went swimming, but most of us splashed around in a public pool or a questionably-sanitary body of water. Only "paranoid" and "overprotective" moms made you use sunscreen. The rest let you burn to a crisp, then covered you with slimy aloe vera leaves and made you sit still. (We looked like leech-covered brats, I'm sure.)

And remember when you finally did go inside after playing in that hot summer sun? Our mothers didn't then cram us in an SUV and buy us iced lattes or Maggie Moo's frozen custard. Oh no. We froze grape Koolaid in ice cube trays and waited 3 days for a "popsicle".

Oh gosh. Now that I think of it, this isn't good. This isn't good at all. I've forsaken my first love (summer vacation) and become quite the summer sissie. Maybe I should freeze grape Koolaid and spend as much of this summer as possible out in the heat.

Yeah, I guess I could.

Of course, there is that beautiful verse in Ecclesiastes 3.... What does it say? There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven....

Wait. That's better. Maybe the season for activities like mud pie making and bike racing and grape Koolaid-freezing is over. Maybe this is a time for summer sissies.

I'll go with that, anyway.

Happy summer 2006, everyone... summer sissy or not! -Brin

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