On this, the First Day of Summer, I have a confession. I hate summer. Not in an I could take it or leave it kind of way, but in an I have absolutely no use for the season kind of way. There are several reasons for this, but if I had to choose I think I could narrow it down to the fact that I don’t like being hot. It makes me cranky. What’s that you say? You want more of a reason? Well, settle in.
Summer is all about swimming and lounging by the pool. The thing is, I’m not a strong swimmer. When I was five, I took swimming lessons, and at the end they handed my mom a certificate and told her “Now, she didn’t really learn how to swim. We have to give these to everyone.” The main reason I didn’t learn how to swim during those lessons – I wouldn’t jump off the diving board into the deep end. No matter how much the instructor (floating like a fishing bob out in that vast deep end) promised he’d catch me. I like to think that even at five, I was smart enough to realize that wasn’t the best idea.
This is not to say that I shunned all pools and other bodies of water. I would tolerate it as long as I had floaties or a life jacket. Although, I admit to a sense of dread on weekends when we’d go out to the lake. My parents had a boat and the only way I’d get into the water was if someone threw me in. I mean I was willing and had a life jacket on, but they still could have told me there was a ladder on the back of the boat. I’m just saying.
My fear of water resurfaced again when I was seven or eight I think. I was at a pool party hosted by some friends of my parents. I had my floaties, so I was good to go. Unfortunately, I jumped in the pool just as a giant water raft roughly the size of a Titanic lifeboat drifted by. A normal kid, a kid who could swim, would just have paddled out from underneath the behemoth. Instead, I panicked until a good Samaritan pulled me out.
I did eventually overcome my dislike of water and learned how to swim (badly). My parents, if asked, will tell you about all of the vacations we took and how my only question at every stop was “Is there a pool?” And it’s true. There was a brief window where I liked pools and swimming, but once you get past a certain age, it’s just hanging out in standing water.
Then there’s the laying out that goes hand in hand with swimming. “It’s relaxing,” you say. And to that I say “No, no it is not.” There is nothing relaxing about sitting half clothed in the scorching heat and suffocating humidity. And the bugs! Don’t get me started on the bugs! I’ll take reading a book in the comfort and air conditioned sanctuary of my apartment, thank you very much.
All of this to say that I suffer through summer to get to my favorite time of year – fall. Fall is a beautiful season where you wear a respectable amount of clothing and can walk outside without fear of blinding your fellow humans with your pasty white legs or breaking a sweat. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! So let the countdown begin. Only 94 more days left!