Summertime is coming to a close and it got me thinking about how I spent it. Turns out, I haven’t done too many “Summery” things. When I pondered it harder, once I left school, Summer hasn’t really meant the same thing. My earliest memories of Summer vacay (that’s what we call it in the biz) were pretty dull actually. I remember just trying to kill time at home while I waited for school (ie; my social life) to pick up again. Then “family” trips started to kick in and I got to do things that I certainly can’t afford to do without the aid of my mom. Aside from the dysfunctional (and not in the fun cute way) situations we’d end up in as a result of being shoved into confined spaces with one another …it was a good time! When am I going to be able to journey out to Hawaii, New York or …Jacksonville Florida on my own accord? Not any time soon. If it could have been “Mom and Ariel go on a vacation without a third party coming along to stir up animosity and have a super fun time” that would have been great and I’d probably have very different stories to share. You don’t always get what you want.
I won’t miss being shoved in some BS summer camp. You’d think there would be singing by a fire and learning to kill a wolf with your bare hands. It’s not like that at all! I recall bathroom cleaning duty. Hello! Real camping is squatting behind a tree, which doesn’t sound like much of a treat either …but it beats cleaning a bathroom. There was also the joys of dining hall duty. We could have just learned to kill that wolf with out bare hands and toasted that, also an unpleasant option …but it would have gotten me out of dining hall duty. They also would make you spend “rec” time in some unheated swimming pool where you’d splash around until it was time to get out and make a bird feeder out of a pine cone. Couldn’t they have at least supplied a lake? Lakes are generally warmer and give you that rustic Summer camp vibe. Canoes in a swimming pool look pretty foolish and it breaks the illusion. I remember liking the bird feeder building time but even that memory is tainted. I got scolded for eating the peanut butter that was meant to be spread on the pine cone. Like the birds gave two shits about a pine cone with peanut butter and seeds stuck to it! They are wild birds in a forest, they’ll find a way to take care of themselves. The bird feeder probably just confused them. “Why is that disco ball hanging from that tree over there …it kinda looks like a pine cone ….” I bet my mom could probably dig up amusing-in-hindsight letters I sent her from camp with dramatic pleas of “GET ME OUT OF HERE! I’M DYING!” Basically, I wouldn’t have stood up to any real form of torture if tested. But that’s not the point! This was my Summer break and I was in some makeshift camp of misery that I didn’t find all that amusing. I know there were good intentions for sending me to these places (or full time babysitting services, hmm…) but no thanks all the same.
I guess I don’t miss the “good old days” as much as I thought.
This Summer has been quite the dud, even without romanticizing the past. Most Summers are lame because the basic idea is “what’s Summer?” I’m too busy being cooped up at work to go do anything special. This Summer, I’ve had more free time but that’s because my arm is injured. Arm injuries hinder both the wallet and most activities. I haven’t been to the beach …I haven’t even been next to the beach. Wait. That’s not true. One of my best friends in the world came down from San Francisco and we did some bar hopping across the street from the beach, we might have even waved at it, I’m not sure …we were drinking. That was a lot of fun and I’m pretty sure the fact that it was located in an area where people were wearing bathing suits counts for something.
I was at the cheap movie theater (you know, where they charge you $3. instead of your life savings and in return you get to see a movie that is due out on dvd the following week, the aroma of foot and a herniated disc from your worn down seat) on the 4th of July. Wasn’t I supposed to be at a bbq shaking a sparkler around or something? But hey, I was at a big Summer blockbuster flick, so that should count for something. I’ve also spent a few lovely Summer evenings at Disneyland sweating it out in shorts and flip flops looking at fireworks. I like wandering around the Disney property. I certainly can’t afford a vacation, but it is the epitome of a resort so I get to pretend that I’m on one, if even for the day. Most people can’t stand that sort of tourist trap environment. Well, when you can’t afford to be an actual tourist, you take what you can get. I’ve had my share of popsicles and sipped plenty of lemonade from the carton…
Hey! Would you look at that? I did have some Summer fun after all. Though, after writing this I think I’ve come to a realization. Summer has some swell ideologies but it isn’t really my season of choice. I’ll cross the Christmas bridge when we get to it.