I confess. I’m one of those people who gets easily frustrated in the summer.
I find myself cursing while driving down congested streets, eating at home more to avoid the crowds and waiting until fall to stake my claim to a spot on the beach. Just like the rest of you who are fortunate enough to live here year-round, I often find myself looking at the calendar to see when Labor Day weekend starts as soon as the real “summer season” takes hold.
But I don’t limit my general resentment of summer to increased crowds here. I actually like that aspect of living here. There is more of a buzz around the area when more people are here. Local businesses and restaurants have a broader audience to showcase their goods. And the live music scene is much stronger now than it is in the dead of winter.
No, this is not about disliking summer because of where we live. This goes much deeper than that.
I think it started when I first got out of school and realized that summer vacation did not extend itself to everybody in the working class. When I was a kid, I would wake up, scan the baseball box scores in The Washington Post while eating Fruit Loops, and then go about a day based on whatever sport everybody was playing at the park or in the neighborhood that day. When I became a teen, that changed a little bit, as I’d still wake up and check out the box scores, but then I’d get cleaned up and go to whatever job I happened to have at that time.
And then I became an adult. And summer started to stink. And the only box scores I have time to scan now are that of my Baltimore Orioles, and they stink, too. I mean, seriously? How can a team with that many high draft picks be so bad for so long? It’s like there’s a concerted effort by management to irritate me and the other four people who still follow this sad-sack organiz...
But I digress.
I’ve really gotten myself to the point where I don’t look forward to summer at all. But then one little snack completely changed my mind.
I was sitting around watching those aforementioned Orioles on Sunday and throwing various objects at my television when I stopped to grab an ice cream treat.
That was all it took.
Suffice it to say, ice cream is a favorite of mine. I can eat a bowl of the stuff, a cone, a bar or an ice cream-covered tarantula. It really doesn’t matter. If it’s made of ice cream, I’ll figure out a way to eat it.
But there was something about that particular snack that turned me around on summer. It hit me that some things are just better in the summer than the rest of the year, and though I’ve enjoyed them for years, it took that one ice cream snack to put it all in focus.
For instance ...
• I love how the yard looks right after it gets cut. You know, when the hum of that lawn mower buzzing around your brain is finally silenced, and you take a moment to just look out at the yard? Yeah, you really only get that in summer.
• Falling asleep on the couch in the middle of the day with the air conditioning blowing and a golf tournament on the television is pretty relaxing. One of these days, I’m going to actually watch a tournament. But, for now, the soft background noise is all I really need.
• Sunset is pushed back quite a bit, and it makes the ride home from work a lot nicer when you can wear sunglasses instead of flipping on your headlights.
• I love that show “Wipeout.” There’s just something about seeing people get destroyed by those crazy obstacles that makes me laugh every week.
• Watching my Orioles. I can’t explain it, either. Call it a sickness. Or masochism. I’m fine with that. Go, O’s!