Summer: why I can’t commit to one opinion on it

Summer is, technically, over.

I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand – and this is no secret to my close friends and family – I don’t like summer. I don’t like sunburned, sweat-sticky skin almost permanently the colour of strawberry daiquiri. I don’t like having to search for a combination of my few lightweight, loose articles of clothing that doesn’t make me look like a ten-year-old copying her more stylish older sister. I also really don’t like my glasses slipping down the bridge of my nose, but how can they not, when my nose invariably becomes a regular waterslide in the summer?

But for all of these things, I don’t hate summer. How could I? Yes, there are things I dislike about the season, but those things are – well – annoying, at most. They’re not real problems. And there are certain things I’ll miss the rest of the year around that are perhaps more connected to the sentimentality of summer than the weather conditions themselves, but connected to summer nonetheless. The feeling of impossibility and promise that a summer night holds, for example. Like all of a sudden anything, no matter how ridiculous or private, can be said, and it’ll – well, sort of drift away harmlessly and be lost amongst the raucous sounds of cicadas. Or the general atmosphere of festivity long after Christmas, like every day is something exciting: which, incidentally, is true. Or even just the sense of camaraderie created by complaining about the suffocating heat with your family?

I don’t often go to the beach in summer, because I find that personally, the fun of running into the water doesn’t quite make up for the messiness of the aftermath. But I do like sitting on a rug by the water and eating fish and chips, grainy with sand and reliably greasy. This just about sums up how I feel about summer itself, really. It’s – for want of a better word – yucky. Considerably yuckier than the other seasons, for the most part. But it has a charm that can’t always be replicated by the other seasons (they have their own appeal, but nothing quite as glamorous or cliche-fuelling as summer) and that I feel I always under-savour when December arrives.

I’m writing this as a record. Two reasons: 1) So I learn to appreciate summer while it’s here, rather than miss it when it’s gone, and 2) So I still remember all the parts I don’t like, and avoid letting my nostalgia paint the season past in colours perhaps more romantic than accurate.

Anyway. Summer is, like all things, imperfect. But that’s also kind of the point. And so what if I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it? It’s complicated, and borderline silly. But then all the best things in life are.


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