It’s that time of year again. Summer. A season only second to Christmas in it’s forced hyped gaiety. Do I sound like a bikini-clad Grinch? Before I reflexively apologize, perhaps I should explain my resentment. Unlike Christmas, summer delivers me no easy out of the frenzy. I can’t exactly wave the religion flag as my get-out-of-gaiety card, can I? Or can I? Can I blame my disconnect to patriotism (Memorial, Independence, and Labor; the trifecta of summer flag waving) on being the spawn of sixties liberal reform Jews? Doubtful, considering I love nothing more than a hometown parade. But wait, what about the grandparents who scraped together the scraps of their working class paychecks for a week or two in the Catskills every year? Don’t those incredibly dismal and depressing black and white photographs (with wiggly white borders) prove a genetic inability to conform to the seasonal culture of fun. Puhlease.
My seasonal shortcomings are my own. I love cultivated nature (botanical gardens, english box hedges and the like) but am most certainly about as indoorsy as they come. That must be part of my “problem.” And by “problem” I don’t mean to imply that I am anti-summer. Far from it. I enjoy an enormous straw hat and a strappy sandal. I find nothing quite as lovely as the sight of the ice cream man (a man dressed in immaculate white doling out snack?!) It is instead the notion (pummeled by magazines, television and the like) that I should be ENJOYING MYSELF! This enjoyment should take the form of preparing/eating my meals out of doors (so much nicer in theory than in practice,) relocating to places remote or exclusive and/or adopting an entirely different life/persona for three months.
I love the summer in the city. Just love it. There is a quiet and sanity that feels (don’t ask me why) European. But even as I sit at a cafe nursing a cappuccino, or at the Boat Basin, working my way through a mango mai tai and mahi mahi taco (say that really really fast!) I feel I am not living up to expectation. What is most queer about this complex, is I have no idea why! I do not succumb to any other media expectations (of which I am aware.) Yet every year, at the end of May, here I sit, an involuntary Scrooge (in a stunning straw hat.)