How Dare You, Back to School

Yesterday I went out to buy lawn chairs (because I am a grown-ass woman in charge of her destiny) and I saw Christmas trees on display.



Next to light-up reindeer.

I stood there, holding my lime green fold-up treasures and screamed as loud as I could. I mean, no, I didn’t do that (because I’m pretty sure I would be asked to leave without being able to buy my chairs), but I wanted to. A lot. Because for the first time since being roughly 19-years-old, I’m having the best summer ever. Specifically, I like summer. Even more specifically, I am writing this while wearing a crop top which is a thing I swore I’d never do. Because summer and I are friends now. And I’ll be damned if you’re going to take it away from me.

You know how I feel, too. Even those who — like I once did — curse summertime with every fibre of your being, know exactly what I’m trying to say. Remember being 11 and watching TV on a Monday afternoon on like, August 1? Eating a freezie and thinking, “Goddamn, I love summer”? Of course you do. It was incredible. And then, out of the blue: BOOM. A fucking Five Star binder commercial. “Back to school!” it would scream into your delicate face. “It’s coming! You will never have freedom again! Enjoy the countdown to your doom, you idiot!”

That feeling. That is the feeling I have. I don’t want to go back to school. I don’t want to buy fall clothes or think about what I’m going to wear in October. I just want to continue doing my work on the back deck and complaining about how warm I am while secretly thinking, “I think I love this. Who am I? Who cares, this is my destiny.” I just want to drive around with the windows down listening to 90s on 9 and pretending I’m in Reality Bites. I am not ready to care about coats.

But I’m also a smart person. I know I can’t have summer forever because that would mean the world is dying much faster than scientists have predicted. So here is my compromise. Summer can end when:

– We all feel numb upon the viewing of back to school commercials

– The sun has taken so much energy out of us that we morph into Teletubbies, ruled by that baby sun

– All the sunscreen is gone (all of it — all of it)

– Seeing a premature Christmas display doesn’t give us a panic attack

– We accept that if we loved hot weather as much as we claim to, we wouldn’t live where we live, we’d live someplace where hot weather happens all the time

– We get super sick of 90s on 9

– We begin to miss actual shoes

– We begin to miss actual coats

– We become emotionally affected upon the opening scene in You’ve Got Mail when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks walk around New York City as The Cranberries play

– Someone says “Halloween” and we care instead of telling them to never speak to you or our sons again

– You go to Staples and buy a new binder, just because

– You say “It’s too hot!” and you actually mean it.

And then, in that moment, the leaves will change, they will begin to fall, and you will have four days of autumn before the first ice storm.

(Summer, don’t leave me, I love you.)

Tags: Anne T. Donahue

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