The weather is nice and hot and we can all almost taste the sweet freedom of Memorial Day. Summer is here, and that's awesome, but there are just some parts of the season that suck.
Don't get me wrong, summer is my favorite time of year. When the leaves are turning, the snow is falling, and the flowers blooming, all I'm thinking about are the wonderfully long, long days of heat and humidity. For those who like it really warm (and sticky), summer is awesome. There is plenty of daylight so you can actually get some fun things accomplished after work rather than just going home to a dark living room and flipping on the TV. Everyone is more social from June to August. Things are slower at work. And then there are barbecues, the beach, roof-top parties, picnics, fireworks, beautiful people prancing around in next to no clothing! What's not to love?
Well, I'm going to tell you. These are the 10 worst things about summer. Sure, there are some inconveniences that can be overlooked during this fabulous time of year. But the following things, well, they can hardly be tolerated and without them we would be living in an overheated and practically perfect paradise until Labor Day.
Office Air Conditioning: Why is every office building freezing cold all year round? In the winter, it's understandable since it saves companies money by not having to turn up the heat to keep us all toasty. The problem is that from May until September, they spend tons of cash to pump way too much cold air into cubicle farms. Often it's too cold to work. And the worst part is that it's so steamy outside that you have to wear shorts or a skirt to survive the commute, but once you report for duty, you're freezing cold. And that lasts all day. Don't make me be like that 50-year-old receptionist and keep a cardigan on the back of my chair that I wear every single day regardless of whether it matches of not. We love that you want to make us comfortable, corporate bosses. But turn down the A/C a bit and you'll save money and you'll get to see our cute summer looks. Everyone wins!
Flip-Flops: I'm sorry, but flip-flops are a national scourge. They're fine at the beach, in the backyard, or for casually hanging out with friends. But the problem is people want to sport them at every opportunity. I'm sorry but flip-flops are not office attire. Nor should they be worn on formal occasions or out to a restaurant (that is not on the beach), and especially not to a bar or nightclub when your little pink piggies will definitely be stepped on by the masses and possibly have a beer bottle dropped on them. (Don't even get us started about boys who wear flip flops to the urinals). Many people have pretty nasty feet that shouldn't see the light of day in the first place, but if you wear flip-flops in Manhattan, then you are disgusting. You will come home at the end of the day looking like a hobbit, but instead of hair covering your feet, it's nasty, black, nameless sludge. And you'll have some sort of perverted tan line on your foot from where the strap is. Get a pair of Converse or something!
Smells: Everything in the summer just stinks. Whether it's nasty sweating people or those strange scents of the city, this is a big problem in New York. There are always mystery aromas wafting around us, but the heat and moisture in the summer just make them a million times worse. Standing at a stuffy, airless subway stop isn't that bad because the promise of a cool car is just moments away. But the stench is torture. It's like all the sweat, piss, crap, dead rodents, rotting food, millions of pounds of trash, gallons of vomit, and other putrid refuse is being baked into some sort of demonic Eucharist in Satan's oven.
Madras: Seersucker is colorfully classy and linen is rakishly wrinkled, but Madras is a horrible patchwork of plaids. It really is the worst summer fabric. The preppy staple is the fabric equivalent of being harassed by a squad of lacrosse players all at the same time. It doesn't really look good on anyone and the blazers, shorts, hats, belts, ties, and other items made out of it are usually poorly designed, ill-fitting, and overpriced. If you need something snooty but fun to wear to the country club that says "I'm so different even though I play by the rules," then get a pair of pink pants with little lobsters all over them.
Summer Fridays: We hate them because we don't have them, and we would hate them even if we did. If you don't get to leave the office at 2pm on the ten Fridays before Labor Day to start the weekend early, then it sucks because some of your friends are on the way to the beach and you're stuck at work. It's not like you're going to get work done because even if you're physically there, you're mentally taking a Summer Friday. And if you wanted to get something done, chances are the people you need to talk to are on a Jitney or sitting by a pool without a Blackberry in sight. For people who do have them, it can be torture. It just takes one over-eager boss to schedule a meeting at 4 on Friday because he knows that everyone will be free, to ruin the whole point of having a half day in the first place. It's one thing to never know freedom, but it's even worse to have it yanked away.
Bug Spray: Mosquitoes are annoying parasites that leave you an itchy mess, but the alternative is worse. Bug spray stinks. It doesn't even stink like a skunk stinks, which is natural, but of toxic chemicals made to smell vaguely natural. And it barely even works. So then you smell, the spray is stinging your skin, and you're covered in bug bites. That's hell. And whatever Avon lady told you about that Skin So Soft crap working to keep bugs away is laughing all the way to the bank in her pink Cadillac or whatever the fuck she got for unloading all that snake oil on everyone.
Sunburn: The sting of sunburns isn't the actual pain from your UV-scorched skin, but knowing that you are now struck with an ailment that was absolutely preventable. If you just had more clothing on, sat in the shade longer, or put the sunblock on after you went in the pool then you wouldn't be lying sleepless in bed without a stitch of fabric touching you. But no, you had to stay outside at the barbecue and not go get that SPF 793, you had to say "I can't reach my back so I just won't put any lotion on it," you had to forget that one spot on the back of your knees. Now you are a stupid mess of annoying pain. And it's all your fault and you feel like an asshole. That sucks.
Too Many Movies: It makes sense that there are so many movies in the summer—people have lots of free time and want to sit somewhere cool and dark for two hours while getting fat on popcorn and forgetting about real life. But why are there so many? If you're into crappy blockbusters (and really, who isn't, or else they wouldn't be blockbusters) then there is something for you go to see every weekend. No fun time softball league, trips to the shore, or afternoons lazing in a hammock. We're stuck at the cineplex with all the other sweaty humans taking in whatever bit of candy floss the Hollywood marketing machine told us we had to care about that week. And why not put some of these out in like January or February when the selection at the cinema totally blows and people want to sit somewhere warm? Maybe if they served hot chocolate at the movies it would work? Please, studio bosses, spread the crowd-pleasing goodness out a little bit. Your movies would do better without all the competition for opening weekend and we'd have a little time to go for a run and work off all that popcorn.
Watermelon: I'm just going to say it. I hate watermelon. There. It's done. I can't take it back. I'm sorry, watermelon, I have tried you many times, and I just don't like you. You are sticky and seedy and hard to eat and you have the consistency of waterlogged cardboard. The worst part is that you are everywhere. At every picnic, barbecue, backyard shindig, and pool party. "Get a watermelon, everyone loves it." No, not everyone loves it, and because we're supposed to think it's some sort of seasonal ambrosia, we have to pretend like it's so great. So we eat it because if you don't like watermelon, you're like mentally deficient or something. Even worse, hosts serve it as dessert! It's fruit. It's healthy. Fine. But you can't cover it with whipped cream or chocolate like you can with strawberry. So show me the baked goods. Where's the shortcake, ice cream cake, or peach cobbler?
The Ice Cream Truck Song: There is nothing as good as running into a Mister Softee truck on a warm day and treating yourself to a chocolate soft serve (with rainbow sprinkles, please!). What a joy! What a treat! But the minute that trucks takes off and starts to play the "plinkety-plinkety-plink-a-plink-a-plink-a-plink-a-plink-pliiiiinnnnnnkkkk" it makes me want to rip my eardrums out. Why does every truck have the same grating music and why does it get stuck in my head for hours afterward? And God forbid you get one that parks under your window and plays that tune all day on repeat like it's a 12-year-old girl with the new Justin Bieber single. Who are the superhuman clowns that staff these things? Have they completely lost their minds after listening that infuriating racket so many times that it doesn't faze them anymore? Ice Cream Man: You are selling delicious frozen treats on a hot day. That's not hard. You don't need the fucking jingle of death to make your money!