In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been hot this summer. Damn hot.
So hot I’ve heard people commenting there’s nothing they can do in this heat, but I say that’s not true. There is plenty to do. It’s just not the kind of stuff you want to do.
You can watch your lawn turn from green to brown, and see your flowers wilt. You can watch your gas tank go down and your electric bill go up as result of AC overuse. You can watch your bread mold and your bananas rot. You can cook dinner rolls in your parked car after it has baked in the heat all day, and yes- you really can fry an egg on the sidewalk.
When asked if we’d rather have extreme hot or cold weather, our answers inevitable change to the polar opposite of what it is at that moment. In the sweltering heat there is no more comforting thought than the memory of being tucked under a throw blanket watching football on a cold winter’s day. But on that same winter’s day when your teeth are chattering as you pull the blanket over your cold nose and yell TURN UP THE HEAT, you can only dream of how good it must have felt to be wearing as few clothes as legally possible while the summer sun bakes your bare skin.
Quite possibly because we are in the midst of a heat wave, I’m almost missing the 6-foot snow banks that surrounded us a few winters ago. Because there’s just something about the intense and constant heat that sucks the life out of us, making it nearly impossible to enjoy doing all the things we dreamed about doing once the warm weather finally arrived.
Instead of my vision of joy at shedding my winter layers to run free with just shorts and a top, the humid air feels like quicksand in my lungs, as I barely surviving slogging through three miles in slow motion, returning home with everything from dirt, still squirming bugs and my neighbor’s cat stuck in my body sweat. And in a recent race photo on a 90+ degree day, I swear it looked like my face was melting.
A friend’s long anticipated trip to a Gloucester beach was not exactly the paradise she envisioned. Her flesh cooked into her leather seats for almost half an hour as her car inched up the curvy road until she spied a sign ½ mile from the beach entrance announcing Park Here for just $30 a Car! After dragging her family, coolers, chairs, umbrellas, toys, swimmies and blankets the long trek to the beach, the only available spots were ready to be engulfed by the rising tide, with the rest of the beach a patchwork of blankets packed so tightly they looked like one giant quilt.
Even the quintessentially summer treat of ice cream turns into a messy race as it melts as fast as it is scooped, rapidly exploding out of invisible holes in the cone, leaving patrons running up to the service window to ask for an emergency bowl as they slurp up their ice cream soup.
Yes, it’s hot.
Ironically, instead of enjoying the great outdoors, the scorching heat of this summer has sentenced many of us to an indoor AC prison, held hostage by the magically cool mechanical box. During a heat wave, AC is almost addictive, as we crave cooler and cooler temperatures to feel the same relief. Swearing our AC must be broken, we stick our heads out the door to test the alternative, immediately sprouting a sweat moustache, limp hair deflating or our curly hair inflating, nose hairs spontaneously combusting as the steaming air fills our lungs before we retreat back into our cool cave.
And if the phrase “its hotter than hell out there” is anything even close to the truth, then the one good thing to come out of this summer heat is that I promise to very, very good from now on.
Just in case.