Monday, May 30, 2011

Sweaty Betty

So, it's goddamned disgusting outside.

My bubbling anticipation for spring that could barely be contained has now bubbled over into sweaty hatred for this most disgusting of seasons: an early and sweltering summer. What is it about Western Pennsylvania that it  manages to have only two seasons: dirty  snow and hot urine? The enthusiasm for outdoor activities like hiking and gardening are already losing momentum, and I'm finding it difficult to stay the course and not turn on the air conditioners. An image of my lungs filling up with mold spores has helped, but sleeping is rough and I constantly feel like I've just stepped out of the shower.

My Dad always gets super sassy in the winter, as do many people that suffer from Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)...which is everyone, but I'm finding that I'm the opposite.

Wikipedia: a mood disorder with which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer,[1] spring or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is "a specifier of major depression".[2]
Once regarded skeptically by the experts,[who?] seasonal affective disorder is now well established. Epidemiological studies estimate that its prevalence in the adult population of the US ranges from 1.4 percent (Florida) to 9.7 percent (New Hampshire).[3]
The US National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up."[4] The condition in the summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.[5]

Why does it have to be that when the someone hates the summer and it depresses them, that you have the "reverse" of what everyone else has? I'm offended by that notion that just because I don't like sweating, the smell of hot decomposition on the side of the road, and looking at prostit-tots wearing shorty shorts and glittery Justice tops with awesome peace signs, that I'm somehow the opposite of what is a "normal" mental disorder.  I knew that I wasn't alone, and I found this awesome article by Rachel Shukert, "Why I Hate Summer." My favorite paragraph:

The word on the street is that people like summer. They welcome the chance to relax, to consume alarming amounts of melon and engage in casual sex acts beneath a starry sky. I can appreciate this on an intellectual level, but the inability to enjoy these kinds of simple pleasures has persisted throughout my life, and something about the summer months throws my general malaise into painful relief. The constant burden of forced merriment -- the sense that you should be out somewhere, anywhere, taking advantage of it all, like Gidget or the Kennedys, weighs heavily on me. Like New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Halloween, the pressure to do something significant, meaningful and -- most of all -- fun paralyzes me with anxiety. I obsess about all the places I could be and the people I might have been, with just a slightly better combination of genetics and fate. I could have been a bronzed surfer girl on the beaches of Malibu, someone tanned and toned and easygoing. I could be the owner of a seaside taverna on the Adriatic or Aegean coast, one of those rocky sun-kissed shores where nobody seems to work and joy is abundant.

Today starts the day that I watch winter-themed movies and pretend that it's snowing outside until I can cool my internal temperature to a reasonable degree. Cold showers and lots of popsicles are sure to follow.

Fuck You, Summer. Take your bathing suits, chlorine smell, your festive margarita glasses, barbeque grills, and white pants and get the hell off my lawn...I'm waiting for the first snowfall.Best Blogger Tips


  1. Laura:

    "Get the hell of my lawn..." HA! You're not alone, everyone who was bitching about "how coooollllddd!" it was in February (cough cough 65 degrees? really?) is now complaining about how hot it's been for so long. Uhm, yeah. It's been 95 or higher for 8 days straight. It's what we call summer in NC and you wished it upon yourselves, and me too. So, thanks for that. Only 6 more months suckers. Thanks for playing!

  2. I giggled about "Hot Urine" as I drove home this evening. And then I realized that you really cannot appreciate the full nasal spectrum of the season of Hot Urine until you've waited for the F train in the lower depths of the NYC subway system. It's an experience of a lifetime. The baked-on scent of urine and platform loaded with tourists from Oklahoma... I miss New York in the summer!

  3. Dude. I'm totally with you. Toats ma goats. (Well, I don't mind the white pants so much.)

    Overall, I think it's something like being a Lefty.

    To me, there's a certain draw to the Pacific NW simply because there's no summer there, is there?