Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Five Stages of Summer Grief

The Five Stages of Summer Grief

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Every year around mid-May I start to get the same feeling I did when I was young. Summer is coming!! Summer is coming!!

Summer has always been a sun-kissed, dreamy time of beaches, lakes, boats, booze and making out with strangers on various docks. Nirvana!!

But now? Oh, my how the times they have a’ changed.

I suddenly remember that I don’t really get a summer anymore and I begin my annual “Stages of Summer Grief” process.

You see, now that I’m an exceptionally reluctant grown-up, a work day is a work day is a work day. Only the temperature in my office and the clothes I wear seem to change. But, my psyche still fucks with me and for a few brief moments, I imagine that the next 12 weeks or so will be a cavalcade of extreme fun and freedom.

Then those moments abruptly stop and the process begins.

1. Denial – This first stage is a doozy. It’s when I still feel a sense of optimism about this summer being different. Hey, it’s mid-May, I can lose 15 pounds and get a rock hard six-pack by June 1!! Sure I can!! Then I’ll go buy a little bikini just like the one I wore when I was 21. So what if I had twins! So did J. Lo and she can still rock it!

2. Anger – Now comes the rage. After two weeks of binge eating and goal-avoidance, it’s now end of June and not only did I gain 5 more pounds, I haven’t gone near any kind of bathing suit. Or mirror.

Yes, this one will do quite nicely, thank you.

Yes, this one will do quite nicely, thank you.

Along with this epic failure comes the end of school year blitzkrieg of potlucks, celebrations, after parties and parental guilt. I feel fortunate to have escaped with only one bout of food poisoning and an eye twitch.

And, now the kids are home and driving me to the brink of insanity.

“I’m bored!”

“I’m hungry!”

“Mommy, why are you drinking wine with breakfast?”

The good news here is that the eye twitch is really an effective addition to my look of maniacal rage that stops them in their tracks. Turns out they do have a survival instinct after all.

3. Bargaining – The idea of deal-making starts up right around the 4th of July holiday. What is more representative of the good ole’ summertime than bad food, fart-inducing beer and blowing a few fingers off with illegal explosives? All in the name of patriotism.

This is when I tell myself that the 4th is the REAL start of summer. So, all my previous June failings really don’t count, right? And, on the 5th of July, after the high-sodium hotdog and beer has left my body in whatever form God intended, THEN and only then will I REALLY start to prepare for my summer of amazing fun.

I will make summertime my bitch!!

4. Depression – With the first of August comes the realization that we are staring straight into the abyss of Fall. August is really the Sunday of summer. You want to enjoy it but Monday morning is looming.

All attempts to harness that sunny optimism, to join in numerous games of beach volleyball, to frolic carelessly in the surf have been reduced to middle-aged, tummy slimming bathing suits that are so tight you feel like any oxygen flow has, thankfully, been cut off to your head. Hey, at least it’s a buzz.

Get this woman a good waxing, stat!

Get this woman a good waxing, stat!

The kids are as ready to get back to school as you are to have them gone. The lethargy that comes with the dog days of summer has rendered you all a sweaty mess.

Ah, screw it!

Whatever!

Who cares!

5. Acceptance – The trigger for acceptance is receiving the supply list from school. It’s like watching the Western Union kid ride up to your house with eternally bad news.

Wipe that smile off your face you tiny harbinger of doom!

Wipe that smile off your face you tiny harbinger of doom!

Now it’s time to join the hordes of other frazzled parents (who also didn’t seem to have much of a summer) on the annual trek to Target for backpacks, pencils, T-squares and lunch boxes.

I’ve now accepted the fact that another summer has come and gone.  We are fast approaching Labor Day and the official end of summer.

Now there is a new excitement in the air.

Every year around late-August I start to get the same feeling I did when I was young. School is coming!! School is coming!!

The Tale Of The Milky-eyed Hero

The Tale Of The Milky-eyed Hero

I apologize if this is a story I’ve told before. My old brain don’t work quite like it used to. But it is a tale that is worth repeating for it shows the endurance of the human spirit.

So gather round, children, and let me tell you a story. It is a story of suspense, bravery and danger.  It is the ultimate tale of good versus evil.

Once upon a time, there lived a princess of mediocre beauty and figure who, due to unstable housing prices, was exiled to an old castle with a lot of delayed maintenance on top of a very high hill.

She whiled the days away working as a captured slave to a tyrannical and faceless computer demigod and, equally tyrannical, twin princes.

Each morning she would bravely face her day, picking fresh oranges from the royal orchard and frolicking with the woodland bunnies and magical hummingbirds.

One morning as our princess donned her new gown that the bunnies and hummingbirds had made for her from discarded beer cans, used band aids and yarn, her delicate senses were accosted by the most heinous of odors.

Try as she might she could not find the source of the stench but she knew, deep in the core of her being, nay in her very soul, that it was…

THE SMELL OF DEATH!!!

She scoured the kingdom in search of someone brave and strong enough to save her from the wicked gases emanating from deep within the castle walls. Everywhere she turned she heard the villagers say “Look for He who possesses an eye of white. The eye sees all.”

She continued to look for this mysterious man but to no avail as the smell grew more powerful with each passing day.

When she had all but given up hope, there came a mighty knock on the castle door.  Upon opening it she was stunned by the sight of the one who would save her. A man who, at first glance, looked ordinary enough but upon removing his eye shield, gazed upon her with one magical and knowing milky eye.

“I beseech you,” our princess pleaded, “Root out the evil and banish it from this place!”

“Yeah, I’m Andy from Animal Removal.”

Her every prayer had been answered!

The fearless Andy toiled bravely for a fortnight (or about 45 minutes), never losing hope no matter how overwhelming the quest became.

Finally, he emerged from the bowels of the castle, holding the spoils of the enemy in a plastic bag.

“What was this demon who descended upon our innocent kingdom?” asked the princess.

“A couple of dead and rotting rats got into your wall. You should really close up some of the gaps in your crawlspace.”

Ah, close the gaps. Such a wise and noble hero. Such truthful words.

As he rode off into the rose-colored sunset, our princess wondered, who was her milky-eyed champion and, more importantly, what the hell happened to his eye???