Dear People Who Say Summer Isn’t Over Yet,
I understand your relentless Instagram-captioning is rooted in deep melancholy mixed with a childish inability to surrender to how seasons work. But what I need you to understand is that summer is over. The calendar might not be saying it, but I’m saying it. It’s over. I can’t have summer just going on endlessly. School is about to start. I have work to do.
Plus, I need my spiral of self-hate to wrap up for the season. Look, I’m all for body positivity… for everyone else. Just know that if I ever stumble into a decent amount of money, the very first item on my agenda will be hiring a plastic surgeon to resculpt this middle-aged body I’ve had since I was nine. Every year I work out relentlessly for nine months thinking this will finally be the summer I can run and catch a Frisbee without my thigh fat ricocheting back and forth like a wave pool filled with hot bacon grease. But once again, no. Just, nope. No little line of definition running down my outer thigh this summer that says to passers-by, “I know how healthy portions work!” You know why? Because summer is a surprisingly stressful-ass house built on ice cream and beer. Whatever willpower I possessed the majority of the year was impaled on a hastily whittled branch and roasted over a campfire by the 4th of July. And I will be damned if I’m going to self-medicate with anything that doesn’t contain fat or alcohol or ideally both. Especially when it’s 95 degrees with a level of humidity that makes me feel and smell like I’m wearing a sweater made of shame and beef.
Summer is also when I finally have to apply the swimsuits—the ones I’ve accumulated during my many bouts of winter-based athletic optimism—onto my actual body. I don’t think you need to know me personally to know this is a disappointing experience.
Applying these swimsuits to my body—a body that is culturally irrelevant and therefore somehow simultaneously visually offensive yet completely invisible—is the equivalent of trying to wrestle myself into a full-body sports bra without the promised relief of putting on another bigger item of clothing over it. Say what you will about sports bras but at least they know their place and that place is not uncomfortably up my bum. And after all is said and done and I have tried on every swimsuit in my drawer, I will still end up wearing that trusty black one-piece I’ve been wearing for the past five years. The one with the broad strap situation that works in concert with the optical illusion waistband to make it seem like I’m not just one slippery step away from decaying in the grave.
So while I understand that your enthusiasm for this late summer weather is likely based on the fact that you are a young person, one with reasonable abs and a belief you’ll never mottle, I am begging you to stop. Because of your youth, I’m concerned that the weather gods are more tuned in to your demands (as are advertisers and men on dating apps), and these Instagram captions topped off with #EndlessSummer are going to result in summer literally never-ending. Dude, it’s Labor Day Weekend. Let it go. Look, I’ve had a great time. We all have! A great time. It was a great summer! But I really want to stop wearing this swimsuit. I absolutely need to stop drinking beer at 1 o’clock in the afternoon while I eat food off the ground. I can’t create one more goddamn magical moment for my children.
I am crawling toward my pile of jeans, flannel shirts, thick tights, and heavy-ass boots like a Democratic presidential candidate crawls toward an opening in the conversation. I am ready to completely encase my body in fabrics that do not wick. I want to feel the soothing sensation of slipping on a cardigan on a crisp day that is still freakin’ crisp at noon. I’m ready to tuck my seasonally public lower bum back into its off-season all-bum-enclosing wardrobe. I need this right now. I’m done. Please don’t ruin this for me. I’m begging you, please shut your physically superior and non-reality-accepting mouth.
Everything good must come to an end as well as things that make you sweaty,