Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew
Airing My Dirty Laundry!
It’s summertime, and the living should be easy. Someone should write a song along those lines. But until someone does, it’s up to me to suggest that we should turn the tables on this sweaty season and make it work for us. We should think of the heat as a friend rather than an enemy, a ready-made excuse for all of our various shortcomings. OK, maybe some of you don’t believe you have any shortcomings and therefore don’t need an excuse for them. You are also probably the same people who believe that pigs fly and there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.
But for the rest of us, these lazy, hazy, crazy days that the great Nat King Cole sang about are ideal cover for a multitude of faults. Intellectual faults, for example. Say you are far behind in your mentally stimulating reading. Say you haven’t been mentally stimulated since about 1982. Summer is not the time to start reading “War and Peace” or even Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” Your intellectually challenging exploration of Russian literature and global warming issues can definitely wait until the arrival of cooler autumn days. In the summer, you’re supposed to indulge in superficial beach reading (usually involving books with a picture of Fabio on the cover) even if you are nowhere near a beach. I won’t tell the Russians or Mr. Gore, if you won’t.
Maybe your faults include irritability and overall orneriness. Maybe you are not treating your fellow humans in a humane way. At any other time of year, this kind of behavior would demand serious self-examination and remorseful repentance. But not when you are sweltering in the heat. It is summer that is making you cranky. It is not your fault. You will surely return to your sweet self after Labor Day.
Summer is also the perfect time to cut yourself some slack in the style department. You are no longer an underdressed, wrinkled slob. You are a seasonally appropriate, laid-back dude or dudette. Only the uptight and Al Gore (oops, redundancy there) wear fitted clothes that require ironing and nice shoes in the summer.
These dog days can also help to rationalize the fact that you eat like a hog. In the spring, the media is full of reminders that you need to be getting your body beach-ready. In the winter, you are bludgeoned with advice on avoiding holiday weight gain. But in the summer, the members of the food police seem to temporarily neglect their nagging. They’re probably off being mentally stimulated. This leaves you free to eat heat-helping fare like ice cream. You can even assist a needy Starbucks executive to buy another vacation home by consuming a variety of complicated and expensive iced drinks, and no one will be the wiser.
If you happen to notice after all this high-calorie intake that your backside looks broader, and if you should suddenly feel the need to exercise, the summer heat will prevent you from doing so for safety’s sake. You can take credit for your good intentions and let it go at that. And what a boon to the indolent are these weeks of warm weather. Spend eight hours a day lying in the sand or by a pool in any other season, and you’ll be labeled as lazy. Do the same thing in June, July or August, and you are a sensible person who knows how to relax.
So, my friend, there’s no need to suffer from the summertime blues. No need to raise a fuss, no need to raise a holler – even though most of us are working this summer to try to raise a dollar. (Hmm...someone should write a song with those lines in it, too.) There’s plenty of time in the fall to focus once again on our faults, assuming we have any. For now, let’s have a great summer of ’08. I won’t tell the Russians or Mr. Gore, if you won’t.
~ Jackie Papandrew ~
© 2008, All Rights Reserved
Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at: JackiePapandrew.com
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