I’m 36 years old. I miss summer vacation. And no, not the week or two you spend “on vacation” I mean I miss summer vacation. It has been years since I have had a summer vacation, but I can still remember the rush of cleaning out your locker on the last day of school and knowing you didn’t have to think about anything school related until mid-August. And then only because it was time to go back to school
Summer vacation was popsicles, corn on the cob, Solarcaine and swimmer’s ear. Summer vacation was mosquitoes and sparklers, tennis on hot hot hot cement, and green-tinged chlorinated hair. Summer vacation was New Kids concerts, Swatch phones, sparkly nail polish and air conditioning.
Did you have summer friends? Friends you kind of kept in touch with during the school year, but then once summer hit it was like you never were apart? They became your life, everything was my-mom-will- take-if-yours-can-pick-up and will-your-Dad-take-us-to-Dairy Queen? They shared their inner tubes, they sprayed Sun-In in your hair, and they always had change to get a frozen Milky Way at the concession
And summer guys? Oh my goodness, I need a moment. Summer guys… was there anything hotter? Was there anything more exciting than going to the amusement park with your summer friends and seeing guys from -dun dun dun- other schools? Guys that didn’t know you, didn’t know you’re the girl that dropped a tampon out of her purse in front of Shawn Liberto. They didn’t even know Shawn Liberto! You were in the clear and able to proceed with the flirting as though you were a Summer Goddess at 14, and yes you WILL have that funnel cake and yes you WILL let him win you a stupid teddy bear and hell yes you WILL let him kiss you all sloppy and wet and serious on the slow ride that everyone totally knows why you are going on it. You know the one I mean, the one with the little boat that floats along in
a water flume and goes super slow and its cool and dark inside. There’s a black light that makes your bra light up under your shirt and you feign embarrassment but you are really drunk with that secret female power that you can’t even fathom yet, but you are just becoming aware of.
Yeah that’s right, you know that power. The romance that seeps out of every Clearasil-laden pore, the
one that makes you think that every boy is the one you’re gonna marry. The one that makes every REO Speedwagon song sound like it was written just for you, and that makes 95 degrees and 87% humidity feel balmy and perfect. Damn, I miss that.
But now the summer is, well, it’s just plain hot. And I get cranky when I get hot. And I hate mosquitoes. And anyone that follows me on Twitter knows about my Cicada 2011 Rants. St. Louis was surrounded by cicadas this summer, and it was less than pleasant.
And yet, I admit, there are nights in the summer where I make Mr. Alice take me to Dairy Queen, put the top down on the convertible and just drive. Out on the highway, the mid-summer heat is almost bearable. It’s humid, and the Peanut Buster Parfait is sticky, but the REO Speedwagon is damn near perfect.
And he still kisses me all sloppy and warm and somewhat serious…
For more information about Alice Clayton and her books, check out her website at
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