Remember when all we gave a shit about was just doing whatever was required of us in order to make it to summer with no responsibilities? Well, I hope you’re enjoying adulthood, because that game is over. We still talk about being excited for summer for all the same stereotypical reasons: sun, beaches, parties, Ray Bans, tan lines, cold beer. But really, is summer still as awesome as we think it is? I say no.
1. The summer jam is gone.
Seriously, what was the last massive summer song? Don’t worry, I’m not saying that music made today sucks. I’m not a narrow-minded jackass who thinks that all current music is shit. My point is that the democratization of music and the decrease in terrestrial radio’s influence means that there isn’t one single, ubiquitous summer song. It used to be that you could point back to a summer that was great, and you could define it by the one or two massive hit songs that dominated the airwaves. Take 2004 for example. That was the summer of Usher. “Confessions Pt. II,” “Burn,” and “Yeah” were EVERYWHERE. 2001? “Hanging by a Moment” and “Drops of Jupiter.” See how your mind immediately goes to whatever you were doing that summer when you hear those titles? That’s what I’m talking about. Now, everyone has his or her own summer playlist. Sure, there’s some Naked and Famous-esque indie band that’ll break through and show up on a bunch of people’s lists, but it’s not quite the same. I’m all for making music more of a meritocracy, but I’m willing to admit that it comes with some costs, one of them being that music becomes less tied to our memory.
2. Your Instagram is flooded with people having fun.
Given the number of people you follow, it’s statistically pretty likely that at any given moment, someone is on vacation. Pretty much whenever you check Instagram, you’ll see someone having a great time on a beach or a mountaintop or whatever. You’ll be trapped at your desk or slouched on your sofa, and you’ll just look at the stupid, happy faces of your friends until it makes you too angry to think. Then you’ll go back to reading about Johnny Manziel’s newest non-story. Oh, and God forbid you’re friends with someone who has one of those jobs that lets him or her travel often, or he or she makes so much money doing some weird freelance thing that he or she’s always off on an adventure. You’ll never be able to reclaim your sanity.
3. The temperature in the office is fucked.
I don’t know what it is about large office buildings, but they can never seem to get their shit together when it comes to regulating temperature. I’ve never been to an office and thought, “You know what? It feels lovely in here. I’d like to stick around for a while.” Nope, right around this time, it’s like a fucking furnace. Don’t worry, maintenance will check out the problem about halfway through the season and overcorrect so that even if it’s sweltering outside, it’ll be a nice, walk-in freezer on the inside. This, of course, will bleed into that first month of the summer to fall transition period, where the weather is absolutely perfect outside, and the inside hasn’t really figured that out yet. Of course, all of these problems probably come down to whoever runs the building not wanting to pay out the ass to keep the temperature nice and consistent. Speaking of which…
4. Bills are higher.
Oh yeah, remember how for a while your electric bill didn’t make you want to murder anyone who had a name that sounded remotely close to the name of your utility company? Those days are over. Congrats–you barely spend any time in your apartment as it is, but you’re paying out the ass to keep it even manageably cool in there so that you don’t walk into a cloud of hot queef when you open the door at night. Sure, you could turn it off during the day to save money, but then cranking it up when you get home only means that it’ll probably be manageably cool right as you’re about to fall asleep. Hope your catatonic body appreciates the rare moments of air conditioned bliss before you have to wake up, turn it off, and go to work. So sure, most of us elect to take the financial hit and keep our residences around a nice vegetable crisper temperature when we’re around. Guess we’ll just subtract that from the “going out to the bar” part of the budget.
Oh, who are you kidding? That’s coming out of your 401(k).
5. You work all day.
This is the crux of the issue. Summer used to be awesome, not just because it was sunny and there were pool-related activities to partake in, but mainly because we were in fucking school. If the K-12 and college tradition was a winter break, I bet we’d have a hell of a lot more cultural appreciation for the cold months. But either way, that opportunity is no longer afforded to you. That is, unless you’re a grad student or a teacher, and even then, a lot of graduate programs are year-round now, and most teachers I know either spend the summer working an alternate job (because their job doesn’t pay shit) or building their curriculum and buying supplies (because their job doesn’t pay for shit). For the rest of us working dummies, the summer just means that the slivers of absurdly bright light that come through the blinds at work and fuck with our vision as they dance across the desk are just around for a few more hours a day. Nowadays, instead of daydreaming of summer when school is only a month in and it feels impossibly far away, we now spend our time daydreaming of retirement, and it feels impossibly far away. The problem is, it actually is impossibly far away. And you’ll probably die first.
Have a great summer!