5 Ways To Ruin Your Summer

I am not going to hide my light under a bushel during this post. No-sir-ee.  I’m going to brag like a teen-aged boy who scored with a 24-year-old hottie.  But this isn’t about statutory rape or premarital sex or hormones.  This is a post about summer.

And how to ruin it.

Please excuse this F bomb. image credit: http://images.cryhavok.org/v/Souffle+is+Ruined.jpg.html

Please excuse this F bomb. image credit: http://images.cryhavok.org/v/Souffle+is+Ruined.jpg.html

If summer is a delicate souffle, then I’m a loud clanging gong-y monster with a pitchfork I use to pierce eggy dishes.

Oh, I ruined it alright. It’s not even over, but I did enough damage during June and July that it will reverberate for the next 6 weeks.  Someone please get me an ice pack, I am hurting my shoulder from patting my back so hard for the great job I did zapping joy and squashing fun all summer.

How’d you do it? you might ask.  Let me distill this down to a handy list.  Really, any three of the following five will work, but when you overachieve like me, you knock ’em all out before August.

How To Ruin A Summer Break

  1. Read A Scary Book.  It’s possible that this alone might have ruined by summer.  While all of you were watching the Zimmerman trial and waiting for Kanye’s spawn to be born, I was buried in a book about a school shooting.  The book was well written, expertly researched, and riveting, but it was about school shooting, which is a topic that I can’t handle without terror-induced panic attacks.  The minute I read the introduction to the book, fear like a virus spread through my body, leaving me tense and headachey.  Did I stop reading about Columbine? No, because that might have saved the summer. I read the whole thing and now find myself obsessed with psychopathy and deathly afraid of alienated male youth.  I am considering home schooling.
  2. Publish A Post On A Heated Topic.  This one too might have done it alone.  I wrote a post for a public website, and when the editor accepted it, she said, “you might get some heat here.”  Ever the woman of the world, I was all I can take heat! Bring it!  But then the comments came and I crumpled like a paper doll in a hail storm.   I read the first one and felt my breakfast inching up from my stomach.   I can’t take the heat.  Heat scares me.  Offending other people terrifies me.  Having anonymous strangers lash out at me sends me to the bathroom with GI distress.  (You will note I am too chicken to link to any of this here. Maybe next summer.)
  3. Turn 40 And Concentrate On How Life Is Half Over.  Yep, the big four OH.  It was a lovely day in my blessed life, but then I started collecting statistics about things that go wrong in the female human body after 40.  Now when I get a headache, I am sure that it’s menopause or a hematoma, but either way it’s a sign of my internal decay.
  4. Decide You Have To Move.  This decision should be made in a haze of panic and fear that a long school commute in the fall might shorten the lives of your family members. (You’ve read those studies that commuting adds stress and makes otherwise healthy people lose their hair, right?) Then, whip yourself into some urgency and pick out one neighborhood across town where you’d be willing to live, but where the houses rarely go on sale in your price range.  Once one you can afford goes on sale, drag your husband– who’s fresh out of oral surgery– to a showing and put in an offer.  Because you know what? Those insurance charts that say moving is one of the “most stressful” things humans undertake should be tested by your family.  During the summer.
  5. Put Yourself On A “Have No Mercy” Budget.  I should have been on a budget all along, and I used to adhere to one, but after my second child was born, I fell off my family’s financial grid.  And I developed some spendy habits.  Like treating myself to something material for accomplishing banal tasks like bathing my children or wearing matching shoes to work.  Did I deserve Ann Taylor Loft bauble for completing tasks concerning basic hygiene? No.  Did I do it anyway in fits of self-entitlement and delusion? Sometimes.  But now I’m on the fiscal straight and narrow, which is great, except it came on the heels of the previous four items so it’s like pouring alcohol on a gaping wound.  It hurts. 

Ever ruined a perfectly good summer? How’d you do it? I might need tips for next year.


51 thoughts on “5 Ways To Ruin Your Summer

  1. This post cracked me up! I have only done one of these this summer – #1. And it was a scary movie, not a book (seriously, I am still having creepy dreams about World War Z, several weeks after seeing it – and I am not somebody who scares easily).
    My favorite part: “Did I deserve Ann Taylor Loft bauble for completing tasks concerning basic hygiene? No. Did I do it anyway in fits of self-entitlement and delusion? Sometimes.”
    I HAVE SO DONE THAT! Did I feel guilty? Yeah… sorta. But there’s something to be said for retail therapy. I justify it to myself by stalking sales and never paying full price 😉

  2. This was hilarious! I sort of followed your advice – by turning 32 – and my result was the same: summer ruined. 🙂

    The move is coming up in a few weeks, so I may knock your list out faster than I’d hoped!!

  3. Yikes, just the moving would be enough for me. And I know I’m supposed to say something supportive here, but what I really want to say is that when they say that moving is one of the most stressful things a person can go through, second only to the death of a close family member, they are 100% right. Wishing you a relaxing beach weekend or two, complete with a fruity, frozen beverage of some kind, before the summer comes to a close.

  4. I so freaking love this. I NEVER believe “them” when they say moving is stressful, but it always is. We do it every 2 years (city living when you rent) but somehow the memories are completely wiped away by the time we have to do it again. It’s like having a newborn. SOOO been there on #2 and #5 made me laugh out loud.

    • I know. I was thinking “what’s the big damn deal about moving”? THey’re right the stress is unbelievable. I hope I lose some weight from worrying and stressing.

      On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Outlaw Mama

  5. Life is fleeting. It might be more than half over even for those of us who are under 40.

    I’m guessing that comment won’t exactly spark a turnaround for the summer.

    • You made me laugh! That’s good. You turned the morning around because you’re right. My life could have been half over years ago. THis is fun!

      On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM, Outlaw Mama

  6. I also made the “not-so-smart” move of moving in the summer, well, right at the end of June so smack-dab in the middle of the end of school chaos and a week after my son’s birthday. Good luck to you my friend. The only up-side is that it’s usually warm enough to take a “break” from packing (or unpacking) to sit on the back deck and have a cold drink!

    • I guess it’s always stressful and if I moved in january I’d have to write a post about “moving in the snow,” which would be moving and eloquent, but still. I ruined the summer. I hope you’re settled.

      On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Outlaw Mama

    • DOes that surprise you? I give away joy like it’s a free pack of gum on the street. It’s not a good practice. I’ma get it back as soon as I stop giving it away. Which comes first? Chicken? Egg?

      On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM, Outlaw Mama

  7. Ha! This post was great! As for moving, we have moved 7 times in the last 5 years! And, even though we have survived and beaten the odds (relocation is one of the top causes of divorce) I can vouch for it being incredibly stressful for all involved. That alone is enough to ruin a summer!

    • 7 times in 5 years? Bless your heart. That’s so hard. I won’t mention to hubs about the divorce thing. I don’t want him getting any ideas. Plus, I was the one pushing the move, so it would be my fault!

      On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM, Outlaw Mama

  8. ha! step about from kevin. i mean didn’t you learn anything from Room? although i just read, me before you, wheelchair guy and fun stuff. very good. i’d recommend. while i’m recommending, i’ll throw in.. The interestings and Reconstructing amelia.

  9. I spent my most of the summer getting my old house ready to sell, then the rest of it worrying that it will never sell and Oh. My. God. What. Will. We. Do. If. It. Doesn’t. Sell?!?!?!

    I took my kids to the pool. Sounds innocuous, but most times I go swimming I get sinus aches the next day and I never learn.

    I got a puppy (ok, that was in the spring) BEFORE I decided I couldn’t take the clutter and needed to clean out my house. And I still need to find a place for the furniture we inherited that is currently making my deck look like the Clampetts moved in.

    School starts in two weeks and I still haven’t cleaned out their backpacks from when school got out.

    • Funny! I just found a lunchbox that had a lunch still in it. From May. Wow. The degradation is intense. You are pretty good at this ruining summer thing too!

      • Thanks! It’s good to feel like I’m excelling at something this summer.

        Just throw the lunchbox out. Unless it came from Julia Child herself, it’s not worth opening.

        He’s a pretty stinkin’ cute puppy, though.

  10. 1. Hilarious photo (yay for furry critters wearing aprons and swearing, right?)!
    2. I sympathize completely – especially on the moving thing. I ruined my spring that way. (Wedding + moving a week later = stresssssssss.)
    3. I so hear you on the heated topics in publishing. I published a slightly (very slightly) heated article and crumpled a bit, too, when people judged me for it. That’s why God made chocolate, I think.

  11. Let’s see: broken arm, sprained wrist from getting doored, herniated disc, tendonitis (all separate events over the last 5 summers.) Do you see a pattern? Yes, that’s why God made chocolate.

  12. Sounds terrible. Well done I guess? My child starts kindergarten in the fall. I have enough nightmares without reading this horrible book you mention. Hang in there. Maybe you can make up a little ground in August.

  13. I finished reading There Are No Children Here in the middle of the tranquil wilderness vacation because nothing honors the Mountain Men of our ancestry like urban poverty in Chicago.
    Instead of shopping…a closet swap can be good. My gals & I always pick over each others’ closet clean-out treasures. Goes well with packing & moving. 🙂

  14. Aw, you just gotta read trashy novels in the summer like me. The only thing I’m scared of is my brain deteriorating.

    Truly, you know you should just let the mean comments float past you. There is a breed of person that lives to say mean things on the internet. No one should ever take them seriously, because they already take themselves so seriously, that they just become comical.

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