8 Things to do Before Summer is Over
Will you impress our golden-tiaraed queen?
Summer is fleeting.
One minute we’re jackhammering toenails as they Wiarton Willie their way out of winter socks. The next, we’re packing away *countless* white denim crotch-huggers.
Summer is bittersweet.
She does incredible things like permitting poutine and the tropics to collide. But she also has a way of making us feel like we’re not doing enough. She casts judgment on perfect summer nights spent watching The Real Housewives of Miami.
Note: I stopped writing this, dead in me tracks, to google “Toronto Outdoor Movies”. An outdoor movie isn’t comfortable. It’s gonna be rated PG. And there will be 3-7 troubling encounters with the public. But summer doesn’t frown upon an outdoor park watch. Oh no. She smiles upon the achy tailbone that open air viewing promises.
Summer is passive aggressive.
Unless we’re spending every minute dockside, worshiping melanoma and corn dogs, she makes us feel like we’re pissing her away. She encourages Moms and teachers to say things like, “Summer lasts only 13 weeks!” and “Sure, it’s 37° but I don’t wanna hear it! Don’t complain to me in February when you’re knee-deep in a blizzard! LOL…Speaking of, have you tried DQ’s new Peanut Butter Puppy Chow blizzard? Cute name!”.
Summer is a lot.
It’s all about: seizing the day, bumper to bumper traffic, the retinol-sunscreen balance, $9 ice cream cones, spicy margaritas, telling younger cousins how much sugar is in a Somersby, cards, fantasy-quitting, REALTOR® cottage creeping, working in AC and forgetting it's hot out, fresh basil, boob sweat, pretending to go to the drive-in then remembering it’s far and boring, white freezies, evening strolls, asking “tick or mosquito bite?”, fruit flies, fireflies, one good watermelon, one good pair of shorts, burping outside and debating if the neighbour heard, creative peeing, wondering if this is the year we’ll suddenly look good in a bathing suit (no), inflatables, edibles, windows-down, thinking it’d be cute to drive a Beetle, feeling embarrassed in a hat, chip trucks.
Note: We have self-driving cars but we still can’t figure out a sunscreen that doesn’t burn the eyes? AI is coming for our jobs, but we can’t make a goopy boopy that doesn’t require an eyewash station? This is why women need to be in charge.
In order to not fully disappoint summer, and in turn myself, I’ve compiled a list of achievable things to do before summer is over.
And if they don’t all get scratched off?
Fuck it. I was either outside impressing our golden-tiaraed queen or binge-watching Bravo.
Back to Shameless is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
8 Things To Do Before Summer is Over
1. Swamp it. There is a requirement to be met each summer wherein we enter a creepy body of water. It could be a crawfished river. Or a lake where the ghost of a once-sighted water snake lives on. Whatever it is, take a plunge in nature’s brew for the short season it’s survivable. It’s purifying, refreshing, and makes you think well, you’ve impressed summer.
2. Patio park dat ass. You know those ideal moments when you’ve secured the perfect patio perch and one drink leads to another, leads to a nacho platter, then a pitcher? There’s nothing better. While these dates are mostly spontaneous, when you smell the opportunity to irresponsibly sink yourself into a 5-hour patio stint, seize it. Cancel the evening plan, workout class, or house clean. The coming together of weather, friends, outdoor seating, table service, and cleared schedules happens but once a year—if we’re lucky.
3. Feel the litter box beneath your toes. Summer is not complete without a trip to nature’s litter box: the beach. Dress it up with an oversized blanket and a grainy speaker, and the day is yours. Dare to wade a toe into the abutting swamp? You’ve just struck a double whammy. Throw an ice-cream cone into the mix? You’re adorable as hell!
*seagull swoops down and steals fry*
4. Ruin one shirt with mustard. Whether you’re ready to hear it or not, the hot dog IS a seasonal treat. While some emboldened youth (and seniors) boil hot dogs year-round to scarf willy-nilly during The Price is Right, this is not as nature intended. A hot dog should be barbecued and enjoyed between May 24 and September 30th. And during this fixed window, a spritely squirt of mustard will inevitably come along to imprint its wieniehood onto your tee.
Remember: Scheniders always gets the last laugh.
5. Attempt water sport. Every year, as the arctic tundra thaws, there is a hopeful thought that enters the brains of the cottageless: could I be good at paddle boarding? Or if my parents had bought on Rousseau, would I have been an Olympian kayaker or water skier? Are the skills to “make sport” within me, just lain dormant due to NOT being Goldie Hawn’s Muskoka neighbour? Time to find out.
6. Go camping. It’s a love-hate relationship. You’ll have a horrific night’s sleep and end the weekend more haggard than you entered it. But once you’ve trekked in 7 litres of wine, 1 tub of pasta salad, and 85 marshmallows, you get to inhabit a simpler world and grow appreciation for your fixed address’ feather duvet.
7. Play hooky. Listen, playing hooky is a 365-day sport. It’s a lever that can be pulled anytime throughout the year. Think of it as a fun “mental health day” that you don’t need to be shamed or period-stained to justify. Some days it is genuinely too nice out to work, but not all hooky days are created equal. You’ll get more bang for your buck in August. Do it.
8. Win at an outdoor concert. Picture this: you just bought a $16 tall can, you’ve got lawn seats, and you’re belting out the words to a mediocre band with thousands of comrades. You’re one with the people and you feel young. You also know that leaving the concert will be a total nightmare, but you couldn’t care less.
Because you’ve just unlocked peak summer. You’re about to defeat the golden-tiaraed mob boss to win the game.