Summer bummer

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The clocks moved forward an hour last weekend, and I am not happy about it. If losing a valuable hour of trashy television on Sunday wasn't enough, it seems the temperatures are increasing too.

That means it's almost spring. I don't mind spring. The flowers start blooming, the air is cool and it's finally acceptable to wear open-toed sandals. All those things are well and good but they lead to summer, objectively the worst season of the year. Well, maybe it's not objectively the worst season of the year in Northwest Arkansas.

But I grew up in Texas, where you could fry an egg on the sidewalk during the summer. My memories of summer consist of sunburns, heat fatigue and staying indoors whenever possible. The heat was sometimes so unbearable that my mom would put off errands until later in the evening; though it wasn't much cooler then, we at least had a little shade.

My mom called me last summer and told me it was so hot she broke a sweat walking to her Dumpster. That's what I hate most about the heat: sweating. I never feel more disgusting than when I'm noticeably sweating. It's something I'm self-conscious about, and you can't avoid it during the summer if you're determined to step outside for a few minutes.

While Northwest Arkansas is certainly cooler than Texas, it's still not very fun to go for a walk on a hot summer day. I enjoy walking around Eureka Springs on my days off, especially in the winter when it's so cool you have to sprint to start sweating. This Sunday, it was warm enough for me to sweat a little bit during my walk.

I took that as a sign of what's to come. We've had a very mild winter, which I'm grateful for. Ice storms aren't fun for anybody unless you're a kid who wants to get out of school, and even then you have to make up those days. I haven't looked at a forecast for our summer yet --mostly out of fear -- but I'd guess a mild winter isn't a sign of a cool summer.

It isn't even April yet. I was mildly uncomfortable walking through downtown Eureka Springs on Sunday, and it's still March. I tried to make myself feel better Sunday night by ordering some spring and summer clothes online, but I don't think it's working.

Usually if it's too hot outside, I become irritable to the point of anger. I've tried to quell this for Gideon's sake. Still, that doesn't mean it goes away. Last summer, it took me hours to get over having to walk outside to my car on a really hot morning. I'm not even going to pretend this isn't a bad quality. It's not a character quirk. It's just annoying.

I probably shouldn't let the temperature outside affect my mood so much, especially since I work mostly indoors. I'd say that I'll try to be less obnoxious about it this year, but I don't know that for a fact. The heat turns me into a different person. It makes me yell at trees and birds and parked cars. Throughout most of July, I have a semi-permanent scowl on my face.

But who knows what could happen? I could embrace summer this year. Maybe, just maybe, I'll smile once or twice between June and August.

Here's to hoping.

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Samantha Jones is a reporter for the Carroll County News. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com.