Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

July 9, 2008

Oh how I loathe summer

Well it's another crappy-ass day here in Washington. It's sunny and hot. My car is hot. My office is hot. I get blinded by the sun when I go into the kitchen in the morning, screaming, "MY RETINAS!!!" as I get a faceful of blinding sun, and now all I can see is friggin spots. I am convinced that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in the wrong season. SAD is a real condition and it effects a lot of people in the Pac NW during the winter. You have to be a special kind of person to deal w/ the dark days, and I am one of those people. I am a proud "Mossback" and I'm only happy when it rains.

Each spring, I tell myself, OK, here comes summer. Don't resist it, don't fight it....embrace it. Enjoy those looooooong days, where the sun doesn't even set till well after 9:00 pm, plunging us into a perpetual twilight that doesn't truly go away till close to 11:00 pm. Get that deck furniture cleaned off and put out all of the yard decorations. Get Brian to put up the Skychairs under the deck so that you can read and doze on a warm day, swinging gently in the breeze. Buy some charcoal, grill more and eat outside on the deck. Take Pepper for walks every day after work. Get to the gym after work. Do a little yardwork. Yeah I hate to sweat and be hot, but everyone loves summer so much, so try to get in their skin and walk around in it, as Atticus Finch once told Scout. See what all the "summer love fest" is all about.

Then the first day we have that's over 75 degrees, which happened in May, I find myself hiding in my centrally air cooled home, lurking behind drawn blinds and drapes, putting up "blackout" fabric over our front door windows to keep the sun out. Sitting in the dark family room, lights out, watching TV. Wailing like a vampire at dawn if Brian so much as puts the family room blinds up even a crack, "SHUT THE SHADES!!! IT'S TOO BRIGHT!!! MY EYES!!!" He calls me "Cavey" b/c I like it dark. Even my boss hates coming into my office in the afternoon, after the wretched sun has finally moved off my east-facing windows, because it's really dark and the adjustment going from our bright reception area to my dark office is startling.

A few years ago when Robyn was still here, she was always cold. It could be 95 degrees outside and she's in her office bitching b/c the air con is set to 72 and she's freezing. I finally started coming to work in shorts and tshirts. I told her that I can't possibly do any more to cool myself off, other than come to work buck naked. I have a fan, but all that does is blow the hot air around. Steve finally had to bring in a portable air conditioner for my office to try to reach a compromise. Well, since she's been gone, I've got the air con set at 68.

At home, we don't let our house get above 68, ever. Not even in the winter. The a/c is set at 68 in summer, which we bring down to 63 at night. When we run the heat in winter, we set it for 66. I hate being hot. I take lukewarm showers, then go in my room and stand in front of the fan b/f dressing. Yes I've talked to several doctors, and all I've been told, for the past 15 years, is that I am in "perimenopause" which I find hard to believe that it could last 15+ years. I know it's not normal to be hot like this all the time, but I am. Even when I was a kid, if I got up off the couch to get something, my mom would get up and sit in my space b/c it was so warm.

But alas, this is the second summer in a row that the patio furniture has stood on the deck filthy w/ 2 winters' worth of dirt and debris and unused. This is the second summer of no Skychairs, no yard decorations, no walkies with the doggies, no working out after work, and no yardwork either. This is the second summer of no grilling (we did it once last year. Once).

OK, so in my defense, June is always an iffy month in Washington, weather-wise. This year it was very cold and rainy for weeks. I was a happy camper. Next thing we know, it's the 4th of July, and in my opinion, after that, it's just too late to bother w/ lawn decorations, Skychairs, etc. Now I have to deal with the long, hot slog till Labor Day. I have terrible allergies and find myself with gooped up eyes and sinuses, sneezin' and wheezin' my way through each day.

The bottom line is, I have always dreaded summer, even though I had them off while growing up. I dreaded having to buy a new bathing suit each spring, which meant HOURS of trying them on, one-piece only, no two-piece for this kid, and then being scrutinized by my mom, under very unflattering lights no less, of how bad I looked in the suit, unless of course it was one of the years that I was on a strict 1200 calorie a day diet. I was raised to be ashamed of and hate my body, and the thought of ANYONE seeing me in a swimsuit filled me with major panic. I would only swim in my Aunt's pool w/ my cousins, and occasionally go to a public beach at the ocean or lake. My bedroom was un-insulated and was stinkin' hot in the summer, even w/ fans blasting away. Humidity absolutely kills me. I pass out easily when I get too warm.

The only time I like it nice and sunny is when I am on vacation. I have nothing to fear, weatherwise, when I go to SF in August. Where Donnie lives is away from the "fog belt" and it should be quite pleasant. It never rains in California in the summer. And after nearly 6 summers in hot Marin County, where it stays in the 90's day after day, with a few days in the 100's just for good measure, I could not wait to get up here. And don't give me the "it's a dry heat" argument, b/c it's still HOT. We went to Las Vegas once in late May and it was 110 during the day, and 100 at night. Never again.

However, till then, you can find me hiding in my cave-like quarters, doing crafts and Facebooking, waiting to emerge like a bear coming out of hibernation when the days get cool and short.


  1. Sorry to have to tell you that my aunt lived with hot flushes from menopause to death nearly 30 years late. And I look set to do the same.

    You could come over to Britain and enjoy non-stop rain at the moment. Still hot and stuffy where I work though, and I can't even open the door to the balcony outside my classroom because of the bloody rain. Wearing skirt, thin t-shirt and sandals in pouring rain seems odd to others, but I'm STILL too hot.

  2. So you will be visiting in winter then;)!Even then we will be in the 40's and occasionally less.

    It is a cool 86 here.That is far cooler than it has been,and a blessing right now.Lately it has rained every weekend and I find myself anticipating it.I love it,when it is warm.But there is nothing worse than a winter rain.

    I think I have the traditional SAD,winter is VERY difficult for me.

    Keep cool Jojo,send the dogs and Brain my hugs.

  3. Anonymous6:27 PM

    Oh Jo, how could two old friends be so different? I LIVE for summer. I spend all winter telling myself that summer will be here soon and all summer praying for time to slow down.
    My thought is if I am not paying for heat (pellets and the evil oil,it's a great day! And I hate air conditioning-although it went on for the fur baby because he was too hot.
    Some people are naturally just warmer than others-I've even seen it in little kids. (You have an efficient internal heating sytem.)

  4. I HATE SUMMER. I'm also scared to death of it. Tornadoes, Baseball size hail, straight line winds, the horrible announcement on TV. 'A tornado watch has been issued for your area' I'm longing for winter.

  5. you need the following:

    1. blender

    2. ice

    3. 12oz can frozen cranberry juice

    4. 12 oz rum, gin or vodka

    5. hit the puree button

  6. Fen - I can't drink alcohol anymore b/c it makes my face, neck & ears flush bright red and I get even hotter. I have totally given up alcohol b/c it's just not worth the discomfort. but I'd make the drink anyway, w/o the booze!

    Tess - you are the only person i know besides me who dislikes summer.

    Liz - well if i'd lived in Toronto or Vermont like you, i'd probably prefer it warm too. fortunately, we don't have east coast-style winters.

    Bryde - i'll can never visit you in summer and you can never visit me in winter!! lol did you say "cool 86"??? eegads! what's the heat index w/ the humidity?

    Val - great. just one more thing to look forward to with old age. please send our rain back but you can keep the warm weather.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hi JoJo,
    I agree with your sentiments 100%
    I'm also a "Northern type"- and trying to convince my boyfriend (who also loathes summer) to move to Iceland with me someday. :)
    I like your blog.
    Greetings from Austria,

  9. Hi Anna! Thank you for stopping by to visit my blog! It's nice to have another anti-summer ally!!

  10. I really hate it here in Norcal right now. It was 106 yesterday and 108 today, with smoke from all the fires plus smog (ozone). My town is in a valley right next to the foothills of the Sierras. All the bad air just camps out here! Ugh! According to spare the the air is Very Unhealthy. Jojo, I wave to you from my california cave. I only go out to water my tomatoes! But I must say to Tess- tornadoes would scare the shit outa me too, glad we don't have them here.

  11. "my retinas"!! you are too funny!
    i keep my sheers closed in the front until evening b/c it keeps some of the heat o/. and i keep the air on as much as possible. some heat i can handle, it's the michigan humidity that really get's me. b4 i know it, i'm dripping.

    and btw-the cord earing-even worse that the teeth! and you're right, axe would probly think it great!

  12. I used to love summer and the heat, until I started getting HOT, I am getting to be almost as bad at summer-hibernating as you are! :P

  13. Anonymous7:25 AM

    Dear Jojo,
    What a wonderfull dicription of that bloody summer. I hate the summer, and feel blessed to be living in the netherlands where the weather is mostly not so great, but lately weatherpersons seem to talk the country in to a heatwave. Where can i hide!
    The sun is not helping me, because people al are soooo happy that it is summer at last and then i feel more of an idiot. But when it rains. Great. Thanks for your story it helps!!
    Greetings from the Netherlands, Elka

  14. Hi Elka! Thank you so much for visiting my blog!!! I've always wanted to visit the Netherlands; it looks soooo beautiful. Stay cool!

  15. the heat doesn't bother me as much as the humidity, not to mention what it does to my hair!
    and as far as a bathing suit? i finally quit wearing them in my 20's and resorted to running shorts and t-shirts!

  16. Anonymous10:14 AM


    except for the heat, yay summer. climbing, hiking, mountain views....

  17. LOL Julie....that's right, you orbit the tri-state area each day no matter what the weather!!!

    Fen - I'm gonna need a photo of your hair to make a judgment. ;P

  18. Anonymous12:52 PM

    I'm right there with Fen on the hair and humidity. My hair resembles a dandelion puff at worse or a yield sign at best when it's humid.

  19. Yeah, summer is when I earn money and have no classes, so... bring it on!

    And just put up the SkyChair. Maybe telling yourself that it's not worth it is what drives your summer down. How much more pleasant would the next two months be if it were there?

  20. i know exactly how you feel. i HATE the summer. it's always so damn hot and humid and it's sticky and ugh. I'm also the same, when it gets above 75 out, I turn the a/c on, and it stays on all summer. My fan is constantly on in my apartment.

    the summer wasn't so bad when i lived in idaho. it still got brutally hot and i didn't like it, however, it wasn't humid like it is in kansas. in kansas is unbearable.

    i drive around with my fto and he keeps the windows down. here i am blasting my a/c, complaining it's too hot. he just told me to 'quit yer bitchin'. :P

  21. I had the hot feeling for about a year off and on; it wasn't bad. However, it sounds like you've been like this for a long time. It might just be how you are. BE THANKFUL THAT YOU HAVE CENTRAL AIR!! We don't and I'm generally comfortable until it gets above the high 80s--then I start whining. Thankfully my classroom is air conditioned, but I can't sleep there. My younger daughter dislikes the sun and loves rain, hail, snow, cold, etc... I prefer low to mid 80s.