June 18, 2009

Summer Lovin'

People love summer. I don't know if it is the longer days, the sounds of shit kickers playing in the streets at dusk, or the near constant excuse to eat ice cream, but they do. Personally, I think our love of summer stems from our grade school days, when warmer temperatures meant that, for 3 straight months, we weren't going to be forced to sit next to that kid who snacked on glue and boogers for 8 hours a day. Back then, summer was synonymous with freedom. And regardless of the fact that summer breaks don't exist in the "real world", months 6, 7, and 8 still somehow elicit the same sense of freedom they did in the past. It's like nature's very own version of Pavlovian Conditioning or something.

Well people, prepare to have your world rocked: I don't like summer. That's right. Summer and I? Not pals.

Growing up as a child in a military family, summertime often meant leaving the house and friends I had finally grown comfortable with and starting anew in another part of the country, which oddly enough, often featured distinctly different weather patterns than the place before it. Even during those summers when my family would stay put, there was always something scheduled to take place in the fall that I just couldn't wait to see or do.

In the summer of 1998, that "thing" was college and, my God, the start of freshman year simply couldn't come soon enough. Not only was I devastated from my high school boyfriend's recent move to Kansas, but somehow, during the week that lapsed between prom and graduation, I suddenly became much too mature to even consider attending any silly high school house parties. Fortunately, I had an ally in my sister, Deet Dee, who is a grade year ahead of me and had therefore just returned from her first year at college. Her feelings were a virtual carbon copy of my own and it didn't take long for us to agree that the last place either of us wanted to sit, wasting the next three months of our young adult lives, was in the less-than-happening* town of O'Fallon, Illinois.

Enter Ace of Base. Though best known for their 1994 smash hit "The Sign", this Swedish musical group recaptured hearts of teens everywhere after releasing their killer** remake of Bananarama's ditty, "Cruel Summer". Because that's what the summer of 1998 was. Cruel. Looking back, it was also very carefree, but for argument's sake, let's just stick with cruel.

Fast forward to the present: Brain's deployment schedule is such that he will be out of the country every January through July for the next however-many-years, making Ace of Base's lyrical masterpiece my summer mantra once more.

* I love hanging out in O'Fallon with my high school friends now. Kids are stupid, and I was no exception.
** Don't even pretend that this is not a completely apt description of this song.

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