The Long Not Summer

Sep 06

It was The Summer of Our Discontent, or at the very least, Our Profound Crankiness. dreamstime_837820.jpg

Here in the East, it started in June with endless rain. It seemed as if it rained every day. Probably because it did rain practically every day. It broke some kind of record, not the kind of record you want to break. It’s like getting into Guinness for hiccuping for 40 days and 40 nights. Not recommended.

Then came July, when we usually rent a cottage by the sea (“down the shore,” if you get my drift). We didn’t do that this year in a futile attempt at frugality. The reason for the attempt to save money is obvious: Stock. Market. Crash.

The futile part was that other expenses popped up, including a last-minute trip to Florida on a mission of mercy. Good for the karma, hard on the wallet. At home, there were some appliance situations too boring to talk about. And then the car died.

It had been sick for months, and after driving a number of car salesman as crazy as the weather, we bought another — just days before the Cash for Clunkers thing was announced! Although we never did find out if our 12-year-old Mercedes with 250,000 miles on it would “qualify” as a clunker.

Clunker, schmunker . . . . . . The front end suspension wasn’t suspending properly, the air conditioner wasn’t working at all (good thing the windshield wipers were), and we had leaking seals in the rear end (Don’t you just hate leaking rear ends?) all of which would cost thousands of dollars. Since it’s less expensive in the long run to get a car that will last a decade or so, we ponied up the dough and got a pre-owned (don’t you dare call it “used!”) silver BMW. The car is great. The timing was lousy.

So there we were in Manhattan in July, paying an ungodly amount to garage our jazzy new car, in what would normally be unbearably hot and humid weather. But nothing about this summer was normal, and sure enough, suddenly the weather changed from rainy and cool to sunny and warm. We had a few of the most beautiful weeks in New York ever: more like Spring or Fall, the kind of days when you walk around feeling like a million bucks, or whatever it takes in these economically confusing times.Loved the weather, except for one thing: there was no incentive to hop in the new car and go to the beach. Who wanted to leave the city?

Finally, late in the summer we got a few hot spells. But by then, a person could go around singing “We’re Having A Heat Wave, A Tropical Heat Wave,” if so inclined, and no one would get pissed off  — because it was finally acting like summer and we kinda liked it. And anyway, how long could it last? Labor Day was coming up faster than those ads for Back To School Bargains, which started around April just before the special offers for the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City.

Meanwhile, the entire nation was going bonkers.

Do you think the weird weather had anything to do with all those nutty town hall meetings, the “birthers,” or Glenn Beck?

One thing’s for sure: this was one of the longest summers we’ve ever had: Memorial Day came early, and Labor Day came late. Talk about the Endless Summer.

But all bad things must come to an end, and so, at long last, the Labor Day weekend arrived, bringing with it the most perfect weather known to man. And the last chance for women to wear white pants, if you believe in those fusty old fashion rules. I, personally, am more than happy to pack away those eight pairs of white pants I told you about in June (I Wanna Wear White!) because I gained a few pounds and they were all a bit tight. You know where.

Now that Labor Day has come and gone — taking this wild and crazy summer with it — I feel a faint stirring of hope.

Maybe we can take our new car and drive out into the country, forget about frugality for a while and have a nice, long weekend at some cute inn. Maybe all that rain in June will produce spectacular foliage for us to ooh and aah over,. Maybe the weather will be “seasonal,” crisp, clear, and cool. Maybe this Fall will be . . . normal????

To steal a phrase from my favorite fictional columnist, “I can’t help but wonder” what Autumn has in store for us.

I also wonder . . . Was your summer crazy too?


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