I still think I love Summer.
Old habits die hard.
After 13 years of school we still think of "summer vacation" as an inalienable right — a 614th Mitzvah given to us. The fact that we haven't had one "off" for 37 years doesn't dampen our enthusiasm. Like Hanukkah, where a chocolate coin in gold foil sends our kinderlach into a frenzy of joy, we expect that same toddler rush till we're eighty.
We're a stupid race.
These days, the length of "summer" directly correlates to my memory bank. Both are shrinking. When I was a teen, summer lasted two months.
These days, the length of "summer" directly correlates to my memory bank. Both are shrinking.
This year "summer" lasted an hour and a half -- from 2 – 3:30 PM-- on a Sunday. Boom! A whole season reduced to 90 minutes of lying on my lounge chair with the two broken slats, watching the ice in my diet, anti-oxidant, pomegranate tea, barely make it to the melting stage.
Now, with the New Year starting, sisterhoods calling, and Bar/Bat Mitzvah invites flooding in, I made a few notes about my "Boomer Summer That Never Was." Here's how it stacks up.
SUMMER FOR A TEEN VS. SUMMER FOR A BOOMERESS: THEN AND NOW
|THEN:||Sunbathing. Roasting to a golden brown, that would make a kosher pulke proud!.|
|NOW:||Sun-phobic. Slathering a #247 skin blocker to get the mail and prevent my punim from further deteriorating into a relief map of my ancestral home – pre-war Ukraine.|
|THEN:||Floating on the water sipping a Coke, contemplating life's mysteries.|
|NOW:||Floating face-down in a puddle of Diet Cel-Ray contemplating the mystery of who found — and dropped – this sacred secret stash I painstakingly collected when I heard the "diet" version was "to be" no more!|
|THEN:||Getting that hip glitter lip gloss.|
|NOW:||Getting that suspicious mole removed from my upper lip.|
|THEN:||Opening the windows as the warmth bathes dreamily over us.|
|NOW:||Opening the freezer until the hot flashes subside.|
|THEN:||Grabbing a shovel to build sand castles with my pals.|
|NOW:||Grabbing a shovel – alone -- to clean up the sand-schmutz someone tracked all over the house.|
|THEN:||Lying in a tent with my friend Rachel, gleefully gasping in horror at the "strange" shadows "outside."|
|NOW:||Lying in an MRI machine, with my doctor gasping in horror at the strange shadows "inside" -- me.|
|THEN:||Tweezing around my eyebrows to get that clean look.|
|NOW:||Tweezing around my upper lip – to lose the Geraldo look.|
|THEN:||Driving with pals at 60 mph in a convertible with the wind in our hair.|
|NOW:||Driving at 30 mph so my Miracle Ear won't fly onto the highway.|
But, as always, Mama Nature does her glorious balancing act. Summer has faded ... and along comes Fall.
THEN: Dreading that first day of school and seeing that witch Lynda-with-a-"y". Eew! Gotta schlep that "book bag" with the 1,019 page History of World Literature and re-read (double eew!!)....... "Silas Marner." And ... yellow's the hot Fall color. Blechh! I'll look like algae! And ... uh oh ... I got "Monsieur" Grumet for French again, who leaves his crypt every morning just to torture me. And ... the SATs! It's clown college if I don't get over a 500 in Math. I knew it! There it is. A zit! ... And my tan is fading ... and ......
NOW: Fall. The kids are back in school. The grown-ups are back in town obsessing on cell phones. I can walk without a respirator. My waffles (as in arms and thighs) are safely quaking under long sleeves. And … Yes, Fall. Ahhhh ... what a wonderful season!