Now, I don’t know where you’re from, but the past 5 months in Toronto have been utterly horrifying. Okay, I may be exaggerating a little – it was fine. I’m Canadian, I’m no stranger to enlisting the help of six randoms to push my car out of a snowbank roughly once a week from December – March. But after the winter that seriously would not quit (I swear to God, you guys, it was like the Gwenyth Paltrow of winters. JUST WOULD NOT GO THE F**K AWAY), I am soooo beyond ready for summer. It just started getting gorgeous out this week and we kind of just completely skipped over spring like it was a new Avril Lavigne album. Ain’t nobody got time for you, spring. So bust out that rusty razor sitting in your shower, get out them flowy dresses, try to ignore the hoards of school children let loose on the city like bats outta hell and let’s rap about why summer is truly the fancypants champagne of seasons.
“Everything tastes better on the grill” – everybody’s dad.
I was driving home from work last Tuesday with my sunroof open (honorable mention on this list: SUNROOFS.) and the minute I got out of the city…. girl, I’m telling you, the smell of everyone and their great-aunt BBQ-ing up some burgers and dogs was almost enough to make me drop a grand on one of those big bitches with the triple decker grill and like, a million BTUs. That first waft of smokey deliciousness hits my nostrils and homie, my mind is gone. While pretty much every man I’ve dated will tell you otherwise, grilling is kind of idiot-proof, and as someone who fails at anything that requires more than removing the plastic wrap and setting a timer, I’m very into it. If you’re still sitting here reading this and you need another reason to fire up the BBQ tonight, it’s a great excuse to get drunk in your backyard like an hour before dinner, all under the guise of “checking on the meat”. Not that you even needed one.
2. DRINKING OUTSIDE
Oh, hey, while we’re on my favourite topic – zee liquor – let’s get into the next awesome thing about summer: drinking outside. Oh man. Make no mistake, I’ll uncork a bottle of vino not matter what the damn season is… but there’s something unbelievably relaxing about sitting outside at 8pm, sipping on some post-dinner pinot and watching the sun go down. Getting to see the daylight for longer than the hour during my morning commute gives me life. Ugh, and the patios. Even the worst dives fill their patios in the summertime. Patio beers with my co-workers actually makes them tolerable. Bless.
3. THE DRIVE-IN
I think the Official Drive-In Theatre Association’s* motto is “Not just a place ’50s greaser teens got their freak on! Thank you, hipsters!” because they seriously experienced a renaissance over the past decade. I remember when kids in my class called me “poor” because my “what I did over the summer” presentation was about my quirky parents taking me to the drive-in on half-price Tuesdays. The best thing about the drive-in is the double-feature. Most drive-ins show two movies: the first is somewhat family friendly (PG-13/14A max) and then when that movie finishes, all the cars with sleeping children clear out and there’s a short intermission followed by a racier or more violent/mature flick. Gotta love a bargain. Oh, and forget about the $25 popcorn combos. Throw a blanket over your store-bought/homemade treats and thank me later.
4. BEACHES/FRIENDS AND PARENTS WITH POOLS
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a beach (in most parts of Canada, we call our lakes “beaches”… give us a break, it’s all we have) then you already know that it’s bomb as hell to take a beach day with your girls and get your tan on once that sun comes out. Salt water has this great way of disguising your hair as “beachy” instead of “greasy”. Lazy girls, rejoice! If you, like me, live a 5-hour plane ride away from anything even closely resembling a real beach, then you know how important it is to have friends with pools. Ideally, you have rich suburban parents with an in-ground, but we can’t all live in an ’80s teen movie. When you find that one person with a pool that you can sorta, kinda tolerate, you’d better go into full-on seduction mode. I’m talking remembering birthdays, buying coffees, “No no, don’t worry about it! Lunch is on me today! Pfft, I insist!” You’re a pool slut and you know it. Own that ish and who knows, you may actually make a great friend in the process. Um. But. Most likely you’ll be super transparent and everyone will hate you. It’s worth a try, though.
5. NO MORE LAYERING
I refuse to be cold. For 8 months of the year, I’m wearing no less than three layers of clothing at any given time. You have no idea how liberating it is for a get-up-and-go kinda chick like me (read: lazy ass) to be able to throw on a sundress and leave the house in five minutes flat. Glorious. Reminding your pasty shoulders what vitamin D is, showing off those smooth shins and treating yourself to a pedi is such a refreshing feeling after what seems like an eternity of sweater weather.
6. SEE YA, S.A.Ds
If you’re anything like me, you have a lot more “sweatpants and Bridget Jones’ Diary marathon” nights during the winter months. My mood does a serious 180 right around November and I go from smiling Disney Princess (shut up) to chronically sad panda in a hot second. But guess what! It’s okay because it’s actually a real issue that a lot of people deal with on an annual basis! It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or “S.A.D” for short. So don’t feel like you’re a weirdo for getting the winter blahs. You sure as hell aren’t alone. It’s amazing how bright sunshine and warm weather lifts your soul, Even if it’s only temporary.
7. F**K YOU, SOCKS
I hate socks. They’re the worst and I constantly leave them at the laundromat. I’m notorious amongst my friends for being the last person, freezing their ass off in sandals half way through October and the first person to slip on the Birks the instant I see grass peeking out from under the melting snow. I’m an optimist, sue me! Anyways, one of my favourite things about the summer months is being rid of the cotton confines of the tube sock. Letting those piggies breathe and feeling no shame! It’s great to be alive.
8. I ACTUALLY HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE AGAIN
In the winter, I hibernate. I turn down 90% of all invitations from my friends due to pure unwillingness to battle the icy roads and slushy sidewalks of downtown. No thanks, me and this bottle of wine I bought on my way home from work have a great night-in planned. Netflix is my best friend and GrubHub is my husband. Thanks to that mentality, most of my friends kinda drop off for a few months until I resurface around April/May. I’m fortunate enough to have some close peeps who know the drill. They get that it’s a pain in the ass to haul your winter coat into the club, wait in a line long enough to make you think they’re giving away free shots and then catch frostbite every time I have to satisfy a nicotine craving. No thanks. Not to mention the fact that my dry skin and bloat make me feel less like putting on my freakum’ dress and more like putting on my freakum’ sweats.
9. NO MORE WINTER COMFORT FOOD CRAVINGS
There is a little beast that lives inside of me and rears its ugly head as soon as the temperature drops. I do not exercise. I do not want healthy food. I sure as hell do not want the low-fat version of ANYTHING. I just can’t stop eating. Some days I’ll just be shoving food into my mouth at such an extreme rate that it can only be described as a day-long supermeal. Some people call it grazing, but really… I just have this…this VOID inside of me that can only be filled with more mac n’ cheese, Reese’s peanut butter cups, pickles, bacon/cheddar pierogies and anything with a sodium content that’s through the roof. But in the summertime, there’s markets and veggies from my neighbour’s garden. The produce section in my local grocery store is suddenly the first place I bee-line to. Healthy food is more accessible, cheap and tasty. Your fruit salads go from canned to freshly cut. It’s a beautiful thing. Suddenly, I don’t care about how embarrassingly sweaty I am during my first outdoor run of the year. The wind’s in my hair and I’m feelin’ like a Nike commercial personified… even if I look like Danny Devito in LuLu’s. Sure, I still get those insane cravings – like, gimme a break, I’m only human. I can go H.A.M on a bag of Bugles. But it’s easier to stop myself and make a smarter choice when there are so many more delicious options in my fridge than there were just a few weeks ago.
10. SUMMER TV/MOVIES
Summer TV is everything to me. I know I just went on and on about how much I love being outside in the summer, but I look forward to those Sunday nights on the couch just as much as the next gal. Let me start with the obvious: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT IS BACK. I’m not going to get into the details (MAY 26 ON NETFLIX OMG OMG OMG) but let’s just say that I have a niece due a week after that and I’mma be pissed off if she arrives early. I just blue myself. Anyways, summer TV rules. All your faves come back campier than ever. On that note: who else is excited for True Blood‘s return? Damn, Billith, what is you??? DID I EVEN MENTION BREAKING BAD YET? Ahhhhh! Can’t wait. The characters are sassier and the scripts are gonna be raw as hell. My body is ready.
Okay, I have a confession to make… I kind of love action blockbusters. Summer is chock full of ’em. This year alone we’ve got the new Star Trek sequel (which is sure to start a Spock or Kirk debate between you and your BFF), the 3rd Hangover movie, Brad Pitt’s zombie apocalypse flick World War Z (definitely at the top of my list this year, read the book if you get a chance), a reboot of the Superman franchise and Will Smith and spawn’s sci-fi effort, After Earth. That’s not even half of them. If you’re looking for an excuse to veg in a dark room with subzero air conditioning and comfy seats, you’ll have plenty of options starting around June.
That pretty much wraps my list up…what are your favorite things about summer?
*I completely made that up. Obviously.