Tyler Vendetti
April 07, 2014 12:47 pm

Whenever somebody asks about the weather in New England, I tell them a joke I found on the Internet a few years back:

New England has 4 seasons. Almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.

Please take a few minutes to laugh uncontrollably.

As much as I appreciate that quip (anyone who knows me can confirm this – I have probably recited it a dozen times in conversation without being prompted), it does certainly have some flaws. For example, it ignores the 2-week-long period between fall and winter that is characterized by slush puddles, dead leaves, and a general sense of misery. The joke also excludes the three days in between “still winter” and summer where spring makes an appearance. For some, this phase may still be on the horizon hidden under piles of snow. For others, this phase may have already passed, probably while you were angrily tweeting about the HIMYM finale. Distinguishing whether or not you’re still stuck in “spring limbo” can be pretty easy, once you know all the warning signs. For example:

1) Blooming flowers are no longer the center of your attention.

When someone says “spring,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is a green pasture covered in vibrant, rainbow flowers that look like they were pulled straight out of a kindergartener’s used coloring book. While these vibrant little plants are enough to brighten your day at the beginning of the season, they become less inviting once the transition to summer starts offering new distractions like barbeques and ice cream truck popsicles.

2) Your pool craving has reached its peak.

Speaking of distractions, the rising temperatures that come with impending summer weather can trigger an increased desire to sit by the pool with a glass of lemonade and a dime novel. If you feel yourself gravitating towards bodies of water instead of gardens, it may just be that spring is on the wane.

3) Easter decorations are being replaced with Mother’s Day items.

Or Memorial Day or Bathtub Day or really whatever holiday will allow convenience stores with ADD to start taking down themed products that have been on the shelf for more than 3 days. (Because God forbid we actually celebrate holidays in a timely, leisurely manner.) If window displays are trashing their stuffed Easter bunnies and egg coloring kits, then you know spring is on its way out.

4) You slowly start losing your clothes.

Because it’s getting hotter, not because you randomly developed the need to flaunt your wobbly bits. Or, at least I hope that’s the case. As spring fades into the background to make way for summer, so too does that perfect “pants and t-shirt” weather. It is instead replaced by “I wish I were dead” weather, defined by innumerable heat waves and days spent in front of the AC.

5) Winter has become a distant memory.

I find that I tend to crave warm weather during the cold months and cold weather during the warm months, proving true the old saying that people want what they can’t have. Spring’s departure kicks these feelings into high gear and I start imagining apple picking trips and snow angels all over again. This could just be my own irrational reaction to heat, though, so if this doesn’t apply to you, feel free to move on to the next bullet point.

6) End of school sales are on the rise.

Everybody knows the school season has officially begun when the “Back to School” sales begin, just like everybody knows school has officially ended when the “End of School” blowout sales occupy every store. Advertisements of this kind signal the beginning of summer, even if the temperature outside proves otherwise.

7) You’re growing tired of April showers.

April showers may bring May flowers but May flowers bring bees, and I’d rather skip to the part where the sweltering heat gives me an excuse to stay inside and avoid them. April showers may seem fun at first until they’re happening in week-long increments and the streets are starting to look more like rivers than roads.

8) Spring cleaning is replaced by summer clutter.

You know spring is coming to an end when your efforts to de-clutter your house turn into you shrugging off the piles of clothes that have appeared on your bedroom floor as you slowly start stripping away your extra layers. See number 4 for more details.

9) The thought of spring activities already bores you.

Because you can only dig in your garden so many times. Bring on the sunbathing and beach trips!

10) Half of the commercials on TV are advertising upcoming summer blockbusters.

Not sure if spring has already passed? Just turn on the television. If anybody sees Tony Stark making a sarcastic comment or Katniss flying through a forest, summer is likely almost under way. Time to tackle the bathing suit aisle at your nearest department store.

When it comes to weather, my level of expertise only goes so far as that “4 seasons” joke, so tell me: what are some other “signs” that signal the end of spring and the start of road construc- I mean, summer.

Featured image via Shutterstock.