All the weird things we do to mark the end of summer
Parting with summer is such sweet sorrow. Except by sweet, I mean sucky. It is sucky sorrow to say goodbye to your tan and your freedom and hello to your winter coat and that school bell. So it’s no surprise that the end of this beloved season brings out a weird side of us. We do our best, but saying goodbye to the summer is not always pretty. But it is always pretty memorable.
So behold: a look at some of the weird things we do at the end of the summer. Oh my gosh, this is summertime sadness isn’t it?
1. We BBQ ALL THE THINGS
It doesn’t even have to make sense. If it’s the end of the summer and we’re going to eat it, we grill it. Because the truth? BBQ sauce just doesn’t taste the same in the stupid winter IT JUST DOESN’T. This is also when we go completely overboard on corn on the cob. I mean, tis the season, right?
2. We perform weird group rituals
It seems as though an American end-of-summer past-time is hosting a talent show, group sing-along, or even a symbolic bonfire. We are a ceremonial folk and for many of us, winter is waiting right around the corner with bared teeth and a bad disposition, so maybe this is our artistic ode to summer. We dress up in costumes and choreograph dances, we sing hokey camp songs around a fire, and thank the gods of summer for shining down on us, by torturing those very gods with our poor performance skills. It’s just how it is.
3. We suddenly care a lot about fairs
It’s almost cruel how so many state and county and local fairs wait until the end of the summer to show their glorious faces. Why do you think you see so many people sobbing as they eat funnel cakes and fried Twinkies? It’s not guilt, it’s mourning how short and brief their love affair must be. So of course we go crazy. We wait in long lines, we pretend the games aren’t rigged, and we spend one dozen thousand dollars. So if you find yourself visiting neighboring towns’ fairs, don’t be ashamed. Be proud because you’re doing your duty to take in every drop of this end-of-summer glory.
In this same vein, if you didn’t make it to the water park or the amusement park this year, you and your friends will probably find yourselves making a last-ditch effort and go crazy on rides and snacks. In that order, I hope.
4. We cry over people we might not think about in a month
When we leave summer behind, we sometimes have to leave behind those people we spent all summer with, as well. It sucks and we get very, insanely move-worthy dramatic about it. There are very emotional tears, promises to write letters (letters!), lots of extended group hugs, and empty promises flowing like honey. (“WE ARE BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE, SERIOUSLY.”)
5. We fall suddenly and hopelessly in love
It’s just around Labor Day weekend when summer romances gets really, really serious. Big plans are made and professions of love are bandied about. If you’re not in a summer romance, this is also when you make your last ditch effort to talk to that cute lifeguard. What have you got to lose? The stakes are relatively low—things will change in a week or two, no matter what. But also the reverse is true: the pressure is on to go into the new season with something to look forward to, romantically speaking. Regardless of the reasoning, those end-of-summer professions of love are amazing, real and happening on beaches across the country at this very moment.
6. We drive with the windows down no matter what
I grew up in Minnesota, so summers were a flash in the pan. Come late August, the weather would have sometimes already turned chilly-ish, but because we didn’t want to admit that it was over, we would still roll the windows down; even if it meant also turning on the heat. When you live in the North, you make the most of fresh air as long as you can, because before you know it, you’ll be all “R.I.P sunroofs”–don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So turn everything into a s’more, make cheesy, heartfelt bonfire toasts, kiss a crush; you have my blessing, you crazy summer lovers.
(Images and gifs )