Summertime and The Livin’s Killin’ Me

E: Let’s go outside.
Me: Are you sure?
E: YES!

I open the door. To Hades. My right thumb begins to melt as I push the door wider. I’m going to be unable to grasp scissors or open my mail. I’m going to have to move in with our neighborhood opossum to find food. And even then, he’s the only one who can open the trash cans.

(An aside: Opossums have opposable toes as does my husband. We call them tingers (toes+fingers). He can write, pick up hotdogs that fall into the pool, and scratch the cat without lifting a hand.)

My son runs off into the inferno. My daughter toddles after him. Meanwhile, sweat has begun to wriggle down my back and leap off my muffin top. (Yes, all my shorts are made for one-baby Alex. Two-baby Alex wears big t-shirts and denial.)

I can barely see my children between the radiating waves of heatstroke pulsing off the stones.

Kids? I croak. My throat is a prune. I suddenly remember that I haven’t drank water in a month. My temples pulse to the beat, WATER! WATER!, like a bad techno song where the guy in the spandex to my right is insisting his hands are a box. THEY ARE NOT A BOX, DUDE. It’s the drugs.

I wobble forward. I’m confused. Where is my house? Where is my sink? How many children should I be looking for?

My son says: RUN MAMA!

I think that a large desert carnivore is after him. But I CANNOT RUN. My feet are now glued to the deck with dirt and sweat and sugar ants. Just as quickly I am being pushed back towards my house by hordes of ants desperate for my cantaloupe-slathered kitchen.

Suddenly, water is flying at me in all directions. Everywhere I move I am somehow still DIRECTLY IN THE LINE OF FIRE.

A giggling naked boy goes flying thru the menacing sprinkler yelling: WATCH ME MAMA.

But my left eye has gone rogue in an attempt to find the coolness of my skull. My blood temperature, once a cool 98.6 degrees, is spiking. All my organs are taking cover. I haven’t peed for three weeks in my kidneys’ attempt to save me.

Yes! Save me! Fly me North! Or at least take my children outside for me.

I need to lay on the couch and die.

I hate summer in Virginia.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

50 thoughts on “Summertime and The Livin’s Killin’ Me

  1. Oh,you poor things.

    There is a spare room in the back for guests. But, bring a sweater, it’s only 62 this morning. Just a touch chilly.

    bwaaahahahahahhaha

    And that’s what you get for not having to survive summers where the state bird is mosquitoes.

  2. I actually love the heat – just as well living in Texas! I have promised another day of water, poolside is the only way to go when it is in the 80’s at 7am in the morning and set for close to 100 again by end of day.

    I just am having a very hard time with the scorpions – another one found crawling around our bedroom this morning.

    1. We need little bridges & tunnels from place to place like in Chicago to keep us from the heat without starving to death.

      Which story in the Martian Chronicles? (And thank you for directing my attention to them. I am unbelievably intrigued now.)

      1. Can’t remember which story–it was a long time ago. It’s about a colony on Mars, and the kids can never go out because the environment is so inhospitable, except one day every umpteen years, when it rains.

        1. Sci-fi nerd and native Washingtonian that I am, I loved the polar opposite story: “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury about a group of students on Venus who only see the sun for two hours every seven years. 😀

          Now that I live in a place where the temperatures hang out in the triple digits for three or four months at a time and the sun is so relentless it bakes on contact, I need to find this story.

          1. Mandy, that is the EXACT short story that popped into my head when I read The Mother’s comment too. I loved that story. When the rain spots come back and the boy is locked in the closet so he misses it all… heartbreaking.

  3. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who considers summer in Virginia hell on earth. The mosquitoes are awful here too – I got two bites within 5 minutes while standing on our SCREENED porch.

    October can’t come fast enough.

    1. And isn’t it so sad that we have to wait UNTIL OCTOBER. WTH!

      PS. We need to start a club. An indoor club. Or at least under mosquito netting. And only meeting at night. If it gets below 75.

  4. seriously people, stop complaining! I’m in northern europe and still have to wear socks and jumper (the upside is you can still read outside at 11pm), *that’s* a shitty summer.

    good post though, love the play of words and images

    1. I’d rather wear a sweater and socks… seriously. and i hate summer for about three months. consider yourself warned.

      PS. thanks for the compliment. maybe it’ll keep you coming even though I complain? Because I complain FANCY.

  5. Ha ha ha ha. Yes, I heart and hate summer for the same reasons. So sick of the cold and protracted winters here but when summer finally hits, I bitch about the heat. Such is life…

  6. I’m hot after just reading that! We’re here in sunny So Cal, so I can (kind of) relate…we don’t get the humidity like you do. Next time you gotta run through the sprinklers too! 😉

    1. I did today! You don’t even get winter to complain about. I’d find that unbelievably confusing. (Okay that last line made it sound like I’m a hibernating bear or something.)

  7. You should come and see me…it’s been 60s and cloudy for the last 7 days =) Is it wrong that I can’t wait to get down there!!! love you!

  8. Hilarious. Makes me have a bit more sympathy for my mom who moved to Texas from the east, back when they didn’t have central AC. Aging Mommy, you’re right, water is the only way to go.

    1. You should call your mom RIGHT NOW and acknowledge her HUGE SACRIFICE for you. I can’t wait to get that call from my kids. (don’t worry, i’m not holding my breathe or anything.)

    1. That is TOO funny. You should post it! We can start a I HATE SUMMER club. (maybe invite mr. linky.. the button can have a half-melted child on it. because that’ll inspire the bloggers. okay, maybe you should do the button)

  9. When I was pregnant in Charleston I would lay on my patio in a chair with a magazine and sprinkler running over me. It was fabulous. Now I’m older, saggier, and with no preggo swimsuit to fit my continuously swelling body and I am hiding. My poor son probably things we’re vampires. He will never see the light of day if I’m the only one home with him. The only time we venture out is if we see our tomato plant bursting into flames. The chipmunks have taken care of everything else.

    By the way, I want my next prescription written with the tinger.

  10. Oh, yes- this reminds me of Texas summers. You just sit inside, in the AC, and drink. You can’t physically do anything else. LA is not so bad- won’t get hot for another month, but when we have out of town visitor, they always feel sick form dehydration. We do live in a desert.

    1. Really? They get sick? That’s too weird. (And good to know for my imaginary visit to LA. It may happen. Someday. You know, when I’m famously famous. Or show up on your doorstep.)

      1. Totally. They are all, “I have to lay down. My lips are chapped, and feel a little sick to my stomach.” Oh, and in the seven years we have lived here, I have only seen like three famous people. I am so un-glamorous.

    1. Yay! I told another reader that we have to start the I HATE SUMMER club. I’m glad you’re in too because we lots of positions to fill. The AC controller. The iced coffee maker. The entertain the children while I sit here-er.

      PS> Thanks for becoming a FB fan too 😀

    1. “Oh actually I live in the store so I don’t know even what season it is. I just set up my bed right in between those two flower displays. So tell me again about the weather. The sun must be so NEAT to see.”

  11. careful Alex, your yankee roots are showing!
    “they” (the Virginians who don’t admit its 110 in the shade and 350 in the blazing, humid, sunshine) may revoke your honorable Southerner award for this post.
    …but I’ll put in a good word for you : )

    1. I actually met a born-and-bred, seventy-year-old Richmond-er who HATED the summer, too. I was SHOCKED because most Southerners look askance at me when I complain. And I immediately loved her.

  12. PLEASE send some of that heat and sun my way…. it’s mid June and we haven’t hit 80 yet! Not even for just one day =o(. I’ll send you a nice box of fresh SNOW in return… we have plenty of that around here because SOMEBODY missed the season change memo!

  13. I’m originally from Washington – land of cool and rain. I moved to California and only survived a year in the “interior” before moving to the coast where it is cool and foggy with random hot day thrown in there to encourage tourism.

    My dear, loving husband talked me into moving back to the interior after we got married where we now live. In a place that will literally scald the skin off the bottom of your feet if you dare walk outside. In a place where 115 is a normal August day. In a place where the town is deserted during the day all summer long with heat refugees crowding the parks as the sun sets. In a place that’s so dry you can’t even sweat.

    I will gladly join your “I Hate Summer” group.

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