Honestly, it seems like there is maybe one week of summer we can actually enjoy. In June, everyone is thinking ahead to the July 4th weekend, or muttering something about how it "doesn't feel like summer yet." In July, the back-to-school commercials start. In August, stores are filled with backpacks, school supplies and fall clothes. Then there is the ultimate indicator of not-summer, which is the appearance of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which millennial women mark on their calendars as the summer version of Groundhog Day. Already, people are Instagramming the hell out of their cups and rhapsodizing about sweater weather.
Yet, as I write this, it's currently 90 degrees.
Summer is not over. We've got weeks left until September 22, the last official day of the season. Everyone, please, stop the rush to fall.
Granted, I'm counting down the days until Labor Day, because I happen to live in a beach town that's been "discovered" by high-strung, loud and personal space-averse tourists. I've offered the idea of a parade to be held the weekend after Labor Day, when the last of the SUVs bearing New York license plates and North Jersey dealership tags finally leave our town, providing they don't get into an accident for running a red light into the last Starbucks before the highway. (To get their Pumpkin Spice Latte, you see.)
Yes, I have seen accidents at precisely the spot where GPS-trusting tourists think, "Oh crap, this is the wrong lane." I've nearly boycotted going to the grocery store at normal hours, because it's just asking to be annoyed over multi-generational families walking 6-abreast down the frozen food aisle, marveling over how spacious this grocery store is compared to where the ones where they live. I've also had ugly, ugly moments where I tried to petition the removal of a seasonal resident of our apartment complex for regularly flouting our pool's 2-visitors-per-apartment rule, bringing in upwards of 20 loud family members from every corner of the state to swim even though we live three miles from the beach. "It's like living in a hotel!" they say, as they take yet another photo for Facebook and throw ice cream wrappers into the water while singing yet another verse of "Ring Around The Rosie" to highly embarrassed children. In each one of those photos, I'm scowling in the background.
So, I welcome Labor Day. The beaches will be empty, the ice cream shops free of tantrums in every regional accent, the stores back to normal and the weather, for a few more weeks, still nice. It's not the "end."
Maybe if we were all still part of the huddled masses of students trudging back to hallowed halls of learning like depressed turtles making their way to a cruel ocean, I'd believe differently. For them, Labor Day is a warning instead of a holiday. My heart goes out to them, their heavy book bags and their graphing calculators.
The rest of you have no excuse. I don't care if you're technically drinking an ICED Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yes, iced beverages are generally summer beverages. But the premature adoption of pumpkin spice is decidedly autumnal and only makes you part of the problem. Same to you other adults (who don't have kids) who are treating the school supply display at Target like a big tombstone to the summer of 2014. Stop saying that it's now autumn.
Instead, go do summer things. Now. And in the next few weeks. Go to the beach, go have a picnic, go wear shorts, go eat all the barbecue you want. Take a day off. Take a week off. Enjoy summer. It will be gone soon -- just not now.
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