If you live in the Northern hemisphere, the technical end of summer will occur on September 22 this year. And, as in all previous years, this will be an afterthought to the general population. Squirrels are more conscious of the change of seasons, but, as they constitute a very small percentage of the subscribers to this blog, they will not be considered. So, unless you are a wonky meteorologist-type, the emotional end-of-summer trumps the actual end-of-summer, and that will occur on Labor Day, September 2, typically celebrated throughout the country by people spending the day contemplating the demise of our major highway system.
By the official end of summer, most of us will have already stored our swim fins, switched out our white shoes for dark shoes and started counting the days until our next summer vacation. Kids will have been back in school long enough to have ruined at least one item of expensive back-to-school clothing, lost at least one textbook and missed at least four buses on school mornings.
The people left out of this Annual Big Change of Season loop are babies and older boomers. Neither takes much note of the change of seasons. Babies continue to eat, poop and cause adults in their immediate vicinity to take an inordinate number of photos of them and to post all of them on Facebook.
Older boomers are another story entirely. While they also eat and poop, if they want their photos posted on Facebook, they will most likely have to do it themselves, and they won't get umpteen comments per photo that all say, "That's the most beautiful Boomer I've ever seen!" Many older Boomers haven't worn swimsuits since 1984, and the absence of school age children in the immediate vicinity doesn't serve to remind them that the year, like their sex lives, has its unique seasons.
For this reason, many Boomers may tend to embarrass themselves at this time of year, or, at the very least, act a bit inappropriately. The following is a handy guide to the correct procedures for a successful transition to fall:
1. Clothes that were too tight on you throughout the summer will most likely not improve by wearing them into the fall or by storing them in your closet for another year. Get rid of them.
2. T-shirts T-shirts that scream "Myrtle Beach 2012," or "Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival," won't translate well into the fall or worse, next year when you are vacationing in the Adirondacks. Get rid of them or save them for the nursing home.
3. Swimsuits should not be worn after Labor Day. Or before.
4. Do not sit on your front porch wearing your flimsy nightgown, leisurely enjoying your coffee on a warm September morning, while parents trudge by, bringing their children to the bus stop. This creates feelings of envy among neighbors, and scares small children.
5. Do not start a diet in order to atone for the amount of corn dogs and kettle corn you have consumed throughout the summer. The official start of the Holiday Eating Season will begin the day after Labor Day, when the Halloween candy arrives at stores. From there, it's a downhill slide through Easter, at which point the boardwalk fries season starts.
6. The most important thing to remember at all times is that if you are retired and your children are grown and gone, try, in general, to maintain a low profile at this very busy time of year. That way, no one will suspect that for you, the year goes by in a blur, punctuated by occasional bouts of irregularity. Just pretend you are aware of everything that is going on around you. And lose the flip-flops.