Summer Killjoy

posted in: Confessions 59
Postcard, “Swifts Beach on a hot summer day, Wareham, Mass.” c. 1945. Image: Wikipedia.



It won’t sound good, what I would like to state for the record. Even the record won’t like it. The record may resent my statement because the record enjoys outdoor music festivals and hot dogs, but here goes nothing:

I intensely dislike the summertime. A lot.

It’s a provocative thing to say; I know I am well in the minority on this. But I am trying to set myself free. While many folks — most, it seems — will walk a mile for a hot, sunny July day; while many are taken with things like ball games and tank tops; while most look forward to the break from X or Y the summer may afford them, I renounce all these things. I have ‘nounced them before, but today I officially I renounce them.

Why? What did summer do to me today?

It’s what summer keeps doing to me: Summer makes me sweaty. And I am so tired of fluffing my hair and doing my makeup and getting all ready for my extremely demanding day only to look totally and utterly fizzled by the time I get anywhere. I am a brisk walker (surprised?) and my gait doesn’t help matters: I exert and pay the price. Just for being efficient, I pay! After a brisk walk in October, I arrive to a place looking and feeling like a woman with a purpose; briskly walking to a place in summer means I arrive looking like a woman who needs a gym towel and a bottle of Gatorade.

I don’t like it!

It’s not just vanity, either. It’s uncomfortable and irritating in a psychic way, this summertime. So much shiny cement in the city makes me upset because the glare is oppressive. People wear fewer clothes in summer and while it’s nice to have bellies and breasts and muffin tops and … backs, I don’t want to be privy to all those bodies. Must I? Must you? So much flesh on display in the summertime. So very, very much flesh.

This summer distaste has been true for awhile but today I just about had it. Am I a bad person? I want fallen leaves! I want to wear my scarf! I want to put on socks and I want to walk down the city streets, arm in arm, you know, with someone, and sort of skooch together and feel good about that. There’s no skoochin’ together in August. In August, it’s like, “Literally do not touch my skin.”

Anyone else?

59 Responses

  1. Clark
    | Reply

    I agree. Spring and Autumn are the best. Summer can get too hot and Winter is too cold, long, and depressing.

  2. Brandy
    | Reply

    Totally love your post! I too hate summer! Bugs. Heat. Sweat. It turns me into an indoorsy kind of girl. I totally get ya!

  3. Elaine Hoffarth
    | Reply

    I feel the same way about winter. If there was never another winter I would be ecstatic! No more weather related confinement or travel worries. The same only different.

  4. Irene
    | Reply

    I agree totally! I live in North Carolina! I feel your pain!

  5. Christine Houghton
    | Reply

    I understand completely. I feel the same way. So why do I live in Central Florida in the very hot, humid, sticky summers? I just stay in the air conditioning as much as possible. But it is tough when you spend so much time on neat, dry clothes, perfectly combed hair, and makeup to go out looking great and that hot humid air hits you. You end up looking like you spent the last half hour in a sauna, its embarrassing. We just have to grin and bare it. Sorry I have no remedey for it. Just sympathy!

  6. Caroline Nelson
    | Reply

    Sorry, sweetie. This girl needs her some more summertime! I truly do understand your needs, but please. . . . not quite yet. Thank you for listening.

  7. Sally Nesser
    | Reply

    I hear your pain with the summer heat and especially the sweat. I grew up in St Louis. I believe just about worst summers any where. I still hate to sweat. I moved to Chicago at a young age to seek fame and fortune and felt like I was living on the Riviera! After growing up in land locked St Louis. Many years later I moved north to Door County. Even better summers. I just spent last week in Chicago, getting a city fix. I just could not get over how great and beautiful the city looked. I would say, walk slower, enjoy the view and get some great summers hats and great summer scent and stay close to Nick, sweaty or not.

  8. Sylvia Blanchard
    | Reply

    I’ve always hated summer! And I don’t even sweat. I just turn all beet red and feel as though someone had turned the oven up to broil! Add into that the fact that I live in North Carolina. One of the most humid states you’ll find. I’m itching to see my calendar say October.

  9. Kathleen Kurke
    | Reply

    I’m with you.

  10. Valerie
    | Reply

    Coming to your neck of the woods (IA) next week and won’t be enjoying the 50% humidity and 95 degree temperatures – can’t beat San Francisco weather! Summer average is 70 degrees which is perfect!

  11. Heather
    | Reply

    Oh thank you, thank you. On the occasional day that it is overcast I am happy that my don’t have to squint. Love autumn too.

  12. Mary Lu
    | Reply

    Me too! I live in Huntington Beach. It is not uncommon to see people walking around town in their bathing suits. Seriously, I saw a old guy on PCH in his speedo, that’s it. Fortunately he was relatively fit!

    I hate the hot and sweaty!

  13. Freda
    | Reply

    This exactly describes me!! Except that my naturally wavy thick hair, becomes big and curly! Fall and winter are my favourite seasons. I am visiting my brothers in Germany and it’s been swelteringly hot, difficult to go sightseeing…I always look forward to the Fall with anticipation of cups tea, cozy evenings with a quilt reading a book, without pouring sweat.

  14. Dee
    | Reply

    I hate it too! Not much worse than getting out of the shower and immediately feeling damp and soggy! I avoid skin contact with anyone — can barely tolerate my own touch. And you’re right about all the extra visible skin: how is it okay to expose oneself to others, when we have no choice to see or un-see them!?! You are not alone. Cool/cold weather is my #1!

  15. Pat
    | Reply

    I long for mornings that Jack Frost is my walking partner.

  16. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Dear Mary- While I respect you, and your opinions, this time we don’t come even close to agreeing with each other! I LOVE Summer, not worrying about slipping and falling on ice, (has happened too many times to count.) : ( I HATE being cold, dread driving in snow & ice, and hate having to wear socks, boots, coats, gloves, and hats, in addition to heavy, warm clothing! I feel like an unjolly, round, snowman! ( I’m not against snowmen or chubbiness!) : )
    Winter lasts at least seven months here, W-A-Y too long! I live for Spring and Summer! Even Fall can be nice, but I could live w/o Winter! Winter ruins my hair too! Brenda King Bend, Or.

  17. Kathie Hood
    | Reply

    As a season I have no like of SUMMER. The intense heat drives me crazy. But……
    Summer brought me amazing summers in Walla Walla and weeks then with Grandma. The cold basement floor of the Walla Walla Carnegie Library with that funky foam backed carpet that was cool to lay on with a pillow under your head and read. The Lakum Dunkum at Whitman College and the long walks to Borleske Memorial Swimming pool. It brought the sneak Greyhound trip I took to Walla Walla one very early morning. The wonderful Sunday Dinners at the neighbor, Carrie DeRoux, who used fresh ground pepper in all her gravy. The ladies would gather and play cards until long after I had walked home and gone to sleep on the sleeping porch– Oh for a sleeping porch on these unbearable hot days. And you may have heard of the Watermelons of Northeastern Oregon if not look for a Hermiston Watermelon and the wonderful spitting seeds.. My “virtual” Grandma Lowden brought them cuz they were too large for a 7 year old to carry from the store.

    So, Mary, there are good thoughts about summers and they are the people who like you and I do not embrace the overbearing heat but share its riches with Love and kindness and leave forever memories of their bountiful joy shared with you.

  18. Renee
    | Reply

    Yesssss!! I just knew that I could not have been the only one!! I so dislike the heat and the older I get, the more I dislike it! I feel like I’m a secret power source for the sun. The stronger it gets, the more drained I am.
    Give me 50 degrees to 70 degrees year round and a cute sweater, please!

    • Jen
      | Reply

      This is me too! I’m afraid to drive eben short distances because I get dopey in about 5 minutes on a sunny day. But on a drizzly, beautifully grey overcast day, I could drive for hours.

      I love it when it’s cool, and snuggling becomes a pleasant prospect. Snuggly sweaters, snuggly quilts, snuggly lives ones! So much better than hot-don’t-touch me ickiness!

  19. Beth Brown
    | Reply

    I completely agree with you! I h.a.t.e. Summer and I don’t care who knows!

  20. Daisy Dianne Bromlow
    | Reply

    Oh yes Miss Mary and I roar with you !!! I also do not like summer for the same reasons and more – it zaps my energy , is not good for my asthma , allergies , sinuses, migraines , etc . In the fall and winter I thrive , like something new and reborn . I live in S.C. and it’s hot and humid 99 % of the year. I would Absolutely Love to move to a cooler cold climate.

  21. Heidi
    | Reply

    I am with you!

  22. Catherine
    | Reply

    I also agree with you, Mary. I have always hated summer even as a child and the air conditioning…..hate even more. So you are not alone.

  23. Gayle frankovitch
    | Reply

    Those fall days 70 during day and sweater in the evening and light quilt no a.c. windows open. Really blue clear sky and autumn colors in the trees. Or raining cool days you just want to binge watch old movies mixed in with reruns of Quilty…..

  24. Geralyn
    | Reply

    I agree with you also. Summer is not for me!

  25. Judy Snook
    | Reply

    Oh! You are right! You can’t be cozy in the summer. I’ll take winter any time. Well, I’ll take Autumn and Spring too.

  26. Kay Bennett
    | Reply

    Try living in Tampa Florida! Ughhh

  27. Marj
    | Reply

    Totally with you Mary. Thanks for your thoughts on this.
    About 72 degrees and dry with nice blue skies is wonderful. Anything north of that in heat or humidity, not so much. Sorry, but no perspiration allowed. Ewww! Icky!!! And forget the days on end pulling your hair back into a ponytail because nothing else can be done (not a good look for some of us).
    But then I think about how long and dark and dreary this past winter was, and I pour some iced tea and try to enjoy the sunshine. What else can you do? I’d like to sit out in it, but then I’d perspire. Oooops – back to the beginning of the cycle…

  28. Nancy
    | Reply

    I’m with you Mary. I have naturally curly hair and from May until October I look like my hair got caught in a giant mixer. It gets all frizzy and has deep finger waves. Ugh. I also get sick in the sun and sweat like a man. Give me scarves and coats anytime. Also, I love your blog.

  29. Jody
    | Reply

    When I was young I loved summer, the hotter the better. Now that I’m older I love fall and spring the best in that order. I live in central Ohio and autumn is wonderful!!! Hate winter! You can have under 32 degrees.

  30. Laura
    | Reply

    I’m right there with you, Mary. And because I love my husband and want to stay married, I came with him to an island in the East China Sea where it’s unbearably hot and humid from May to October. He loves it here and I love my a/c very much. Now if I can only get my car to cooperate with better a/c…

  31. Jane Murphy-Demers
    | Reply

    I hate summer too, give me 20 degrees, a great coat,hat scarf and some fab boots. Some blizzarding is ok too‍♀️

  32. Jenny
    | Reply

    Laughed out loud on this one. Great rant.

  33. Mary Spriet
    | Reply

    Just slow down….. forget the make-up, forget the hair, wear comfortable clothing & hats. Relax it’s summertime! They move slow in the south for a reason. I personally hate winter, that is, being cold! I love my garden, pool parties, camping, canoeing (boating), just enjoying the outside. Sweaty or not. However, I agree that some people really do need to put on a MuMu (? sp ) or other necessary attire. I don’t mind skin, just not all the excess layers, unless you actually are going to swim. I admire people that really know how to make the most out of all the seasons. …and I wish I could enjoy winter more, but I can’t!

  34. Deborah Rhodes
    | Reply

    I am so with you Mary.

  35. Carol
    | Reply

    I so agree!

  36. Gerry Fix
    | Reply

    Thank you. I don’t like summer weather either. Or bugs. It was such fun to read your post, and the many comments, that assured me I’m not alone.

  37. Mary Cunningham
    | Reply

    Hate summer. All the things you mentioned, plus one you forgot: BUGS. Mosquitos and flies and wasps and fruit flies and ants and so on. (Since you live in the city, perhaps you are not plagued by BUGS….) Yup, in the winter and fall and such you can put on more clothes, but in summer there is a limit to how many you can take off….. at least there SHOULD be a limit……

  38. Kathryn
    | Reply

    Yes!!! You are not alone!

  39. Kathy
    | Reply

    So agree. Counting the days till autumn.

  40. Betty Elliott
    | Reply

    North Carolina here too. I agree – my favorite time of the year is October – December. I love wearing sweatshirts and wrapping up in a quilt on the couch. Absolutely hate summer and all the heat!

  41. Karen Johnson
    | Reply

    Mar, you need to move to the Pacific Northwest! Mild, lovely summers for the most part. Summer here really doesn’t begin until mid July and ends by Labor Day. Maybe 1-2 weeks total of the icky hot stuff, minus the humidity.

    I just spent 2 weeks in over 100 degree temps in Texas and to that I say Phooey! Happy to be home in the milder clime.

  42. Paula
    | Reply

    Yes, I hate summer in KC! Humidity and sweat, sweat, sweat! My head sweats the most for some reason and in a short time I am just drippy. Uggghhh!
    But I love you Mary!

  43. Jane
    | Reply

    My husband does not like summer for the same reasons. I, on the other hand, absolutely love summer. I love spend several hours at the beach on the weekends – it is so relaxing. I like a lot of other summer activities, too. I like spring and fall when the weather is nice, but one can never predict if it will be nice or not. I am sorry summer is not as enjoyable for you as it is for me.

  44. Emily
    | Reply

    I stopped reading after the statement, “I intensely dislike the summertime.” My birthday is smack dab in the middle of summer. My anniversary…same. Summer smells good and sounds good and I love it forever. Nevertheless, I’m a grown up and I still respect and like you and will continue reading Papergirl. I’m sure you’re relieved to know that (wink;) Autumn is coming in fast. Hang in there!

  45. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I sooo agree with you on this one Mary!
    I turn on the a.c. and wait for fall.
    That said, it’s cooler today in Port. OR, and it’s a pretty day!

    • Jen
      | Reply

      I’ve been working on the Banfield interchange, and boy are we all glad for a few degrees cooler! I hate the heat, so why did I choose construction? But I love what I do!

      • Bob Collis
        | Reply

        Jen. You have my sympathies… ‘Hope the weather cools down, and the work is done soon.

  46. Barbara OC
    | Reply

    I hate summer, actually I start getting upset in the spring, since summer is just around the corner. In summer, I’m already counting the days till fall. I love, love, love fall, and I don’t mind winter either, just don’t like the ice. I want to wear a jacket and put nice warm socks on my feet, even when I go to bed. The only thing I like about summer is the trees, flowers and delicious fruit. But if you look hard enough, you can get delicious fruit in the winter too. Oh, and also, the trees are beautiful in the winter, as each season has a beauty of its own.
    About 50 days to go, but who’s counting. (me)

  47. Lori Escher
    | Reply

    Yep. Hate it. All day long. Midwest summers – who needs ‘em!

  48. Pam
    | Reply

    Totally agree. Summer is something you just have to get through

  49. elizabeth a hinze
    | Reply

    I do like the warm weather I live in Oregon so not to much humidity…
    but I’m not a “summer person” I never tan just burn
    I don’t have pretty legs so no cute shorts
    ugly ankles so no caprice : (
    but I still like summer…

  50. Jess Irwin
    | Reply

    I love summer, but I probably have many of the same problems. I sweat way (way!) too much, my skin flushes easily, my hair gets greasy and sweaty and weird, and my clothes get wrinkled and sweaty. Did I mention the sweat?

    (Unsolicited and potentially sanctimonious) Things that Help Me Stay in Love with Summer: less makeup on face (or none, what’s the point), waterproof mascara, brow pencils to maintain dignity. Blot the face (especially brow and nose) with paper towels each time you use the loo. Wear no polyester (poly blend sometimes ok) or wool. Carry a light-colored umbrella for the sun (though your standard black works too), or an awesome wide-brimmed hat. Don’t bother with anti-perspirant, just wear the right breathable (dark? to sweat with confidence?) top and get a heavenly-smelling deodorant. Iced tea all day. ALL THE ICE. Walk on the shady side of the street. Wear sunglasses big and dark enough to hide the side-eye you are giving whist in public. And, in an emergency of summer hatred, find the nearest water or tree, sit in the shade, and look at the light twinkle on the leaves/waves.

    The world is glorious, even when it’s hella hot. Fall will be here soon! You’ll be ok!!!

  51. Helen Marie
    | Reply

    I need my summer. I love the sun and the birds and the flowers and yes even the heat waves rising off city streets. Winter? It’s for yeti. And people on skis. You’ll find me at the Lodge with hot chocolate! Fall is the requiem for summer, spring is the Coming Attractions!

  52. Jan
    | Reply

    Sorry, all you ice-fall-downers, snow-shoveler-back-hurters, ice-bumper-car-crashers. I’m delighted to see how many readers are not ‘summer’ people! I thought I was alone in this sweat hating world. In California this year we’ve already had ‘way to many days over 100. At least we don’t suffer with mid-west humidity. I hate feeling sticky, my skin touching my skin, my face getting red and hot. Irritable is a minor word for how I feel. I want to wear warm, soft, snuggly, layered and touchy clothes. And breathe air that is crisp with cold or damp from rain, not acrid with smoke from fires, or lumpy with ash.

  53. Denise in PA
    | Reply

    Me, me, me – everything you said!

  54. Ann Bailey
    | Reply

    I’m soooo with you Mary! But the good news is ……’s August for only three more weeks….then, ahhhh……………..relief
    (and I am a Master Gardener – shameful)

  55. rita penner
    | Reply

    It’s amazing how negatively people generally react to this kind of sentiment, though not here. I mean just generally, at the grocery store, at work, anywhere. Until just recently, I never felt comfortable expressing any dislike of summer and conversely, in the winter time, everyone feels completely free to complain NON-STOP. I love winter and have become brave enough to say so to all those complainers. It’s perhaps a measure of how free we really are to have our own opinions.

  56. Edith S.
    | Reply

    Amen, sister. Well said! People seem to think that summer gives them the right to expose themselves whether they should or not. The humidity in summer is the pits…sweating is never fun (not at the gym either)….give me Fall any time.

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